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Update: Finding PA's Solar Future Project Moves Forward

The Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future project is a collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. PennFuture is working closely with project partners and stakeholders to find a pathway to achieving 10 percent of our in-state generation from solar power by 2030.

On Sept. 14, we held our third stakeholder meeting at the Inn at Villanova in Radnor, PA.  Among the 81 people who attend in person and 25 who participated through a webcast, we had representatives from the solar industry, electric utilities, government, academia, nonprofit groups, and consumers.

This meeting represented a transition. Our first two meetings put a lot of emphasis on the details of our scenario modeling and our projections for what markets will look like in the future. This session focused more on specific issues that were identified as “pivotal factors” for achieving 10 percent in-state solar generation by 2030.

Prior to this meeting, we held a webinar on alternative ratemaking where Karl Rabago, the   Executive Director of Pace Energy and Climate Center; Eric Miller of the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance; and  Alan Cohn, Manager of Regulatory Strategy, at PECO discussed how different options for the rates we pay to electric utilities can impact the deployment of new technologies like solar.

At the in-person meeting, we had a panel discussion between Ethan Case of Cypress Creek Renewables and John McCawley of PECO Energy. This started the conversation on how solar generation will be split between large utility-scale installations and smaller distributed installations like rooftop solar systems.  

While larger systems will continue to benefit from economies of scale and have lower installation costs in terms of dollars-per-watt, smaller distributed systems can still be cost-effective for consumers,  are less subject to transmission losses, can help alleviate congestion, and can provide other benefits.  

We also heard from our Keynote Speaker, Ken Schyuler of PJM, the Valley Forge based company that manages the electric grid for 13 states throughout the Midwest and mid-Atlantic and the District of Columbia. 

As we move forward on our project, it will be critical that our pathways to increased solar generation consider the needs and the abilities of our power grid to provide reliable electricity throughout the region. 

It’s not too late to be part of the discussion. If you are interested in contributing, visit the website or email the project partners at  

Our next stakeholder meeting will be held in Harrisburg on Dec. 7.

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