The University has invested in a variety of renewable energy projects, included solar, hydroelectric and ground-source heat pumps.
70 MW Solar PPA
In 2019, Penn State entered into a 25-year Solar PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Lightsource bp. This 70 MW project is a utility-scale ground mounted solar array, using over 150,000 solar panels sited on roughly 500 acres across three locations in Franklin County, near Penn State’s Mont Alto campus. The solar array provides 25% of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements. Full project details, as well as energy dashboards for the solar arrays, are available through this website.
2 MW Solar PPA
Orchard Road Solar – Penn State entered into a 25-year PPA with the Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) for a 2 MW onsite solar array located at the University Park campus on Orchard Rd. This onsite project provides 1% of University Park’s campus electricity needs. The site began operation in April 2019.
In 2013, Penn State entered into a 10-year power purchase agreement with Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Company. This 6 MW hydroelectric generating plant is located at the existing USACE dam on Mahoning Creek in PA. Penn State purchases all of the net electric output from the facility.
Electric Vehicle Charging
In 2015, Penn State installed a solar array outside the main Office of Physical Plant facility to provide power to charge its 100% electric vehicles. See the energy production from the array on its publicly-available dashboard.
MorningStar Solar Home – Built in 2007 and located at the Sustainability Experience Center, MorningStar is a 100% renewable energy-powered home.
A few new buildings utilize ground-source heat pumps. These systems are considered for new buildings on the perimeter of the University Park campus that do not have access to the central steam system and for new buildings at Commonwealth Campuses.