GOONIES SOLAR – Pennsylvania
THE $250 MILLION, PRIVATELY FUNDED PROJECT WILL GENERATE 200 MEGAWATTS OF CLEAN, RENEWABLE ELECTRIC POWER. IT’S ENOUGH TO SERVE 33,000 PENNSYLVANIA HOUSEHOLDS ANNUALLY
The 1,100-acre Goonies Solar farm site, full of pesky rocks some of the farmers call “Goonies,” has been used for agriculture despite being in a flood zone. Some still remember Hurricane Agnes in 1972 when the fields were flooded. Our solar farm, using flood-proof solar engineering designs, boosts the tax base of what are now lower-value farmlands.
“I grew up in the Susquehanna Valley, born in Jersey Shore but raised a bit downstream in Montoursville. As a kid we fished on the Loyalsock and Susquehanna, it was a bit like being Huck Finn in the town of Mayberry. We even had a policeman named Barney. When I was twelve, every morning during picking season a big stake-body truck would round up kids and take us to the Tebbs strawberry fields where we would pick from 8AM until Noon. On a good day, you could make between $3 – $4 – – good pay at that time. The following summer I worked for Dick Snyder de-tasseling corn in fields along the Susquehanna and was paid $1/hour, 40 hours per week. I was rich! It’s hard to imagine, but comforting to know, that some of the fields that were once well known for growing seed corn will be turned into a solar farm producing clean energy. “
It will make a significant contribution to Pennsylvania’s renewable energy portfolio, enabling local utilities, commerce and industry to procure power generated in Lycoming County that would otherwise be generated in neighboring counties. It serves as a good incentive for large modern companies, such as data centers and advanced manufacturers, to bring jobs to the County.
“Our land has been in our family since 1876. We are proud to participate in Goonies Solar for the environmental benefits and to ensure the viability of the farm for future generations..”
– Jane Williams, Landowner
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PORTFOLIO STANDARDS
Solar energy is the only form of renewable energy that is mandated by state law to be produced in-state to qualify for certain policy advantages. It keeps the jobs and investment in-state. Pennsylvania passed Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards in 2004, requiring electricity providers to supply 18 percent of their energy sales from alternative energy sources by 2021. According to the state’s Public Utility Commission, the percentage of renewable energy in Pennsylvania’s generation portfolio currently stands at 15.2 percent. More solar facilities are needed to meet the portfolio standards both now and in the future.
DECADES OF PROVEN OPERATION
Tens of millions of solar panels, operating hundreds of millions of hours, have been installed across the United States and the world over the past 30 years. The efficiency of panels and inverters (something that converts the electricity into the standard that comes out of your electrical outlets) has improved five-fold over the past several years and the costs have plummeted. Large-scale solar energy farms are now one of the lowest cost electricity sources.
JOBS AND CAPITAL INVESTMENT
Many Pennsylvania based firms are currently working on the project, with millions of pre-construction dollars being invested. During the nine-month construction period, expected to begin next year, the construction will employ approximately 150 local people. Upwards of $125 million in contracts will be awarded to regional vendors. Once construction is completed, the facility will provide one dozen high-wage, family-sustaining jobs, and it will also rely on many local vendors during its entire operational life.
Clean Energy for Pennsylvania
The solar farm will produce enough energy for 33,000 households annually. A solar farm is a manufacturer of electrons. These electrons are impossible to trace once they go into the wires. However, electricity is usually consumed in the market that it is generated so most of the electrons will end up serving local residents.