02/23/2017

PennFuture Partners in Advancing Solar Energy in PA

February 23, 2017, Harrisburg, Pa. – PennFuture is a proud partner of the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Energy on a project that will spur momentum toward expanding in-state solar power generation and advancing clean renewable energy across the state.

“Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future” is a 30-month analysis and modeling project kicking off March 2, in which DEP and interested stakeholders will investigate how to expand in-state solar generation to 10 percent of sales by 2030. The project is funded by a $550,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Program. 

DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell and SunShot Initiative’s Balance of Systems Program director Dr. Elaine Ulrich will provide opening remarks at a kick-off stakeholder meeting that is open to the public to be held at 10 a.m., March 2 in the auditorium of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. 

"Solar energy is seeing record-setting growth nationwide, and with this growth comes jobs, energy independence, and a cleaner healthier environment,” said Rob Altenburg, director of PennFuture’s Energy Center. “The challenge for Pennsylvania is finding a pathway to be a leader in this industry—this project shows that the state is accepting that challenge.”

PennFuture is coordinating the meeting, which will include expert participants from local and state government, the solar industry, the utilities and transmission sector, environmental organizations, low-income advocacy groups, consumer organizations, and business and academic communities. The meeting also will engage others interested in solar development and deployment.

Project participants will meet in working groups regularly through 2019 to use data modeling to analyze roles and opportunities in regulatory and ratemaking processes, business and market transformation, and operations and systems integration. Meeting results and other information will be posted at Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future website.

The goal is to determine specific approaches that will enable Pennsylvania to increase generation of in-state solar-powered electricity to 10 percent of all in-state electricity sales by 2030. Pennsylvania’s current requirement is 0.5 percent by 2021. 

Modeling, conducted by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, will help inform the stakeholders as they refine the proposed scenarios into a set of core recommendations. The results will be published as a draft report for public comment, as well as independent academic review. 
Stakeholders will have another opportunity to revise their recommendations in light of the additional review before the final report is released as Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Plan. 

This report will be available for use by policy makers, regulators, industry, investors, and consumers to propel solar energy forward and apply it to the market and citizens’ everyday lives.

Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future: Kickoff Meeting
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Phone: (717) 783-2300

[Driving directions]

All interested Pennsylvania residents are invited to participate. Registration is required.

PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. For more information, visit www.pennfuture.org.

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Contact: Stephanie Rex                     
Director of Communications
Office: 412.456.2372
rex@pennfuture.org