Land-use webinar to focus on Pennsylvania's solar future

August 01, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania is well situated to lead the country into the next age of energy development with clean, renewable solar photovoltaic energy, a topic that will be discussed during a web-based seminar to be offered by Penn State Extension.

Ed Johnstonbaugh, extension program associate, and Peter Wulfhorst, extension educator, will present the 75-minute webinar at noon on Aug. 21.

This session will introduce participants to proposed changes in public policy that will encourage broader-scale deployment of clean, sustainable energy technologies with an emphasis on renewable solar photovoltaic energy. With such expansion will come trade-offs in the use of both public and private lands, with the potential to impact land-intensive industries such as agriculture.

“Growth of distributed renewable energy generation technologies, since the 2004 passage of Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio legislation, has been limited to early adopters of technology with little or no financial constraints,” said Johnstonbaugh. 

He explained that as economies of scale — resulting from alternative energy portfolio standard successes in Pennsylvania and other states around the country — have lowered costs, solar photovoltaic energy technology is poised for a second surge of growth. This growth is being driven by policy changes such as support for community solar power, advances in microgrid technology and expanded compliance requirements.

“Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future” is the second webinar in Penn State Extension’s Summer/Fall 2019 Land-Use Webinar series that runs monthly from July through November. The series helps municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, community organizations and other interested people to be informed regarding land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

All the webinars in the series are recorded and available for future viewing. Other topics and dates in the webinar series include the following:

— July 17: “Complete Streets: Planning and Policy” (previously recorded)

— Sept. 18: “Should We Consider a Stormwater Utility to Facilitate Stormwater Management?”

— Oct. 16: “Northeast U.S. Agriculture: Why It Matters”

— Nov. 20: “Yes, Communities Can Design Out Crime”

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost also is $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits. 

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing-education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at ptw3@psu.edu. To register for the webinars, visit the website.

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Last Updated August 02, 2019