In Centre County, discussions have been “heating up” about the use of more solar power and officials say there are both large scale and smaller scale projects in the works.
In the dead of winter, solar power is energizing regional discussions in the Centre region.
“In our case, it was more profitable and affordable for us to do our own panel, do our own solar farm. The size of what the cooperative is talking about is fairly large.”
The cooperative that Centre County recycling and refuse authority director Ted Onufrak is talking about is proposed the solar power purchase working group.
Centre County government and 11 other entities, for the past several years, have been exploring a large-scale solar project that all are expected to benefit from.
The refuse authority was originally included in the group but is now going their own way.
In a $1.2 million project, solar panels will be installed atop authority buildings.
“So, we are not taking up any vacant land. We’re not using any farmland; we are not using any ground at all. It’s going to all be rooftop solar panels.”
The project includes a 25-year agreement that the authority expects to recover its costs within 7 years.
Those backing solar claim it can lower and stabilize energy costs over a long period. The authority says it may use the power generated at their natural gas fueling station.
“We might have the first renewable natural gas filling station powered by green energy. We’ll see how that goes.”
As for the larger, county-wide solar project, its expected proposed agreements will be unveiled later this year.