This week Penn State announced an ambitious 70 megawatt (MW) solar project that will be located on 500 acres of land just outside of Chambersburg, near Penn State’s Mont Alto campus. This project adds to other solar installations such as Penn State's 2 MW on-site project, on Orchard Road, near Mt Nittany Hospital, announced last year.
Project developer and partner Lightsource BP, which is the largest solar developer in Europe, and third largest in the world outside of China, has a rendering of the project on their website:
“Among the many benefits of this significant investment in solar-based electric generation include cost savings, lower greenhouse-gas emissions in support of Penn State’s aggressive sustainability goals, economic development with job creation, and income for host communities through development of the Pennsylvania solar market.”
— Rob Cooper, senior director of energy and engineering, Penn State Office of Physical Plant
Realization of a Professional Goal and Personal Commitment
I have had the pleasure of knowing Rob since coming to Penn State in 2009. He is a high integrity individual and I know these are projects he has wanted to see for over a decade. I have witnessed he and his team work very hard for a long time to examine countless proposals, meet with countless solar developers, and do the tough financial and engineering analysis over and again to make sure it's done right and not on the backs of students (i.e. raising tuition). The solar market matured, technology improved, solar prices continued to drop, and their hard work has finally paid off.
Congratulations to Rob and his team, the OPP leadership and our CFO David Gray. The patient, hard-nosed analytical, and collaborative approach is what is required. Thanks for showing us the way!