PHILADELPHIA, PA — Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Jim Kenney, and Councilmember Derek Green announced today the completion of a solar installation on the roof of the “SoNo” development at 5th and Spring Garden. The SoNo solar project is the first multi-tenant commercial solar project in the Commonwealth. The project enabled local solar company Solar States to retain workers during the economic downturn that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that clean energy creates jobs, and projects like the SoNo solar installation are putting people to work when Pennsylvania communities need it the most,” stated Governor Tom Wolf. “I applaud the City of Philadelphia for creating models for solar deployment that can be replicated across the Commonwealth.”
The 740 kilowatt DC solar array is made up of approximately 2,000 solar panels and is visible from I-95. The solar installed on site will provide cost-competitive clean electricity to two of the property’s tenants: Yards Brewing Company and the City Archives.
“This project brings us another step toward our goal of powering all municipal buildings with clean, affordable electricity,” added Mayor Jim Kenney. “We forward to reaping the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy and encourage Philadelphians to do the same through programs like Solarize Philly and C-PACE.”
The SoNo solar project was supported by a Solar Energy Program grant from the Commonwealth Finance Agency and benefited from legislation passed by Philadelphia City Council in 2019 to cap building permit fees for commercial solar projects.
“City Council is committed to supporting more businesses to install solar, which led us to institute C-PACE and right-size solar permit fees in 2019,” said Councilmember At-Large Derek Green. “I commend Alliance HSP’s leadership on the SoNo solar project. They are blazing a trail for other Philadelphia businesses to follow.”
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) provided technical assistance to Alliance to design a solar installation for the property that would take advantage of all available incentives and provide cost-competitive electricity to the tenants. The project’s completion follows on other solar news released during Philadelphia’s second annual Solar Week, including an announcement of the first solar project in Pennsylvania financed with C-PACE and an update on Solarize Philly’s continued enrollment in the wake of COVID-19.
“This Solar Week we saw two more firsts for the City of Philadelphia. With SoNo as the first multi-tenant commercial solar project and the Germantown daycare as the first solar project funded by C-PACE, Philadelphia is piloting models that make solar a common-sense choice for businesses in the city and beyond,” added Emily Schapira, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Energy Authority.
Alliance HSP redeveloped the SoNo property over the last five years into a mixed-use project with Yards Brewery, the City of Philadelphia Archives and Target. Alliance is constructing a 48 unit apartment building with ground floor retail on the SoNo site. Alliance HSP primarily focuses on industrial and office redevelopment projects in the Mid-Atlantic and South Florida. Solar States, an East Kensington-based solar company, partnered with Armour and Sons Electric to install solar on the redeveloped property. Solar States used Trina solar modules and Solar Edge inverters for the project.
The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Energy Authority are hosting the second annual Philadelphia Solar Week, encouraging Philadelphians to go solar to help drive the economic recovery. Philadelphia Solar Week includes a full schedule of online events, including events for homeowners and businesses on how to go solar, a session on Doing Solar Business in Philadelphia, and a Friday keynote and graduation ceremony for the 2020 Bright Solar Futures trainees. Job seekers are invited to attend a career panel on clean energy careers, and PEA put out a call for youth to submit artwork for a Solar Art Competition. All events will take place virtually, and event details can be found at solarizephilly.org.
About Philadelphia Energy Authority
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is an independent municipal authority created in 2010 to advance clean and affordable energy goals for the City. PEA has facilitated over $100 million in clean energy projects in Philadelphia since 2017, creating more than over 1,000 jobs. PEA’s $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign, launched in 2016 with the leadership of City Council President Darrell Clarke, will create 10,000 jobs by 2026 through the implementation of clean energy and energy efficiency projects. For more information visit www.philaenergy.org.