Land­use webinar to focus on municipal authorities tapping into renewable energy | Local News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – How municipalities and their local authorities can utilize renewable energy such as solar to run their systems will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. Sept. 20 will be extension educators Peter Wulfhorst and Ed Johnstonbaugh.

This webinar will introduce the Renewable Energy for Municipal Authorities Project – best known as REMAP – which will demonstrate how the solar capacity of local municipal authorities that use sustainably produced electricity can offset purchases from the grid. The savings that authorities can attain saves ratepayers money and improves the authorities’ financial footing.

“Renewable Energy for Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities” is part of the Penn State Extension’s summer-fall land-use webinar series that concludes Nov. 15.

Pennsylvania municipalities, in developing their comprehensive plan, can include an energy conservation element, according to Wulfhorst. “Local municipalities can consider energy conservation as part of their planning process,” he said.

“This planning can address the opportunity to work with local municipal facilities, such as water and sewer infrastructure, as well as look at methods to reduce energy consumption, including the promotion and municipal production of energy from renewable energy sources.”

It is estimated that 3 to 4 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States is used for treating and distributing water and wastewater, Johnstonbaugh noted.

“In southwestern Pennsylvania, there are roughly 100 water and wastewater authorities that operate to provide safe, clean water or treatment and cleanup before release back into the environment,” he said. “The price of electricity can account for as much as two thirds of the operation budget of a water…

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