Renewable Energy Project Development
GFPDC is can handle your renewable energy project development from concept to completion. We are a licensed contractor in numerous states throughout the country.
Environmentally Friendly Fruit Processor Lights Up Southcentral Pennsylvania
Renewable Energy Project Development – Knouse Foods Coop Inc., the grower-owned cooperative known for its fruit products, such as Musselman’s Apple Juice and Lucky Leaf Pie Filling, now features a 3.25 megawatt (MW) solar farm in addition to a processing plant within its picturesque complex in Peach Glen, Pa. The facility is located just outside of Gettysburg and less than 40 miles from Harrisburg and York, Pa. Built on a closed landfill at the site, the 17-acre solar system includes solar panels – arrays of photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight into electricity and provide power to the plant. The Renewable Energy Project Development solar farm is a brilliant example of Knouse’ on-going commitment to preserving our natural resources.
Renewable Energy Project Development – Sunlight to ElectricityOne of the largest Renewable Energy Project Development solar projects in Pennsylvania. The Knouse Foods Peach Glen solar project was designed and built by Gannett Fleming Project Development Corporation (GFPDC). An affiliate of Gannett Fleming, GFPDC specializes in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of Renewable Energy Project Development. GFPDC was selected by Knouse Foods because of its ability to provide EPC services as well as operations and maintenance services required for solar facilities. GFPDC also had the commitment and resources to complete the project in the limited time frame required, less than six months from contract signing to commissioning. GFPDC constructed the renewable energy project development solar farm and installed the transmission lines that run approximately one mile from the solar farm to a grid system interconnection point at the processing plant.
Peach Glen’s solar farm uses more than 14,000 polycrystalline solar panels and three self-contained inverter power vaults. The inverters change electricity from the solar panels’ direct current to alternating current used by consumers. Each power vault at Knouse contains four inverters, making this one of the first Pennsylvania projects to feature “megawatt-in-a-box” installations.
Routing power from the solar farm presented several challenges. Apple orchards and three public roads (one state highway and two township roads) were in the path of planned transmission lines. To minimize impacts, GFPDC installed overhead lines that run parallel to orchard trees and underground lines installed by directional drilling under the roads. GFPDC also relocated a water line while coordinating with plant operations to install the ground screw supports. Permits and approvals for the facility involved numerous Pennsylvania entities – two counties, two townships, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Financing Authority, and Met-Ed.
Procurement of the 14,000 quality solar panels during a worldwide shortage of photovoltaic modules was critical. This nearly insurmountable obstacle of obtaining quality panels at a predetermined price and within a required time frame was overcome by extraordinary GFPDC efforts that involved researching numerous manufacturers and coordinating multiple deliveries.
Even with these major hurdles, GFPDC completed the project ahead of schedule.
The GFPDC project commitment is demonstrated by the operating, maintaining, and guaranteeing the performance of the solar farm for 10 years. GFPDC uses a Web-based monitoring system to evaluate solar farm performance and ensure that the farm operates at peak levels based on environmental metrics. Solar farms do not function at night, or as well on cloudy or extremely hot days; the best weather for solar farm energy generation is a sunny cool fall day.
Monitoring system information is acquired, analyzed, stored, and transmitted to Knouse Foods in real time. Project stakeholders are alerted when performance irregularities occur, such as the solar farm generating less than expected output during a cool and sunny day. This data also helps to determine the amount of revenue generated for alternative energy credits.
Solar Energy Merits
The energy grid is a vital component to U.S. infrastructure that supplies electricity from the grid to homes and businesses. While power traditionally starts at a power plant, the Knouse Foods solar farm offers an alternative energy source. On average, the Peach Glen solar farm generates 355,000 kwh of energy each month. Considering that the typical American consumes 900 kwh per month, Peach Glen produces enough electricity to power 400 homes.
Energy generated from the solar farm is metered at the Peach Glen interconnection point and becomes part of the power grid. Energy not consumed by Knouse is available to consumers through the grid system. Under a net metering agreement with the power company, Knouse receives credit for the portion of the electricity it generates. Knouse is using its alternative energy production to offset the cost of solar farm construction, operation, and maintenance.
The ground-mount solar farm was built to maximize space and uses a clean energy source that does not pollute the environment. An anti-reflective coating on the solar panels enhances electrical output by improving the absorption of solar energy. With its vast power generation, the farm reduces greenhouse gas emissions on an annual basis by removing approximately 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is equivalent to planting 15 million trees each year.
Knouse Foods’ Peach Glen solar farm is expected to produce more than 100 million kwh of electricity during its lifetime. It demonstrates a sustainable step toward reducing U.S. reliance on traditional energy sources and powering a brighter future.
Contact GFPDC at www.gfpdc.com for more information.