Philadelphia, December 13, 2010 The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has broken ground on a 250 kW solar photovoltaic system at their Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. The project is the City of Philadelphia’s first solar installation and will help meet the Greenworks Philadelphia goal to purchase or generate 20% of electricity used in Philadelphia from alternative energy sources by 2015. PWD, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability are confident that the project is paving the way for many more to follow.

“The City is pleased to be leading by example and showing Philadelphians that generating electricity from alternative energy sources is feasible and sustainable,” said Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler.

“Generating solar power to use at our water treatment facility is win-win,” stated Debra McCarty, Deputy Commissioner of Operations for PWD. “We reduce PWD’s energy bills which ultimately benefits our rate-payers.”

The system at the PWD’s Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant will be ground mounted and cover more than an acre of currently unused land. It will produce enough energy to power 28 homes. The treatment plant will use all of the solar power generated on-site.  PWD will own the Solar Renewable Energy Credits, and CETCO, selected through the public works bid process, is building the project.

The project is made possible by $850,000 from the City’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), leveraged PWD funds and technical assistance from DOE’s Solar America Cities program.

“A great team of funders and partners has collaborated to bring this project to life,” said Kristin Sullivan, Program Director of the Philadelphia Solar City Partnership. “The City looks forward to learning from this project and replicating it.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for the Spring to celebrate the project’s completion.

About Solar America Cities:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has designated 25 major U.S. cities as Solar America Cities committed to accelerating the adoption of solar energy technologies. The Solar America Cities partnerships represent the foundation of DOE’s larger Solar America Communities program which is designed to increase the use and integration of solar energy in communities across the United States. Visit Solar America Communities online at

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