Largest solar electric power plant in Western Pennsylvania unveiled to public

IKEA, Green Mountain Energy Company and Sun Power Electric bring 30-kW solar system to the Greater Pittsburgh Community

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 30, 2001 – IKEA, a home furnishings retailer, Green Mountain Energy Company, a residential provider of less-polluting electricity, and Sun Power Electric, a renewable energy developer, are teaming up to harness the power of the sun to generate pollution-free electricity for the Pittsburgh area.

Pa. Public Utility Commissioner (PUC) Terrance J. Fitzpatrick joined the companies today to unveil 175 solar electric panels atop the IKEA store in Robinson Towne Centre, and a special public education display in the store’s main entrance.

The 30-kilowatt system, known as Green Mountain Solarà¢â€ž- at Pittsburgh, is the largest solar electric array in western Pennsylvania. The system is owned and operated by Sun Power Electric.

“The power of customer choice has energized the market for renewable electricity in Pennsylvania,” said Commissioner Fitzpatrick, who helped to draft Pennsylvania’s electric-competition law, and leads the PUC’s Demand Side Response Working Group. “The Pittsburgh region is fast becoming a hotbed for green technology.”

“The future for pollution-free energy in Pennsylvania just got brighter,” agreed A. Clifton Payne, eastern region president of Green Mountain Energy Company. “Energy competition in Pennsylvania, and the tremendous demand of our customers for cleaner electricity have made this new solar project a reality.”

Green Mountain Energy Company has been serving Pennsylvania with electricity that is less polluting than what most Pennsylvanians are buying, since the state opened its energy market to competition in 1999.

As a home furnishings retailer, IKEA has a long history of initiatives and efforts that help protect the environment for the future generation. IKEA demonstrates its strong commitment to helping preserve the environment and prevent air pollution by donating its roof space free of charge to host the solar project.

“We’re excited about playing a role in this new progressive approach toward implementing clean renewable energy, which will benefit our community and the environment,” said Jim Anastos, store manger, IKEA Pittsburgh. “As a socially responsible company, IKEA recognizes that every proactive effort for our environment today can make a big difference for our future.”

“Sun Power is proud to play a role in Pennsylvania’s competitive energy market by working with Green Mountain Energy Company to build this new solar plant. This project demonstrates how energy choice can change the way power is made, and stimulate partnerships that help the environment. The partnership of Green Mountain Energy Company and IKEA made this facility possible,” said Steve Cowell, President of Sun Power Electric, the builder, owner, and operator of the solar generation facility.

Today’s event was co-sponsored by the Mid Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC), an alliance of businesses, public interest organizations and government agencies working together to build consumer interest in and demand for clean renewable energy.

“Pennsylvania is fast becoming the green power capital of the U.S., and the Pittsburgh area is at the forefront of this movement. Projects that are accessible and visible to the public, such as Green Mountain Solarà¢â€ž- at Pittsburgh, are important proof-points about the power of renewable energy,” said Peter Adels of MAREC.

The energy generated by the solar array is part of the regional power system – or grid, helping to avoid electricity made from pollution-causing sources.

Of added significance are the public education benefits at the Green Mountain Solarà¢â€ž- at Pittsburgh facility. An electronic display unit was installed inside the main entrance to IKEA, where customers can see a real- time readout of the accumulated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided by the solar panels. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

The clean power produced from the solar generating station will avoid the emission of approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide per year. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide released by driving a car 42,500 miles – about 70 roundtrips from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia on the Pa. Turnpike.

The solar electric system is attached to the IKEA building on two levels of the roof. The upper roof contains approximately 28 kilowatts of solar modules. Additionally, diners in the store’s second-floor restaurant can see a 2-kilowatt array of 60 BP Solar panels installed alongside the dining patio.

“Green Mountain Solarà¢â€ž- at Pittsburgh is both a power plant and an important public education venue,” stated Green Mountain Energy Company’s Payne. “In addition to making pollution-free electricity, we’re hopeful that the entranceway display and patio panels will enlighten people about the viability of solar energy in their community.”

This facility represents the sixth new renewable energy facility in the U.S. specifically built to meet the demand for cleaner electricity from Green Mountain Energy Company customers. In the last two years, five other wind and solar renewable projects have been built because of Green Mountain Energy Company’s long-term electricity purchase agreements which support projects like these.

About Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain Energy Company is a residential provider of less-polluting electricity generated from sources including wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass, and natural gas. The company provides customers with electricity – marketed under the Green Mountain Energy(SM) brand – that is dramatically cleaner than typical regional system power.

For more information on the company’s efforts to change the way power is made, please visit .

About IKEA

Since its founding in 1943, IKEA has offered a wide range of home furnishings and accessories of good design and function, at prices so low that the majority of the people can afford them. To visit the IKEA web site, please go to .

About Sun Power Electric

An all-photovoltaic (PV) utility, Sun Power Electric, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the support and production of solar electricity.

About the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC)

The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC) is a coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies working together to build consumer interest in and demand for clean renewable energy. One of MAREC’s projects encourages Pennsylvanians to purchase electricity generated within Pennsylvania from green energy sources such as wind and the sun.


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