OPP and Alternative Energy Development Group announce 2MW advanced Utility-Scale Solar PV project
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new project will provide 2,500 megawatt-hours of clean, reliable and affordable solar-generated energy annually to the University as part of its diversified energy portfolio. The Penn State Office of Physical Plant and Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) announced Sept. 19 the development of a 2 megawatt Advanced Utility-Scale Solar photovoltaic system.
“The Office of Physical Plant is thrilled to be part of yet another project that will provide clean, reliable and sustainable energy to the University,” said Steve Maruszewski, assistant vice president of the Office of Physical Plant and the lead Penn State project sponsor. “This installation provides the University with the ability to research and optimize multiple power generation sources on our micro-grid. It is a true living lab project that combines operations directly with teaching, research and outreach.”
Providing education and research — and electricity
The solar project will provide 1 percent of University Park’s campus electricity needs. Included in the project will be an educational kiosk supporting academic instruction and research, sharing real-time performance data of the array. In addition, the array also will offer Penn State opportunities to test future technological developments in the field.
“We see the new solar farm as an incredible opportunity to understand the impacts of solar development on landscapes and ecosystems, as well as for power production,” said Jeffrey Brownson, associate professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering. “We have already begun involving student research and classes in the framework for this systems-based solar integration, called 'solar ecology' Students are also excited to integrate our open-source sunlight monitoring techniques using Penn State 3D printing.”
Guiding the solar project’s development are specific goals and objectives, including:
Partnering to produce reliable and sustainable energy
The array was developed by AEDG, a Pennsylvania-based renewable energy developer, and will be financed, owned, maintained and operated by AEDG and MVE Capital, Inc., an affiliate of the MVE Group, Inc., in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. The University has entered into a 25-year, solar-power purchase agreement to purchase 100 percent of the electricity and PA Alternative Energy Credits generated by the solar system for the term of the agreement.
“This is an opportunity to further our pursuit of our energy savings goals, provide our students and researchers with a living lab opportunity close to their classrooms and laboratories, and continue exploring ways to lessen our impact on the environment.”
— David Gray, senior vice president of Finance and Business
The solar project is an example of a public-private partnership, including the following parties:
“I’m excited to support this project, which is aimed at providing the University with a reliable and sustainable energy source so close to campus,” said David Gray, senior vice president of Finance and Business at Penn State. “This is an opportunity to further our pursuit of our energy savings goals, provide our students and researchers with a living lab opportunity close to their classrooms and laboratories, and continue exploring ways to lessen our impact on the environment.”
“We want to thank and recognize the cross-functional team from Penn State, West Penn Power, West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, and all the Pennsylvania-based professional services firms who came together from a diverse range of stakeholder perspectives to make this project a reality,” said Chris D. Fraga, founder and CEO of AEDG. “Throughout the development process, we focused on Penn State’s stakeholder needs, while ensuring a design that would yield safety, performance and value from the state-of-the-art, utility-scale solar project. Integrating Penn State’s faculty, staff and students in the process was both enriching for all and builds upon Penn State’s energy strategy and we are honored to be part of this exciting Pennsylvania project.”
Expanding Penn State's solar footprint
This is not the first solar project the University has supported or sponsored. OPP, with the help of students and a $75,000 grant from the Sustainability Institute’s Reinvention Fund, installed a solar array outside its main facility to provide power to charge its 100 percent electric vehicles. The MorningStar Solar Home, located in the Sustainability Experience Center, was built in 2007 and is a 100 percent renewable energy powered home. It is used by teachers and faculty as an immersive learning destination. In addition, the Penn State Class of 2015’s gift was a solar panel array powering a bus stop near Beaver Stadium.
CONSTRUCTION CREDIT FACILITY FOR DISTRIBUTED GENERATION ENERGY PROJECTS :
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 14, 2018) Reinvestment Fund is pleased to announce the funding of Alternative Energy Development Group LLC, and affiliated companies SolarSense LLC, and their energy project company LLC’s, with a $5M revolving construction loan and line of credit. The revolving credit facility will finance AEDG’s construction of numerous, concurrent energy projects in the United States. The new credit facility will be used for a project beginning construction this month in Vermont, a 734 kW DC Solar PV system developed by AEDG and financed by its Fund, the Alternative Energy Infrastructure Projects Fund I, LP, and a tax-equity banking provider. The loan will also be used for a 2 MW single-axis tracker Solar PV project scheduled to begin construction in November 2018 for a publicly listed oil & natural gas client in California.
This loan follows several loans between the Parties over a four-year period, including:
“AEDG does a great job bringing solar power to a wide range of commercial customers, including many in the small-to-mid market and not-for-profit sectors that are often overlooked in the marketplace”, said Andy Rachlin, Managing Director, Lending and Investment at Reinvestment Fund. “We’re proud to be part of their success.”
“We’ve established a strong working relationship with Reinvestment Fund based on trust, alignment of missions, and each company’s core competencies”, said Chris Fraga, Founder & CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group. “We appreciate and value our relationship with Reinvestment Fund, and look forward to growing our partnership enabling clean, reliable and affordable energy projects.”
ABOUT REINVESTMENT FUND
Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. The organization integrates data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, Reinvestment Fund brings high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives. www.reinvestment.com
ABOUT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) helps commercial-scale clients reduce their energy demand, reduce their energy supply costs, and become more sustainable and resilient. We develop, finance, own and operate commercial- and industrial-scale clean energy projects and serve as Fund Manager and General Partner for the Alternative Energy Infrastructure Projects Fund I LP. Our singular focus is solving customers' energy needs by utilizing the latest clean energy technologies to achieve meaningful financial, sustainability and resiliency benefits. www.aedgonline.com
AEDG is excited to announce that Bennington College (located in Bennington, Vermont) and SolarSense (headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania) have entered into agreements for the College's participation in the Vermont Solar Group Net Metering program. Bennington College, a forward-thinking liberal arts college, is committed to the environment and sustainability, and SolarSense welcomes them into our family of valued Vermont customers.
About Bennington College
Through a genuinely distinctive education, Bennington cultivates a mindset for change, a capacity to break new ground, the conditions for progress. At Bennington, learning and making are inseparable. The faculty are committed not just intellectually, but also as leading practitioners in their field. Students develop ideas in the classroom, and then test those ideas where it counts—through hands-on work in the world. The result is a learning experience free of artificial barriers where students imagine, shape, and pursue their best work.
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Bennington, VT 05201-6003