Wolf Administration Continues Effort to Boost Green Projects at PA State Forest and Parks

Solar energy
More than 140 Solar, Electric Vehicle, Energy Efficiency Projects Planned at DCNR Sites

McCONNELLSBURG, PA — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn recently joined DCNR staff and officials in dedicating a solar energy installation at Buchanan State Forest District headquarters.

“Guided by Governor Wolf’s executive order to boost green and sustainable practices in state government, DCNR is making sizable strides to reduce both costs and its carbon footprint,” Dunn said.

“Our department is moving ahead with solar installations as well as electric vehicle charging stations and large-scale efforts to conserve energy in its buildings.”

Completed in July 2019, the panels on the forestry building’s roof eliminate electricity consumption and mark DCNR’s 16th solar installation. With another 23 solar projects in design and feasibility stages, DCNR plans to obtain 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2022.

This project is a continuation of the Wolf Administration’s effort to boost green and sustainable practices in the state.

Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order establishing the GreenGov Council to help the commonwealth achieve a 26 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050, from 2005 levels.

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The GreenGov Council will serve as a central coordinating body to promote the implementation of the executive order and the achievement of the following state agency performance goals:

  • Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels
  • Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025
  • Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use

Governor Wolf has also continued to strengthen Pennsylvania’s solar sector by reopening the Solar Energy Program; identifying strategies to increase solar-powered electricity with Pennsylvania’s Solar Future Plan; and signing new legislation to ensure environmental and health benefits of solar energy are experienced in Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, Secretary Dunn will continue her “Sustainability Tour” by visiting Greenwood Furnace State Park, Huntingdon County, to dedicate an electric car charging station that can service two vehicles at once.

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Designed to promote sustainable transportation to and from state parks and forests, charging stations provide free service to visitors.

A total of 13 stations so far have been installed at parks throughout the state. By 2021, a total of 43 state park and forest locations are expected to have them.

Closing out her tour Friday, Dunn will visit Gifford Pinchot State Park, York County, where large-scale conversions of lighting, heating, and building structure have been undertaken in energy efforts undertaken as part of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA).

Major focus is the installation of new, high-efficiency propane heating to replace antiquated oil-fired or electric equipment servicing cabins and other park buildings.

Similar GESA improvements have been made, or are planned, at 48 state parks and 12 forest districts. Conversion to propane; on-demand hot water supplies; and window replacements are among those improvements.

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Secretary Dunn noted DCNR oversees more than 4,500 buildings in its parks system, more than a hundred wastewater treatment facilities, and thousands of vehicles, and spends millions of dollars a year in electricity.

As the state’s leading conservation agency, DCNR strives to follow practices that conserve and sustain natural resources.

Through its green and sustainable initiative, DCNR exemplifies best practices through its buildings, vehicle fleet, purchases, land management and business operations.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks and 20 state forest districts, visit the DCNR website.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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