CHESTER COUNTY, PA — The Pennsylvania Solar Center (PA Solar Center) celebrated the bright future of solar energy in Chester County with a sparkling awards ceremony on Thursday evening. The center bestowed the prestigious Lodestar Award on 17 local organizations during the Sunset Soiree at Stargazers Vineyard & Winery.
The Lodestar Award is a distinguished honor given to Pennsylvania entities leading the way in investing in clean, renewable solar energy. Among the awardees were A. Duie Pyle, Berwyn Squash & Fitness Club, Blue Moon Florist, Buck Run Farm, Chester County Intermediate Unit, Church Farm School, Delaware Valley Friends School, Franklin Commons, Great Valley School District, Knox Equipment Rentals, Longwood Gardens, Lyons & Hohl, Stargazers Vineyard & Winery, Sun Center Studios, United Sports, West Chester Borough, and Yates Mushroom and Produce Co.
State Representative Danielle Friel Otten (D-Chester), joined by Sharon Pillar, the PA Solar Center’s Executive Director, delivered remarks at the event, which was sponsored by BAI Group, BOW Renewables, EIS Solar, and Formation Energy. The event also showcased the solar arrays of the Lodestar Awardees.
Over 70 guests attended the event, enjoying an evening filled with fantastic food, solar-powered wine from Stargazers, and beautiful music. Many attendees embraced the theme, wearing sun-themed accessories and colors.
Sharon Pillar expressed her excitement about the event and the growing role of solar energy in Pennsylvania. She emphasized the potential for job creation and economic development if the state can get its policy right. Pillar said, “Solar is becoming an increasingly big player in the energy landscape across the country, thanks to its cost-efficiency and sustainability. But we’re not realizing its full potential in Pennsylvania due to stagnant policy.”
Several awardees also commented on their commitment to solar energy. Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskowitz, who received the award on behalf of Franklin Commons, said, “It is wonderful to drive around our county and see solar panels on many homes and open spaces. Residents of Chester County take sustainability seriously, and I am proud to have been an early user at Franklin Commons.”
Frank Granieri, COO of Supply Chain Solutions at A. Duie Pyle, echoed these sentiments, stating, “As early as 2010, we embraced solar power, installing 4,464 solar panels, which generate over 1 megawatt of clean energy. Today, we’re immensely proud to be recognized with the Lodestar Award by the PA Solar Center.”
The Pennsylvania Solar Future Project estimates that increasing the solar portion of the state’s electricity mix from the current 0.5 percent goal to 10 percent by 2030 could create upwards of 100,000 jobs and result in a net economic benefit of $1.6 billion annually.
The Sunset Soiree was not just a celebration of the past and present, but also a look towards the future of expanding clean energy across Pennsylvania. The event served as a powerful reminder of the potential of solar energy and the importance of investing in renewable resources for the benefit of the community, the economy, and the planet.
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