Lightsource BP has started construction of a 70MW trio of Pennsylvanian solar projects that will provide power to Penn State University.

The power from the three farms will be supplied to the university for a 25-year period. It is estimated to cover 25% of the institution’s current power needs.

More than 150,000 solar panels will be installed across three locations in Franklin County, a 20-mile distance from Penn State’s Mont Alto campus.

A spokesperson told PV Tech in late August that the sites will be live by the summer of 2020.

Lightsource BP wants the project to serve as a “national blueprint” for how to maximise the sustainability benefits of solar farming, according to a statement. It plans to intersperse native vegetation between the panels to entice pollinators and help the land recover from prior farming uses.

The London-headquarted firm claims to have a portfolio of 2GW of operational solar projects worldwide and is intent on growing that number. In May this year, the firm secured a multi-million debt financing from a Canadian institutional financier to develop a 700MW global pipeline. In July, it scooped up 1.9GW in Brazil from developer Enerlife. It is also working with EverSource to co-finance new Indian utility-scale renewables.

US solar prospects amid PPA uptake and a changing policy landscape will take centre stage at Solar Media’s Solar & Storage Finance USA, to be held in New York on 29-30 October 2019

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