Sunday, 19 August 2018


7.2 Megawatt Coatesville Solar Initiative to be Largest Solar Project in PA Powering a School District

Coatesville, Pennsylvania (October 15, 2012) – The Coatesville Solar Initiative (CSI) received Conditional Use approval on October 11, 2012 from the Board of Commissioners in Caln Township, Chester County, PA – to move forward with the largest solar project in Pennsylvania to power a school campus.

The Coatesville Area School District will purchase 6 megawatts of clean renewable energy in a long term Power Purchase Agreement.

"This innovative project has far-reaching benefits for our local economy, school kids and the environment," said Bob Keares, Managing Partner of the Coatesville Solar Initiative. "Everything about this project is local – our investors and workforce; as well as goods and services to be sourced from the area. CSI will expose our labor force to new skills in areas including project design and financing, metals fabrication and electrical installation of large scale solar. "

Total capital expenditures for CSI are expected to be $35 million, with $12 million spent locally over the course of construction.

"We are excited about the significant job growth that will accompany the state’s largest solar project and are proud to see the project developed right here in Chester County," said Gary Smith, President and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council. "The CCEDC’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Smart Energy Initiative, an Industry Partnership, is poised to support the workforce and economic development opportunities created by the Coatesville Solar Initiative, particularly in the areas of training, project design and development, financing, component fabrication, and installation."

"While the general energy market has become increasingly volatile, solar facilities have a predictable output at a fixed price," said Richard Como, Superintendent of Coatesville Schools. "A project of this size will save the School District hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs over the life of a long term Power Purchase Agreement, allowing funds to go towards more productive uses."

CSI will feature a number of advanced design and engineering components. Stormwater management was central to local permitting of the project, which will be built on a south-facing slope. Filtrexx® Slope Stabilization & Erosion Control Technology will be deployed to create 22,000 linear feet of permanent earthen berms.

Concerns of residents near the 46 acre site were addressed in a series of public hearings, neighborhood meetings and regular newsletters. Over 25 acres will be kept as open space, with fencing and a heavy vegetative buffer around the 20.6 acres of panels. Open space will help maintain wildlife habitat patterns.  Setbacks were increased to 100 feet to the north and up to 400 feet to the south of the project site.

The Coatesville Solar Initiative will help stabilize electricity prices for the neighboring school district and ease already strained budgets.  Economic development benefits include over 50 workers employed to complete construction, with two full time equivalent positions throughout the operational phase.

And, local sourcing ranging - from civil engineering and mechanical components to grounds maintenance and security.

About the developer: Keares Electrical Contracting, INC is a family owned business located in Exton, PA. They have 100 employees and have been in business 40 years.  Keares has installed over six megawatts of rooftop and ground mount solar systems.  Clients include retailers such as Lowe's, Home Depot, Michaels, Linens 'N Things and Wal-Mart.

To learn more about CSI, please visit

Bill Finch | Alternative Energy, Inc.
Media Relations for Coatesville Solar Initiative | (484) 593-4262


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