Friday, November 5, 2021

18 Lancaster County Farms And Businesses Receive PA Solar Center Solar Energy Leadership Awards

On November 4, the
Pennsylvania Solar Center presented 18 Lancaster companies, farms, and organizations with the prestigious Lodestar Award, a distinction given to Pennsylvania entities who are leading the way in investing in clean and renewable solar energy. 

Awardees were proud to accept the award at a virtual awards ceremony, and they included: RETTEW engineering design firm; U.S. Solar Development; Paradise Energy Solutions; Lancaster Travel Plaza; GT Discount Auto Parts; Universal Athletic Club; Shady Maple Farm Market; Belmont Solar; Slaymaker Electric and Automation; Prospect Self Storage; Cherry Crest Farm; MVE Group; Rohrer Seeds; Cherry Hill Orchards; Hershvale Farms; H&F Tire Service; The Cope Company Salt; Community Energy and The Kreider family farm for the Keystone Solar Project

“In the past years, it became obvious to us that the importance of Solar energy is key in turning the corner on climate change,” said Ben Zook, Innovator/Owner of Belmont Solar. “We at Belmont Solar worked hard to take away the obstacles for homeowners and businesses to make the solar decision, by providing more and better information and reducing the red-tape pressure from governments and utilities. This award confirms to us we are on the right track, and we are grateful and honored to receive this award. The PA Solar Center helps us stay on track to turning the corner and 'do our share'. Thank you to the folks of the PA Solar Center.”  

“As solar generation delivers more power and more jobs, these are the pioneers that brought this clean energy future to Lancaster county,” said R. Brent Alderfer, Co-Founder and Director of Community Energy, Inc. “We are proud to have played a role in jump starting solar in Pennsylvania and demonstrating how well-sited projects fit into the community and preserve farmland for future generations.” 

“Cope Salt is honored to have received this award from the PA Solar Center for the system installed on our warehouse,” said Ron Meyer, President of the Cope Company Salt. “We have reduced our electric cost and had a positive impact on the environment. This is similar to our AUTOBrine systems which have saved our customers $25M and eliminated 27M pounds of CO2. We continue to look for ways to help the environment, our customers, and the community.” 

“Reverence for Mother Earth should be valued far greater than the price tag on any green energy project,” said Anil Jivani, owner of Lancaster Travel Plaza. “We always love to go the extra mile to implement any green energy projects. We would enjoy graceful solar energy for a long time. However, we faced a few big challenges during the tough economic period of year 2012/2013, including high interest rates and a high-priced solar equipment market. Lancaster Travel Plaza (which also owns Green World Solutions LLC) and affiliated properties have borrowed and spent over $1 million on about 300 kilowatts of solar projects across seven properties. We are grateful for KC Green Energy of Lancaster for financing part of the solar project to make our dream come true. We also appreciate the federal and state grant funding we received.”         

“Paradise Energy Solutions is very grateful to receive the Lodestar Award from the PA Solar Center,” said Dale Good, President/CEO of Paradise Energy Solutions. “While our vision has always been to help people be good stewards of God's abundant resources, of which the energy from the sun is certainly one, rather than winning awards or recognition, we are certainly very honored to receive this.  Our thanks to the PA Solar Center for the work they are doing in educating and helping people, businesses and organizations to choose solar energy and a sustainable energy future.” 

“The MVE Group is honored to receive the Lodestar award from the PA Solar Center,” said Alex Hurst, President of MVE Group. “Our goal is always to offer our customers in Lancaster County and throughout the Commonwealth the highest level of honesty and integrity, while always striving to deliver the highest quality Solar Installations that are cost effective and reliable.  

“We also take great pride in designing for future flexibility while keeping maintenance costs in mind. We are always learning about cutting-edge trends in the industry and impact technologies, such as Agrivoltaics and Energy Storage / Microgrid Systems.” 

Hurst finished by saying, “Imagine that…Good old-fashioned core values are visionary…” 

More and more Pennsylvania businesses and organizations are choosing to go solar, and not just for sustainability reasons. 

Investments in renewable energy sources like solar and wind are also extremely cost-effective, paying for themselves relatively quickly and then achieving impressive cost savings down the road. 

Entities that go solar wisely recognize that an investment in renewable energy is also an investment in their local communities. 

Pennsylvania renewable energy projects have created almost 10,000 jobs spanning the entire supply chain since 2004, from technicians and engineers to salespeople, construction workers, and manufacturers. 

And according to the Finding Pennsylvania Solar Future Project, increasing the solar portion of the state’s electricity mix from the current 0.5 percent goal to 10 percent by 2030 would create upwards of 100,000 jobs and result in a net economic benefit of $1.6 billion annually. 

The current 0.5 percent goal flat-lined on May 31st of this year, but if the state’s General Assembly would increase it, they would boost economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Organizations interested in potentially switching to solar energy should be sure to check out PA Solar Center’s GET Program (Galvanizing our Energy Transition), which provides technical assistance and financial guidance. 

Applications for the next round will be accepted later this year; those interested can learn more by visiting the PA Solar Center’s GET Program webpage or by sending an email to    

Visit the Pennsylvania Solar Center website for more information.

(Photos: Hershvale Farms, Lancaster Travel Plaza, Cherry Hill Orchards.)

Related Article:

-- PA Solar Center - Take Action During Solar Saving Week

[Posted: November 5, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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