The state of Pennsylvania is the 19th largest producer of renewable solar energy in the US. And Lehigh Valley has the largest solar panel installation in Pennsylvania.
The large shift towards renewable energy sources in Lehigh Valley was the result of joint efforts and funding from federal, state and local authorities. Many programs have been launched by the government to bring down the cost of equipment and installation of solar panels to support the production of alternate energy.
On Friday, March 16th, the federal government released grants and loans of $5 million to the Lehigh Valley for solar energy projects. Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the funds.
These funds will be used to support the purchasing and installation of solar panels for eight projects in the area of Palmer Township and Bethlehem to generate electricity.
The state is responsible under the Alternative Energy Investment Act 2008 to provide financial assistance required in the manufacturing and assembling of equipment, for the production of Solar Energy Program in the form of loans and grants. Both the Department of Community and Economic Development and the Department of Environmental Protection oversee this program under the administration of the finance authority.
On this occasion, state senator Lisa Boscola said she’s thrilled by the economic and environmental aspects of solar energy and will continue to support the growth of solar energy sector.
The grants and loans approved by Commonwealth Finance Authority will benefit eight Lehigh Valley businesses. Sol System LLC will receive the biggest share with a $5.63 million project budget. Sol System LLC will be purchasing and installing a roof mounted solar panel system at the Amazon’s fulfillment center in Palmer Township’s Commerce Center.
The state of Pennsylvania will receive a total of $30 million to invest in the renewable energy sector. Governor Tom Wolf was delighted and he said the renewable energy sector is an asset for the state of Pennsylvania. The government will continue to support the growing alternate energy sector. He added that the grant approved will provide many benefits to the community centers, schools and businesses receiving the funds, and it will not only benefit the environment but save a lot in term of electricity bills.
The other local projects approved for grants are as follows:
Installation of a solar photovoltaic system in Bethlehem
Installation of a roof-mounted solar array, at the manufacturing facility of MCS Industries, Inc At Palmer Township
Purchase and installation of a solar photovoltaic power system, at the Boscov’s store in the Lehigh Valley Mall
Installation and purchase of a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system by NEE Investments, LLC at the Bethlehem Authority’s water filtration plan
Purchase and installation of a roof-mounted solar array, at Service Tire Truck Center Bethlehem
And ATAS International Inc will be installing solar panels with the help of the grant