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Pennsylvania Advancing Energy Independence at State Parks
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 05/14/2018

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined Bureau of State Park officials in the dedication of a solar panel at Fort Washington State Park. The dedication is a part of a series of events marking installations at state parks that are designed to make them energy-independent.

"The Wolf Administration is committed to reducing energy consumption and increasing our sustainability efforts statewide," Dunn said. "We began our 'Driving Toward Sustainability Tour' yesterday at Mt. Pisgah State Park, where a solar-shingle roof was installed at that Bradford County facility. It was there that the late environmental leader, Clifford L. Jones, first introduced solar power to a state park, and his vision is celebrated here today at Fort Washington, where this new solar unit eventually will make the park energy-independent."

The secretary noted DCNR manages more than 4,700 buildings within its complex and geographically diverse state park and forest systems, and it is committed to deployment of energy efficient systems and materials.

"By using clean energy from the sun, DCNR is deploying small-scale solar arrays to take certain buildings and facilities off the grid, saving money and reducing DCNR's carbon footprint," Dunn said. "Here at Fort Washington, this ground-mounted solar array system has been sized to achieve not only 'net zero' electricity usage at the park manager's residence, but for the remaining four other electric accounts for the park. This 'net zeroing' of an entire state park will be the first of its kind at DCNR."

At Mt. Pisgah, a roof-mounted, solar shingle array is the first of its kind among DCNR buildings. It uses technology integrated into to the roof that provides functional roof protection while generating power. The improvements will significantly reduce electricity consumption at the state park.

Dunn dedicated the Mt. Pisgah project on the 10th anniversary of Jones' death. The late Mechanicsburg resident headed the former Department of Environmental Resources (DER) from 1979 to 1981.

In addition to Mt. Pisgah and Fort Washington state parks, solar installations have been completed or are planned at: Presque Isle, Erie County; Moraine, Butler County; Laurel Hill, Somerset County; and Caledonia, Franklin County.

As the state's leading conservation agency, DCNR strives to follow practices that conserve and sustain natural resources. Through its green and sustainable initiative, DCNR exemplifies best practices through its buildings, vehicle fleet, purchases, land management and business operations.

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