Take Me Out To The Utility-Scale Solar Farm

It won’t make up for the absence of injured slugging first baseman Ryan Howard, but the Philadelphia Phillies are acquiring some power.

The Phillies are getting behind the effort to build Pennsylvania’s largest utility-scale solar farm, agreeing to buy 22 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) – 22,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) – of renewable energy credits through the developer who is doing the project.

philadelphia phillies solar wind power

image via Shutterstock

Community Energy said the Phils purchased the credits in order to offset all of their electricity usage at Citizens Bank Park over the next two years with clean power. In the process, Community Energy said, the Phillies are supporting the company’s Keystone Solar Project, under development in East Drumore Township in Lancaster County.

Community Energy has a stake in a couple of wind farms, according to its website, so the Phillies are “supporting” Keystone in a roundabout way: Their purchase of renewable energy credits earned from the generation of wind power – at the rate of 1 credit per MWh – will help pay for the solar farm’s construction. There’s a lot of sizeable wind power in Pennsylvania, but not much big solar power.

“Through the purchase of PA wind energy, we are proud to support the efforts of Community Energy, a national energy leader in Pennsylvania, as they construct the largest solar power project in the state,” said Dave Buck, Phillies senior vice president of marketing and advertising sales.

The Phillies join Eastern University, the Clean Air Council and Franklin & Marshall College as project sponsors, Community Energy said.

The Phillies aren’t newbies to clean energy — in 2008, they became the first Major League Baseball team to join the EPA’s Green Power Partnership program, and the team said it remains the largest purchaser of renewable energy among MLB teams.

The Phillies’ football brethren, the Philadelphia Eagles, are also big on the green thing. We reported just a few months ago that the Eagles were embarking on a plan to install more than 11,000 solar panels (3 MW of generating capacity) and 14 micro wind turbines at Lincoln Financial Field.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.