Thermal Power

22 Mar 2024

Pennsylvania’s Largest Solar Farm Will Replace Its Largest Coal Plant

22 Mar 2024  by electrek   
Pennsylvania’s largest solar farm has been awarded $90 million and will sit on 2,700 acres of the shuttered Homer City coal plant’s land.

The Mineral Basin Solar Project will be located on Homer City’s former coal mining land in Clearfield County, west of State College. It will fill a critical electricity generation gap following Pennsylvania’s largest coal plant‘s closure in July 2023.

Renewables developer Swift Current Energy (SCE) will build a utility-scale 402 MW solar farm capable of producing enough clean energy to power 75,000 homes. SCE says on Mineral Basin’s website that it’s considering adopting offsite battery energy storage for the project.

Mineral Basin will serve as a pilot for SCE, which plans to develop around 1,000 MW of solar on former coal mine sites in the Appalachian region over the next five years.

The federal funding for the solar farm was announced today by the US Department of Energy and came from money already earmarked by the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, “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 project expects to create more than 750 construction jobs and six operations jobs, while providing $1.1 million in annual tax revenue to townships, the county, and local school district.

Construction on Pennsylvania’s largest solar farm could begin this summer, and it’s expected to come online by the second half of 2026. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded it a 20-year power purchase agreement in November 2023.

Mineral Basin Solar Power, LLC, says it will invest nearly $20 million in economic development to create opportunities for young people and adults who want to upskill, right-skill, and reskill across high-demand sectors in the 27-county region.

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