80-acre solar farm in Franklin County lowering PA’s carbon footprint


(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

FRANKLIN, Pa, (WHTM) — Take a breath of fresh air – thanks in part to a new solar farm in Franklin County, Pa. The project, Elk Hill Solar 2, is helping advance energy and sustainability throughout the Commonwealth.

The 17.5-megawatt solar farm is one of two solar farms that SEPTA and Lightsource bp announced on Earth Day in 2020. The farm is estimated to produce the equivalent of nearly 10% of SEPTA’s annual electricity demand — That’s enough energy to power more than 2,500 U.S. homes annually.

“This project is a win-win, creating good-paying jobs for Pennsylvanians while locking in low
prices with a clean energy source for SEPTA,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon,
Sr. “We’re excited to be a part of moving the Commonwealth’s energy industry forward.”

Over 43,800 bifacial solar panels were installed across 80 acres. The panels collect the sun’s energy from both sides and can follow the sun during the day to collect the optimal amount of sunlight.

The energy from this solar farm would be expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,360 metric tons of CO2 annually. The equivalent to offsetting the emissions of 4,180 fuel-burning cars each year.

“Transit is inherently sustainable, and this is just another example of how solar investment
benefits, not just the environment, but the transit industry as a whole,” said SEPTA General
Manager, Leslie S. Richards. “Supporting the development of local renewable energy is another
way we can deepen our positive environmental impact and this premier project will start the
charge in achieving our long-term and ambitious sustainability goals in this vital field, which will
only become more important in the future.”

The project totaled an estimated $18 million of investment into energy infrastructure for Pennsylvania. It not only proves cost-competitive, locally generated renewable energy, it also created 100 jobs during the construction of the facility.

Over 43,800 bifacial solar panels, which collect the sun’s energy from both sides of the panel, were installed on about 80 acres. The solar panels will follow the sun during the day to collect the optimal amount of sunlight.

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