Penn State Mont Alto is home to state’s largest solar panel farm


Penn State Mont Alto is nestled in eastern Franklin County against South Mountain. 

It’s home to many trees, the campus is an arboretum. 

Trees that were planted to renew the cutting down and harvesting of trees by the Mont Alto Iron Works of the 1800s. 

Now this Penn State campus, which started as a state forestry school will continue to benefit the environment with a big project. 

“This project will have a remarkable impact, especially on Penn State’s shift to alternative energies. It is going to reduce the university’s energy consumption by twenty-five percent,” said Mike Ross, Franklin County Area Economic Development Corporation. 

The solar panel array will be huge, 500 acres to be exact, and that’s a state record. 

But why did Penn State choose Franklin County, and not State College?

“To convert a large portion of our electric to renewables we needed very a large area and a large installation. We just didn’t have that kind of land at University Park that was unprogrammed at the same time near a transmission line,” said Rob Cooper, Senior Director of Energy and Engineering, Penn State University. 

Pennsylvania does not seem like a sunny place to be, however data suggests differently. 

“Scientists looking at it have identified Franklin County for sunshine, we are excited about that because we look around the last two years and its rained every day,” said Ross. 

Penn State Mont Alto has always been known for their sustainability efforts. 

With all the green here on the campus and the surrounding areas, but now even more so with this solar array project. 

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