Solar American City: Philadelphia

By Julio Valenzuela, GREENandSAVE
Posted on Sunday 29th March 2009

Philadelphia as a “Solar American City” – that’s what the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS), led by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, has set as their goal. According to it’s front page, “By 2011, the effort envisions 2.3 megawatts of solar energy being produced here in Philadelphia (enough to provide electricity to more than 350 households); by 2021, that amount will increase to 57.7 megawatts.”

Accomplishing a sustainable climate for energy efficiency is becoming a reality with the introduction of solar energy into the city’s repertoire. Mayor Nutter has stated that his goal for Philadelphia is to become the “greenest city in America” and it seems he is open to reaching this goal using every possible option. The MOS has also shared some of its goals on their welcome page, they include:

  • Lighting upgrades in 350 City-owned buildings (electricity usage has decreased by 4.4% since 2003)

  • LED signals in 28,000 traffic lights

  • Installation of a solar hot water heater at the Riverside Correctional Facility

  • A green roof at the Free Library’s Central branch (Philadelphia now has the second highest amount of square footage of green roofs in the country, behind only Chicago)

According to the plan these changes would ideally encourage residents to continue to recycle, and seek low energy solutions. Residents will now have the tools they need to live more efficiently. The MOS also supplies the city with resources to help Philadelphians learn how to receive tax credits when purchasing and installing energy efficient equipment in their home. This is in addition to the federal and state sources of grants and low-cost loans that can help homeowners get started today. is also a partner company with the MOS, which gives estimates of the perceived total costs of installing solar panels; including electricity, hot water, and space heating/cooling. It’s a great tool to look at, as it can more or less reveal how much one could save on utility bills per month.

Solar projects in Philadelphia have already begun. The Philadelphia Eagles have partnered with PPL Renewable Energy to install a 10kW solar system in the NovaCare practice and training facilities. To see a real-time feed of how solar energy is being generated: Click Here.

Friends Center on 15th and Cherry Streets, a historical landmark for Quaker worship seems to be the anchor for the birth of a Solar Powered Philadelphia. They recently installed a 10kW solar array to a site has been around since 1856.

In 1993 the Race Street Meetinghouse was designated a National Historic Landmark for its role in the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and the civil rights movements. These days it merely seeks to free Philadelphians from the chains of fossil fuels, and to create a climate that may be exported to other cities in other states so that those trying to live efficiently and respectfully of nature can truly let the sun shine in. is a free resource for anyone that wants to save energy, money, and the environment. The articles, product reviews, online tools, and return on investment calculations are researched from a diverse range of public and private sector sources. Overall, the company is passionate about saving money as well as creating healthy homes, offices, and lifestyles.

For an idea on how Solar Power can change your home for the better, take a look at this article from GREENandSAVE: Overview on Solar Energy For Your Home. You could also check out the Return on Investment Table to see how Solar Panels would lower your costs in relation to other Green Home Remodeling Projects.

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