Recently, SEPTA was the recipient of two prestigious awards for its sustainability efforts– the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and the IDC Smart Cities Award For Sustainable Infrastructure.
Both awards were in recognition of the Elk Hill 1 and 2 solar farms in Franklin County, Pa., a partnership between SEPTA and Lightsource bp, a global leader in utility-scale solar energy projects.
The electricity generated from Elk Hill 1 & 2 add up to 42 MW of clean, renewable energy, and represents 20% of SEPTA’s annual electricity demand, which powers facilities, trains, and trolleys that currently operate on electricity. This highly successful project locked in energy pricing in 2019 and provides SEPTA with long-term, affordable energy to support the Authority’s operations and has generated almost $1M in revenue in 2022.
Generation from solar farms of this size and type are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. They also support Pennsylvania’s goals to generate a percentage of clean electricity by solar photovoltaics, helping to diversify the state’s energy portfolio and increase security with locally generated power.
“One of the notable benefits of this project was the realization that investing in renewables makes good business sense,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “SEPTA is proud to be an industry leader in utilizing new technologies that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing the quality of life for our customers and the communities we serve.” “One of the main goals of our strategic business plan, SEPTA Forward, is to enhance sustainability and expand our access to renewable energy sources. We have taken a major step forward with these solar farms, and we look forward to launching more innovative projects and partnerships.”
The Governor’s Award was presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on April 25 in Harrisburg, Pa., acknowledging the best in environmental innovation and expertise throughout the Commonwealth. In the category of ‘Sustainable Infrastructure,’ the IDC Smart Cities award was presented in Denver, Co. on May 17, recognizing outstanding Smart Cities projects in North American municipalities.