Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. has begun construction of a 1.1 MW photovoltaic solar farm at Aqua's Ingram's Mill Water Treatment Plant in East Bradford Township, which serves drinking water to the West Chester, Pa., area.
The $6 million project is being partially funded with a $1 million grant from the federal stimulus program, which is administered through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.
The project, which will be built by the Conergy Group, will reduce Aqua's grid-tied usage by 1.3 million kWh annually, resulting in a direct economic benefit of $77,000 per year in energy savings. In addition, the project will alleviate congestion on the PJM grid, resulting in additional savings to all consumers by reducing line losses and congestion charges, Aqua Pennsylvania says.
The project will also include a research project called ‘Identifying and Assessing Native Ground Cover Species to Populate Areas Beneath and Around Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic Arrays.’ Restoration ecologists and wildlife and plant biologists from Delaware and Chester County universities will study or conduct research to assess the most advantageous native plant species to populate areas beneath and around ground-mounted solar photovoltaic arrays to be built at the solar farm. The research will commence when the solar arrays and ground restoration are completed.
SOURCE: Aqua Pennsylvania Inc.