Grid Scale, Solar

Solar to Provide Back-up Power for Governor’s Residence

Pennsylvania recently joined the list of U.S. states making strong commitments to support renewable energy through a renewable portfolio standard. Now, the Pennsylvania Governor’s residence is making it’s own commitment with the installation of a battery-back up solar photovoltaic (PV) system.

Mesa Environmental Sciences of Malvern, Pennsylvania is the project team leader selected by BP Solar to design, install and maintain a PV array on the Pennsylvania Governors Residence in Harrisburg. This project is being completed at no cost to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Governor Edward G. Rendell and First Lady Judge Marjorie Rendell with their son Jesse live in the 18th century English Georgian style residence. The PA Governors Residence Solar Project is a collaboration of efforts from the Sustainable Development Fund, BP Solar, BP Products North America, the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) and Mesa Environmental Sciences. This is an ongoing effort lead by the SDF and the Million Solar Roofs partnership to promote solar energy by installing Solar PV on high profile buildings. Funding is provided by BP North America and a grant from the Sustainable Development Fund. Lead by Sarah Hetznecker and Gary Sheehan, Mesa Environmental Sciences designed the 2.8 kW grid-tied, battery-backup solar array for the governor’s residence, and is instrumental in leading the project team through concept, planning and installation scheduled to begin in mid February, 2005. A 5KW system can supply a typical homeowner or small business with up to 25 to 75 percent of electric needs. Each year a 5 kW system eliminates on average 14,753 pounds of CO2, 20.6 pounds of NOX and 81.6 pounds of SO4 and is equivalent to planting 2 acres of trees. Solar insolation in Pennsylvania is 2.5-3 kWh/m2/day compared with 4.5-5 kWh/m2 /day for Los Angeles. Pennsylvania is geographically well positioned to capture the suns rays for electricity. Currently, grants are available through various funding sources throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.