Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Blue Renewal Energy LLC

Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) Announced $18 Million to Support Alternative Energy Projects in Pennsylvania – including one in Tredyffrin! Could this be the Long-Term Solution to Turf Field Lighting at Delaware Valley Friends School?

This past week the DCED announced $18 million in funding for alternative energy projects throughout the Commonwealth; 37 projects in 16 counties will benefit. The funding was made possible through the Alternative Energy Investment Fund, which was approved in 2008. Senator Andy Dinniman along with his colleagues approved the $650 million Alternative Energy Fund and Dinniman announced that four of the solar energy projects selected are located in Chester County.

The Chester County funding projects include: (1) the Church Farm School in W. Whiteland for the installation of a system both on the roof tops and on the ground: $1.9 million funding; (2) for te development of a planned senior housing community in Whiteland where 90% of its power will originate from a ground-mounted solar system (location is a 7-acre Superfund site): $2.6 million funding; and (3) Aqua PA will power its Pickering Water Treatment Plan in Schuylkill Township with the help of a ground-mounted photovoltaic system: $1.5 million partial funding for project.

The fourth Chester County project to receive DCED funding for an alternative energy project is located in Tredyffrin Township – the Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli. The Blue Renewal Energy LLC will receive the $124,740 solar energy program grant to purchase and install a solar photovoltaic system at the Delaware Valley Friends School. The 83-kilowatt system will generate 90,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, which could save the school nearly $11,250 in energy costs every year. The school’s total project cost is $450,477.

Back in late May, there was a public meeting held at Delaware Valley Friends School with representation from the school, the youth soccer association (TEYSA) and neighboring township residents. The topic of the meeting was the lighting of the turf field for evening and weekend games and the associated noise and traffic. The residents believe that the current ‘temporary lighting’ is less desirable than a permanent lighting solution, which would include usage covenants. One of the problems with the temporary lighting is the requirement for a generator whereas permanent lighting would not require a generator. The running of the generator is very noisy and additionally the temporary lighting is deemed more invasive to the neighbors.

My understanding from the meeting was an agreement to continue the dialogue between residents, the school and TEYSA representatives. Does anyone know what the status is on the turf field lighting situation? Is there a follow-up meeting scheduled? I am thinking that the summer would be the best time to resolve the issue before the new school term starts in September.

I was wondering if the solar photovoltaic rooftop system might be viewed as the long-term solution to the turf field lighting? I have no idea how this alternative rooftop energy alternative works or what the timeline is for installation but I wonder if it’s possible to use the system for that purpose? If so, would that be viewed as a satisfactory solution for the E. Central neighbors? (Even if this solar lighting was viewed as a possible solution for the turf lighting, it does not solve the immediate concerns of the local residents) Just thought I’d ask the question . . .

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