Shoemaker Green


Penn Announces Construction Start on Central PA Solar Facilities

May 5, 2022
sample solar panels

Groundbreaking kicks off major project in support of University’s climate goals.

The University of Pennsylvania announces that construction has begun on the solar energy project that is part of its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed in April 2020.  This PPA moves the University significantly closer to meeting its commitment of a 100% carbon neutral campus by 2042, as outlined in Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan.

The PPA calls for construction in central Pennsylvania of two new solar energy facilities with combined capacity of 220 megawatts, which is projected to produce approximately 420,000 MWh of electricity annually. Penn will purchase all electricity produced at the sites – equal to about 70% of the total electricity demand of the academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The project partner, The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES), has called this the largest solar power project in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Construction began in April 2022, for the smaller of the two facilities, and will break ground by the end of June 2022 on the larger facility. AES expects that energy delivery would begin before the end of 2023.

Following these operational commencements in 2023, the PPA will supplement the University’s past and ongoing energy conservation and sustainability efforts, reduce the University’s entire academic campus carbon emissions by 45% from its 2009 levels, positioning us well to meet the Paris Climate Accord goals prior to 2030.


About the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Its 12 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools are located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students from throughout the nation and around the world. Ranked consistently among the top universities in the nation, Penn has a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education. Visit


About Penn Sustainability

Penn Sustainability is a University-wide initiative to advance environmental sustainability at the University of Pennsylvania, and coordinate programs to develop a more sustainable campus. Penn launched its Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0 in October 2019 with new goals and objectives to update the University’s roadmap to environmental sustainability first put forward in 2009. Visit


About AES

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global energy company accelerating the future of energy. Together with our many stakeholders, we're improving lives by delivering the greener, smarter energy solutions the world needs. Our diverse workforce is committed to continuous innovation and operational excellence, while partnering with our customers on their strategic energy transitions and continuing to meet their energy needs today. For more information, visit AES.

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