An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Pa. expands solar, renewable energy infrastructure

(Source: Penn Solar)

Pennsylvania is growing its renewable energy capacity, according to recent data.
State officials announced Tuesday that the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standars program has exceeded 1 gigawatt of installed capacity.

That is enough to power nearly 140,000 homes, roughly the number in the city of Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, another 550 megawatts of solar power is under construction and expected to come online by this summer, the state said.

“The promise of solar is being realized across Pennsylvania,” said David Althoff, director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Energy Programs Office.

Run by the Public Utility Commission, the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards program requires 18% of retail electricity to come from “alternative and renewable energy sources.”

Meanwhile, the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which included significant tax credits for eligible clean energy investment projects, including solar, is driving a fresh wave of clean energy investment across Pennsylvania, reports State Impact PA.

Online federal data shows that the credits have driven $3 billion of private investment in renewable energy projects in Pennsylvania. All of those investments are going to areas with lower than average wages, State Impact said. To date, none have been announced in Lancaster County, although there are several in neighboring counties.

Besides solar arrays, the projects include renewable-related manufacturing initiatives, including expansions of a zinc battery factory outside Pittsburgh and a semiconductor component production facility in Schuylkill County.