Erie Central Fire Station to run entirely on solar energy
The Erie Central Fire Station will soon run on 100% solar energy, thanks to several grants worth almost $250,000.
$200,000 of the grants come from Texas-based solar company Green Mountain Energy, with an additional $25,000 from Penelec’s Sustainable Energy Fund, and $24,375 from Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority's (PEDA) Restart Grant.
"As we all become a more sustainable planet...it makes sense that we want to provide something as a pinnacle project," says Johnny Richardson, a spokesperson for Green Mountain Energy, regarding the fire station. " [The station] can demonstrate exactly what solar and renewable energy can do for people and the planet."
According to officials, in the event of a power outage, the station will be able to run completely independently for up to a week. This is due to the station being detached from the traditional power grid, and supplying it's own power stored in batteries.
According to Mayor Joe Schember, the station may even be able to make the city some money, due to the station putting electricity back into the grid.
"It could actually be a source of revenue for the city," says Schember.
Schember also expressed interest in expanding solar energy throughout Erie in the future, and hoped to set an example for renewable energy in Pennsylvania.
"Erie, I believe, is quickly becoming a model city right here in Pennsylvania, as we move forward using renewable energy sources like solar energy. Improvements like this solar energy project are vital to the City of Erie, as we move forward to a sustainable environment for future generations."