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GreenGov News

Gov. Wolf Announces Largest Government Solar Energy Commitment in the U.S.

50 Percent of State Government Electricity Will Come from Largest Government Solar Commitment in U.S. to Date


Governor Tom Wolf announced Monday, March 22, 2021, a major clean energy initiative that will produce nearly 50 percent of state government's electricity through seven new solar energy arrays totaling 191-megawatts to be built around the state. Part of the governor's GreenGov initiative, Pennsylvania PULSE (Project to Utilize Light and Solar Energy) will go into operation on January 1, 2023. The project is the largest solar commitment by any government in the U.S. announced to date.  

"In issuing the GreenGov challenge, I charged state government with leading by example in demonstrating sustainable governance and lowering greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the risks of climate change in Pennsylvania," Governor Wolf said. "This included significantly reducing energy use and pursuing an ambitious goal of obtaining at least 40 percent of electricity from clean energy generated in state. I commend General Services for their GreenGov leadership in not only meeting this goal but exceeding it".

Solar arrays will be built in seven locations in six counties: Columbia, Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and York. When completed, the total 191-megawatt project is expected to deliver 361,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, supplying 100 percent of electricity for 434 accounts across 16 state agencies, or about half the electricity used by state government. The solar project will create 400-plus jobs and begin lowering carbon dioxide emissions statewide by 157,800 metric tons each year – the equivalent of the emissions from nearly 27,000 homes or taking 34,000 cars off the roads. 

General Services contracted with Constellation, a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission-licensed electric generation supplier, to secure a 15-year fixed-price supply agreement. Serving as a technical advisor on the purchase, the Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute coordinated an innovative retail approach.

Visit Governor Wolf's newsroom here for more details. The Pennsylvania PULSE solar project brochure is available here.

 

GreenGov Council & Penn State Sustainability Institute’s Sustainability Series

The GreenGov Council and Penn State’s Sustainability Institute are co-hosting our second monthly webinar series on various sustainability topics. All who are interested in expanding their knowledge of sustainability initiatives are invited to participate!

Interested attendees are asked to complete this survey and indicate which presentations they plan to attend. The GreenGov Council will review the survey submissions and send out Microsoft Teams meeting calendar invitations to each interested participant.

SERIES INFORMATION:

​Date
​Title
​Presenter
February 12
1:00-1:45 PM 
Motivating Behavior Change for Sustainability
​Karen Winterich, Gerald I. Susman Professor in Sustainability, Penn State Smeal College of Business 
March 12 
1:00-1:45 PM 
Green Buildings

​Emily Starr, Board Co-Chair, US Green Building Council Central PA, Senior Project Manager, KCI Technologies,  and     Leah Wirgau, Education and Engagement Director, Green Building United

​April 9
1:00-1:45 PM 
State Government Climate Actions
​Patrick McDonnell, Secretary, PA Department of Environmental Protection 
​May 14
1:00-1:45 PM 
Hidden Burdens: Using Mapping to Advance PA’s Environmental Justice 
​Peter Buck, Academic Programs Manager, Penn State Sustainability Institute; Nyla Holland and Nebraska Hernandez, Environmental Justice Interns 
​June 11
1:00-1:45 PM 
Solar Electricity and REC Procurement for State and Local Governments 
​Devin Pennebaker, Energy Procurement Manager, Penn State FEI ; Greg Knerr, Commodity Manager, PA Department of General Services 
​July 9
1:00-1:45 PM 
Climate Risk Assessment in PA 

​Webinar Speaker TBA 

WEBINAR SUMMARIES

Motivating Behavior Change for Sustainability

Karen Winterich will explain factors that influence sustainable behavior, citing examples from her research on pro-social behavior, recycling, and morality. Learn how you to motivate more sustainable actions, both within your offices and in initiatives aimed at the public.

Green Buildings

Emily Starr and Leah Wirgua will provide an overview of a sampling of green building certification programs available and lead a discussion on the aspects of green building design that consistently produce high performance, as well as high occupant satisfaction.

State Government Climate Actions

DEP Secretary McDonnell will discuss the Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan and numerous other state initiatives DEP is leading or partnering on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change impacts that are happening now and projected for the near future. Pennsylvania has ramped up climate actions under the Wolf Administration. Learn what's underway, where we're headed, and how you can get involved.

Hidden Burdens: Using Mapping to Advance PA’s Environmental Justice

Peter Buck, Nyla Holland, and Nebraska Hernandez will review their new mapping tool that allows researchers and governments to examine by census tract environmental and health factors in Pennsylvania connected to questions of environmental justice. They will show how the tool can be used to drive future policy conversations to address disproportionate environmental burdens endured by communities of color and low-income communities.

Solar Electricity and REC Procurement for State and Local Governments Devin Pennebaker and Greg Knerr will discuss the Commonwealth strategies for meeting the Governor’s executive order goal to procure renewable energy to offset 40% of the Commonwealth’s electricity use. Learn how the state is meeting this goal and about the various renewable energy vehicles available for higher education and local government to utilize.

Climate Risk Assessment in PA

This webinar will review the projected impacts of climate change on Pennsylvania, including changes to extreme weather, agriculture, and infrastructure. We will discuss ways some government institutions have started planning for climate adaptation and what your institution may want to consider in assessing future risks.

 



 

Quarterly E-Newsletter Sign Up

The GreenGov Council is developing a quarterly e-newsletter for our partners, to share updates on how we're expanding and accelerating state government efforts in energy efficiency and conservation, use of clean fuels and renewable energy, and benchmarking to meet ambitious goals in carbon dioxide emissions reduction. Stay in touch! Sign up for our forthcoming newsletter.


 

Wolf Administration Nationally Recognized for Excellence in Sustainable Electronics Purchasing

The Pennsylvania Department of General Services, Bureau of Procurement has been honored for its excellence in purchasing sustainable electronics with the 2020 EPEAT Purchaser Award. Pennsylvania made $27,840,482 in EPEAT-registered purchases in the Computers & Displays and Digital Imaging categories in Fiscal Year 2018-19. The commonwealth was one of only 10 states recognized with this honor.

During the 2018-19 fiscal year, the commonwealth purchased more than 40,000 eligible products that met either "Gold" or "Bronze" Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, or EPEAT, criteria. The criteria consider materials selection, design for product longevity, reuse and recycling, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate performance. In total 97.8 percent of the commonwealth's Computers & Displays and Digital Imaging equipment achieved a gold (91.6 percent) or bronze (7.1 percent) EPEAT rating.

The energy savings associated with the green electronics purchases is enough electricity to power nearly 4,070 US households for a year. The carbon footprint reduction is equivalent to annually removing 2,231 passenger cars from the road. The amount of toxic substances avoided from re-entering the environment is 23,480 pounds.

The EPEAT is a resource administered by the Green Electronics Council where organizations can find or promote electronic products that meet certain environmental performance criteria. The Green Electronics Council maintains the EPEAT website and product registry and recognizes organizations for their purchases of EPEAT-registered products.

The EPEAT awards ceremony is recorded here https://vimeo.com/442832271 and DGS acceptance of the award starts at 11:00 minutes.