Enormous Solar Farm Will Replace Former Coal Plant in Pennsylvania

Enormous Solar Farm to Take Place of Former Pennsylvania Coal Plant

Photo: SMALLCREATIVE/Depositphotos

Energy is necessary for moving forward, for both society and individual communities. These days, a shift to clean energy and renewable resources is critical to averting the oncoming climate catastrophe. President Biden has poured money and time into promoting clean energy and related jobs, while startups have leapt at the opportunity to craft a profitable and green way forward. But resistance is strong, especially in areas where coal plays an important economic role, and climate deniers persist in politics and media. As an example of a green, prosperous future, energy company Swift Current Energy (SCE) is building Pennsylvania's largest solar farm—Mineral Basin Solar Project—on land near where a massive coal plant once lived.

The Homer City Generating Station closed in 2023, after over 50 years of operation. The coal plant, which produced a massive 1,888 MW of energy, supplied homes and businesses across New York and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, burning coal is a significant factor in the build up of carbon dioxide that is rapidly and dangerously warming our climate. Known as  “the dirtiest fossil fuel,” coal once powered the Industrial Revolution and supported many families in mining regions along the east coast. The loss of jobs has been a significant factor in local resistance to clean energy solutions. However, the overall benefits of clean energy are hard to deny.

SCE is planning to break ground on a massive solar farm, the largest in Pennsylvania. It will produce 402 MW once complete, and power 75,000 homes with much-needed energy. The company is also considering storing excess energy offsite. Funding for the project comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) purse under the Biden administration's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The DOE is specifically interested in replacing former mine land with clean energy such as solar and wind. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm noted, “Thanks to the President’s Investing in America agenda, DOE is helping deploy clean energy solutions on current and former mine land across the country—supporting jobs and economic development in the areas hit hardest by our evolving energy landscape.”

The new solar farm in Pennsylvania will bring over 750 jobs in construction over the next few years. Once operational, it will generate over $1 million in annual tax revenue for the local governments and school system. It will hopefully be completed by late 2026, and it already has a 20-year purchase agreement with New York State. SCE plans to add other solar farms in Appalachia in the near future, helping replace the energy and jobs once supplied by coal mining and burning. Much as coal was once important to local economies, renewable energy is also a growing field.

Where Pennsylvania's largest coal plant once stood, thousands of solar panels will create the state's largest solar farm.

Enormous Solar Farm to Take Place of Former Pennsylvania Coal Plant

Photo: VER0NICKA/Depositphotos

h/t: [electrek]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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