Susquehanna Township Installs Solar Array To Power 85% of Township’s Electricity Needs
Township will save significant cash without investment and fix its electricity costs for 40 years
Susquehanna Township has just completed a 462 kW (kilowatt) solar array project that will generate 85% of the electricity needed to power its administration, police, emergency services and highway maintenance buildings. The array will save the township well over $1 million over the 40-year life of the system. The project was a partnership between the township, Solar Renewable Energy, LLC, of Mechanicsburg, and GreenWorks Development, LLC, of Harrisburg.
The arrays were installed on three township rooftops: its Administration and Police Building at 1900 Linglestown Road, its Fire and Maintenance Building behind the Administration Building, and the township’s Highway Maintenance Building on Elmerton Avenue. A total of 1,200 panels were installed.
The project didn’t require up-front investment on the part of the township because of the financial structure that was used. With no up-front investment, savings will start in year one, and will continue each year for the life of the array. Arrays have been shown to last for over 40 years, and the township’s electricity cost will remain fixed for that entire period, a significant advantage for the township.
Dave Kratzer, Township Manager, had done a solar project successfully while with another township in the past and is excited about Susquehanna Township’s move to clean energy. “Susquehanna Township had the distinct privilege of working with the teams at SRE and Greenworks Development in the design, financing, and construction of a roof-mounted PV system at three locations. The system is anticipated to produce roughly 85% of the Township’s electricity demand through renewable means and generate in excess of $1 million of savings over the course of the anticipated system life. All of this was made possible without any direct lump sum payment by the Township through use of an innovative, turnkey, public-private partnership. The project has proven to be both financially and environmentally advantageous,” he said.
In addition to the electricity savings of the project, a new roof was installed on the administration building and included in the project at no additional cost to the township. The new roof is a white roof that will reflect sunlight that will be absorbed by the underside of the bifacial solar panels. Bifacial panels absorb light from both the top and bottom of the panel, increasing the panel’s output.
With the dramatic decrease in the cost of solar over the last ten years and the significant federal and state solar incentives that are in place, the move to solar absolutely makes sense in Pennsylvania. Susquehanna Township has moved into an energy-stable future with its project while it demonstrates leadership in financial and environmental sustainability.