Solar States completed a solar installation on the roof of the “SoNo” development at 5th and Spring Garden in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. The SoNo solar project is the first multi-tenant commercial solar project in the Commonwealth.
“We know that clean energy creates jobs, and projects like the SoNo solar installation are putting people to work when Pennsylvania communities need it the most,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “I applaud the City of Philadelphia for creating models for solar deployment that can be replicated across the Commonwealth.”
The 740-kWdc solar array is made up of approximately 2,000 solar panels and is visible from Interstate-95. The solar installed on-site will provide cost-competitive clean electricity to two of the property’s tenants: Yards Brewing Company and the City Archives.
“This project brings us another step toward our goal of powering all municipal buildings with clean, affordable electricity,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We forward to reaping the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy and encourage Philadelphians to do the same through programs like Solarize Philly and C-PACE.”
The SoNo solar project was supported by a Solar Energy Program grant from the Commonwealth Finance Agency and was enabled by legislation passed by Philadelphia City Council in 2019 to cap building permit fees for commercial solar projects.
“City council is committed to supporting more businesses to install solar, which led us to institute C-PACE and right-size solar permit fees in 2019,” said Councilmember At-Large Derek Green. “I commend Alliance HSP’s leadership on the SoNo solar project. They are blazing a trail for other Philadelphia businesses to follow.”
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) provided technical assistance to Alliance HSP, a real estate developer, to design a solar installation for the property that would take advantage of all available incentives and provide cost-competitive electricity to the tenants. The project’s completion follows on other solar news released during Philadelphia’s second annual Solar Week, including an announcement of the first solar project in Pennsylvania financed with C-PACE and an update on Solarize Philly’s continued enrollment in the wake of COVID-19.
“This Solar Week we saw two more firsts for the City of Philadelphia. With SoNo as the first multi-tenant commercial solar project and the Germantown daycare as the first solar project funded by C-PACE, Philadelphia is piloting models that make solar a common-sense choice for businesses in the city and beyond,” said Emily Schapira, executive director of the PEA.
Alliance HSP redeveloped the SoNo property over the last five years into a mixed-use project with Yards Brewery, the Philadelphia Archives and Target. Alliance is constructing a 48 unit apartment building with ground floor retail on the SoNo site. Alliance HSP primarily focuses on industrial and office redevelopment projects in the mid-Atlantic and South Florida. Solar States, an East Kensington-based solar company, partnered with Armour and Sons Electric to install solar on the redeveloped property. Solar States used Trina solar modules and Solar Edge inverters for the project.
The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Energy Authority are hosting the second annual Philadelphia Solar Week, encouraging Philadelphians to go solar to help drive economic recovery. Philadelphia Solar Week includes a full schedule of online events, including events for homeowners and businesses on how to go solar, a session on “Doing Solar Business in Philadelphia,” and a Friday keynote and graduation ceremony for the 2020 Bright Solar Futures trainees.
Job seekers are invited to attend a career panel on clean energy careers, and PEA put out a call for youth to submit artwork for a Solar Art Competition. All events will take place virtually, and event details can be found at solarizephilly.org.
“We know that clean energy creates jobs, and projects like the SoNo solar installation are putting people to work when Pennsylvania communities need it the most,” Gov. Wolf said. “I applaud the City of Philadelphia for creating models for solar deployment that can be replicated across the Commonwealth.”