Pennsylvania’s largest municipal solar project inaugurated
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (Sept. 13, 2021) – Standing amid more than 50,000 solar panels, representatives from Pennsylvania’s Borough of Chambersburg, Safari Energy, LLC and Sun Tribe Development were joined by Pennsylvania State Representative Rob Kauffman, 89th District, and other elected officials to “flip the switch” and inaugurate a new 15-megawatt solar array.
The new facility will be owned and operated by Safari Energy and will provide 100% of its power to the borough under a long-term power purchase agreement. The system covers 86 acres and is expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 2,600 homes, or 10% of the borough’s annual electricity needs.
“We have worked with some amazing partners to achieve this much-desired outcome. I'm honored to represent a community that is making a commitment to our planet and our future,” said Alice Elia, Borough of Chambersburg Council President.
The Borough of Chambersburg is the largest of 35 municipal electric systems in Pennsylvania and is the only municipal electric system in the commonwealth to own and operate electric generating plants. Safari Energy, a PPL company, is a leading developer of solar power for commercial, industrial, and institutional customers nationwide. Vincent Sorgi, president and chief executive officer of PPL Corporation, delivered remarks at the event and was joined by leaders from PPL and Safari Energy.
“Working with partners like the Borough of Chambersburg is incredibly rewarding, as their innovative outlook and commitment to renewable energy align very much with our vision for a sustainable energy future,” said Vijay Singh, President, PPL Renewables. “This project is the largest single-site solar system that Safari Energy has acquired, and we hope to build on this success with other projects and solar portfolios across the country,” he added.
Since 2008, Safari Energy has developed or acquired more than 500 solar projects in 24 states and Washington, D.C. Safari Energy owns 120 solar projects in 9 states nationwide, totaling more than 170 megawatts of capacity. As part of PPL Corporation, Safari Energy supports the company’s objective of advancing a sustainable energy future. PPL, based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a leading U.S. energy company addressing energy challenges head-on by building smarter, more resilient and more dynamic power grids and advancing sustainable energy solutions.
The Borough of Chambersburg solar project was developed by Sun Tribe Development, one of the fastest growing clean energy companies in the Mid-Atlantic. The project is sited on land that is also home to an active shale mining operation. The effort to design, permit and construct a solar power plant on the site required close coordination with representatives from the borough, Hamilton Township, Franklin County, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
“This project is a fabulous example of how to site a solar farm on land that has already been disturbed for another purpose, including mining,” said Danny Van Clief, CEO, Sun Tribe Development, which originated and developed the solar project. “It is also a project that would not have happened were it not for the vision and determination of Sun Tribe’s many partners at the local, county and state level. In particular, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Bryan Salzmann and Justin George of Salzmann Hughes, P.C., Marie Holland and Marissa Price of GMS Funding Solutions, and Lance Kegerreis of Dennis E. Black Engineering.”
About the Borough of Chambersburg: Chambersburg is a unique community. Chambersburg supplies more services than any other municipality in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition to typical town functions, Chambersburg is Pennsylvania’s only municipality supplying electric and gas. Chambersburg is 1 of 35 Boroughs to operate a municipal non-profit electric utility. Chambersburg is the largest municipal electric utility in the State, twice as large as the second largest, Ephrata, Lancaster County; and, the only one to operate multiple generation stations. Chambersburg is 1 of 2 municipalities in PA to operate a natural gas utility. The other is Philadelphia, which does not operate an electric utility. Nationally, Chambersburg is 1 of 2,000 communities to have its own electric system and 1 of 800 communities to have a natural gas system but 1 of only about 50 to operate both. Chambersburg manages a regional water system, a regional sanitary sewer system (not through an independent Authority), and a new storm sewer utility; one of the first storm sewer utilities to form under the new Federal mandate to regulate stormwater. Chambersburg currently has 20,832 residents (2019) and is also the County seat of Franklin County, the services, transportation, and financial hub of South Central Pennsylvania.
About Safari Energy: Safari Energy, LLC is the solar partner of choice for commercial and industrial customers, real estate owners, public sector organizations and solar developers seeking competitive financial solutions for their projects. Headquartered in New York City, Safari Energy has helped customers unlock enormous economic value and drive significant energy savings by developing hundreds of solar energy projects from New Jersey to Hawaii. With extensive interdisciplinary expertise, Safari supports the growth of distributed energy resources and PPL Corporation’s focus on advancing a sustainable energy future. www.safarienergy.com
About Sun Tribe Development: As Sun Tribe’s provider of large-scale renewable energy solutions, Sun Tribe Development partners with leading utilities, landowners, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies as they move towards a cleaner energy future. For more information, please visit www.suntribedevelopment.com.
Borough of Chambersburg
Ron Pezon, PE, Electric Department Superintendent firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Heverley, PE, Assistant Electric Department Superintendent email@example.com
Darius Razgaitis Director, Marketing & Communications 212-935-2500 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun Tribe Development
Danny Van Clief Chief Executive Officer (800) 214-4579 Danny.email@example.com