Exelon Generation (NYSE: EXE) and Community Energy’s retail marketing division committed to buy the output and back the financing for the project, which will supply the highest-quality green electricity – local solar power – to customers who sign up for a share of the generation. Several early high-profile customers have already signed up for a share of the output, including Franklin & Marshall College, Eastern University, Clean Air Council, and most recently, the Philadelphia Phillies and Millersville University.
“This is the greenest of the green—local jobs building fuel-free power that will last for decades,” said Brent Beerley, Executive Vice President of Community Energy. “Forward-thinking retail electric customers, backed by Exelon Generation on wholesale, and leadership from East Drumore township, the State of Pennsylvania, and the PA Sustainable Energy Fund were all part of making this happen, and we’re under construction with an experienced team led by contractor groSolar using Canadian Solar modules. We couldn’t be happier with the team,” he said.
The Keystone Project site is located along Lancaster Pike south of the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Community Energy worked closely with the fabled Lancaster County farming community and township officials in designing the project to support both farmland preservation and agricultural soil restoration. “Community Energy was good to work with,” said Township Supervisor Chair, Scott Kreider. “They designed the project so that the land can be used for agriculture again when the project is complete.”
The solar panels are being installed on driven posts (see accompanying photo of the site) without concrete to avoid soil disturbance, such that the site will be maintained with selected cover vegetation to preserve and improve organic soil content.
About 20,000 Canadian Solar 290 watt modules are being installed on fixed tilt, ground-mounted aluminum racking provided by Schletter, and will be interconnected to the PPL Electric grid at 12 kilovolts with AE inverters and platforms. The Project will supply about 7.5 million kilowatt hours per year of solar generated electricity under a fifteen-year power purchase agreement with Exelon. The annual environmental benefit equals that of about 3,000 zero-emission passenger vehicles or 285,000 newly planted trees growing for ten years. The solar project received financing and funding from the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, the Sustainable Energy Fund and the State of Pennsylvania. groSolar, a commercial solar contractor, is serving as general contractor to complete construction, targeted for this Fall. About 50 construction, electrical, and other jobs are being created at the site this summer.
About Community Energy
Community Energy (“CE”) has led renewable energy development in the Eastern U.S. since its founding in 1999. CE led wind development in the Northeast at the start of the decade, and in 2009 expanded into solar project development in states with expanding solar targets, now including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, with targeted projects in Colorado and Arizona. CE continues to lead the industry by backing utility power purchase agreements with retail renewable energy sales and hedge products. Projects built by CE include the 7.8megawatt Vineland Solar Project in the City of Vineland, NJ, the 24 megawatt Bear Creek Wind Farm in the Poconos, PA, and the 7.5 megawatt Jersey Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic City, NJ. For more
information and video of the Keystone construction, visit www.communityenergysolar.com
About Exelon Generation
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with more than $18 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to approximately 490,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
groSolar is a leading solar engineering, procurement and construction firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Founded in 1998, groSolar integrates components from leading solar manufacturers into energy solutions which generate clean, reliable energy for decades. groSolar has designed and completed more than 2,000 solar power installations nationwide. For more information, visit www.groSolar.com