HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is planning on producing or purchasing all of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030.
Today Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn made the announcement.
“DCNR’s commitment to sustainability is second to none and we are proud to announce this critical step to a more sustainable energy use across our department as good stewards of our natural resources,” Dunn said. “This agency is committing to a measured, strategic plan to address energy conservation, creation, and consumption for the facilities that are critical parts of operating public lands.”
According to the press release sent out by DCNR, they are expecting to use 28.7 gigawatt hours of electricity by 2030 and plan to have the department produce 15.5 gigawatt hours of this energy, while purchasing the remainder 13.2 gigawatt hours. All of this energy will be coming from renewable energy sources.
The department is working to demonstrate their commitment to having clean-energy in the future. Clean-energy leaders are meeting this week in Pittsburgh to discuss this energy as well as solutions.
“With 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest land, and 42 million visitors a year, our department consumes a lot of energy for operations, visitor services, and to maintain infrastructure,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Mike Walsh said. “As a result, our public lands are a proving ground for innovative solutions to energy use and demonstrating the value of reducing our carbon footprint, investing in clean energy for long-term savings, and sharing our successes with the public to set an example for Pennsylvanians to consider sustainable alternatives.”
DCNR already has 23 solar installation projects that have been completed on their land as well as 18 that are currently in design or under construction. This work is part the agency’s climate and sustainability efforts, as well as the Green Gov initiative led by Governor Wolf.
The department also has 17 high-performance facilities and has installed electric vehicle charging stations at more than 35 state parks and forests. They are also working to implement battery-operated maintenance equipment and invest in electric vehicles across the agency’s fleet or more than 1,600 vehicles.
In the year 2021, the DCNR reduced their Green House Gas emissions by 194 metric tons, which is equivalent to the emissions given off by a passenger vehicle traveling 480,838 miles.