Lancaster, Pa. — RETTEW and project partners the University Area Joint Authority and Pace Energy solidified a plan to install a solar array at the authority’s site in State College, Pa. The array will provide more than 2.6 megawatts (MW) of power, installed on about nine acres of property. Financed and owned by New York-based Pace, a renewable energy investment firm, the $7 million array will be among the 10 largest in Pennsylvania.
“We know how important renewable energy is to our country’s future, and we’re glad to partner with a progressive local utility to make that happen in Pennsylvania,” said Alan Litt, President of Pace Energy.
The authority will use the energy generated to power about 25 percent of its daily advanced wastewater treatment operations, which provides wastewater treatment and reuse water to the majority of the State College region. The solar project enables the authority to completely offset its water reuse operations (a portion of the whole facility) with renewable energy. RETTEW will provide engineering designs for the project, including an energy storage battery system to regulate the regional power frequency.
“Reuse and renewable energy is one of our strengths,” said Jason Wert, project manager at RETTEW. “We care about our communities and our world, and can partner with private companies and public utilities to create renewable energy solutions. This project provides synergies between water reuse and renewable energy, positioning the authority to further advance their mission.”
The authority is proud to take this leap towards their goal of operating exclusively with sustainable energy.
“We continue to strategize and work towards advanced renewable energy and sustainable water management, providing an example of how many in our industry could ramp up operations,” said Cory Miller, the authority’s executive director.
The project will break ground this spring, with an estimated completion date of mid-summer.
The UAJA provides advanced wastewater treatment to about 50,000 customers in College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton townships, as well as the Borough of State College. It’s been providing high quality reuse water to diverse customers in the region since 2005, and has been recognized as an industry leader throughout the Northeast, including a recent designation by the Water Environment Federation as a Utility of the Future Today.