Solar Energy Resource Hub
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, both residential and grid scale solar projects are being installed at an increasing rate throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Residents, landowners, local governments, and businesses alike are more frequently being faced with questions surrounding proposed solar projects, such as deciding if solar is right for their business or home, what the process is to lease land to a solar developer, and where to go for more information on these questions.
This resource hub was developed to provide the residents of Pennsylvania, as well as entities who wish to do business in Pennsylvania, the information needed to develop solar energy installations across the Commonwealth. As the installation costs of solar energy systems for small, medium, and large-scale installations have been dropping, these types of projects provide benefits to individuals and communities, such as:
- Reducing the cost of energy for homes and businesses either through the direct generation of solar energy on-site or procuring energy from third party producers
- Allowing individuals and organizations to work towards meeting climate action goals through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from energy sourcing
- Generating economic development opportunities within Pennsylvania for landowners, solar installers, and the manufacturers of solar panel equipment and mounting hardware
Click on the tabs for information on solar energy topics ranging from rooftop solar arrays for homes and commercial buildings to large-scale solar farms designed to provide clean energy to power the electricity grid.
The Residential resource page includes details for homeowners considering the installation of a residential solar energy system as well as useful information to help homeowners assess the benefits and costs of solar energy, find qualified installers, and research financial incentives, including tax credits.
The Businesses resource page provides relevant information for solar energy use in commercial buildings (businesses, local governments, non-profits and institutions), including fact sheets about solar technologies, power purchase agreements as well as currently available incentives.
The Landowner resource page provides links to valuable information to assist PA landowners who are considering leasing land to solar developers. It includes frequently asked questions, webinars, and guides on lease considerations and other important information regarding grid-scale solar projects.
The Local Government resource page provides guidance to local government officials on the grid-scale solar development process. As the number of grid-scale solar projects continue to grow and become more common throughout the state, local governments are being faced with the need to revise existing and outdated ordinances or create ordinances from scratch that pertain to grid-scale solar. This page provides key information and example ordinance framework, as well as resources that pertain to land use and zoning for grid-scale solar projects.
Developers often have questions about what permits are required for certain types of large-scale projects. The Developer resource page includes information on DEP permitting requirements including the Permit Application Consultation Tool (PACT), developing on brownfield and mine lands, and state resources for grid-scale solar site selection.
Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future
Clean, renewable solar energy is vital to economic growth, environmental protection, and electrical grid resiliency in Pennsylvania. Although solar photovoltaic installations are increasing in the state, solar currently produces less than 1 percent of our net electricity generation. Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future aims to increase that by identifying Tomorrow’s Solar Development and Investment Strategies. EPO identified an initial objective of increasing to 10% the amount of in-state electricity sales that come from in-state solar energy generation. For more information, check out the Finding Pennsylvania Solar Future Plan.