The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), a transit agency serving the Greater Philadelphia region, and Lightsource BP have signed a long-term power contract for two solar farms totaling 43.8 MWDC in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The projects, Elk Hill 1 and 2, will help advance energy and sustainability priorities for both SEPTA and the Commonwealth.
Lightsource BP will finance, build, own and operate the two solar farms, which will generate nearly 20% of SEPTA’s 380,000 MWh per year electricity demand.
“Transit is inherently sustainable, and supporting the development of local renewable energy is another way we can deepen our positive environmental impact,” said SEPTA general manager, Leslie Richards. “The agreement will help us achieve our long-term and ambitious sustainability goals in this vital field, which will only become more important as we emerge from this crisis.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with SEPTA, an organization committed to its sustainability goals, while supporting development of new solar energy sources within the state to create jobs in local communities during these challenging times,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource BP in the Americas. “Working together, we’re helping advance transportation’s transition toward low carbon along with benefiting Pennsylvania’s environment, as well as its economy.”
Lightsource BP and project investors will fully fund the projects, an estimated $47 million of investment into energy infrastructure for Pennsylvania. In addition to providing low-cost, locally generated renewable energy, Elk Hill 1 and 2 will create an estimated 200 jobs during the construction of the facilities, hiring local subcontractors and recruiting from the local labor pool. Over 120,000 solar panels will be installed across two locations in Franklin County, on about 320 acres leased from local landowners. Both Elk Hill 1 and 2 are expected to be online in 2021.