Lieutenant Governor Davis Standing in front of solar panels

ICYMI: Shapiro-Davis Administration Highlights Potential of Solar Power on Abandoned Mine Lands to Create Jobs and Cut Costs

Georgetown, PA – The Shapiro-Davis Administration’s new effort to encourage the development of solar projects on abandoned mine land -- which will remediate formerly mined sites, create new jobs, preserve farm land and provide benefits for local communities -- is drawing praise from lawmakers and coverage across the state.

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis joined Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Jessica Shirley for an event at a solar facility in Beaver County last Thursday and unveiled a new DEP report that found nearly 169,000 acres of abandoned mine lands across the Commonwealth that could potentially host solar facilities.

State Sen. Elder Vogel, who represents Beaver County and is also a fourth-generation dairy farmer, said:

“It bothers me a lot when I see solar panels being built on prime farmland. Having this new report come out from DEP ... if we can put solar panels on abandoned mine land, that’s great to hear. I’m looking forward to hearing more about that.”

From KDKA Radio:

Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis says there are nearly 169,000 acres of abandoned mine lands across the state that could potentially host similar solar facilities. [Lt. Gov. Davis:] “If we used just 5 percent of those acres for solar facilities, we would have 9,000 acres on previously mined sites, generating 1,500 megawatts of clean energy.”

Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Plan sets out a goal generating 10 percent of the state’s electricity needs from solar by 2030. Reaching that 10 percent target would help to create an estimated 60,000 jobs.

In addition to generating clean power, the Beaver County solar site is also providing benefits for the local community, by working with Dollar Energy Fund to help low-income families lower their utility costs.

From WTAE:

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis made a stop to Beaver County this week at a brand-new solar farm. This particular site will be run by Four Twelve Renewables and will partner with the Dollar Energy Fund to help low-income families reduce their utility bills. The Lieutenant Governor calls the project a win-win situation.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act provide federal funding to remediate abandoned mine land and significant tax credits to spur solar projects.

From the Beaver County Times:

Davis on Thursday noted Pennsylvania will receive nearly $245 million annually for the next 15 years from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to reclaim and treat abandoned mine land, and new Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives are expected to reduce the cost of solar development.

“Why can’t we put these two things together?” Davis said.

Read/watch/listen for more …

Beaver County Times: State leaders, regulators push for solar on former mine lands at Greene Twp. event

WTAE: Solar power on abandoned mine land

KDKA Radio: The Shapiro Administration showcased a new solar farm by Four Twelve Renewables …