The municipal sector encompasses large buildings like City administrative buildings, the Art Museum and correctional facilities, as well as numerous smaller facilities like police and fire stations, maintenance sheds, health centers and others that are spread throughout our neighborhoods. Infrastructure including streetlighting and wastewater pollution control plants are also included in the scope of city-managed assets.
Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability (“OOS”) and Energy Office take the lead in driving energy savings projects for City buildings and infrastructure as well as clean energy procurement. PEA plays an enabling role by holding long-term energy contracts on the City’s behalf, facilitating finance where necessary, including issuing bonds, and providing additional technical resources and project management support as needed.
Streetlights to be converted to LED
Grid-scale solar array contracted on behalf the City
On-site solar array contracted on behalf the City
Year-one utility savings at PMA
Philly Streetlight Improvement Project
PEA supported procurement and contracting on behalf of the City to convert Philadelphia’s 120,000+ streetlights to longer-lasting, energy-efficient LEDs and to link all newly- and already-converted (10,000+) LED streetlights to a lighting management system. PEA is assisting with project development and will issue the bond on behalf of the project.
The project has the potential to cut municipal carbon emissions by 9%, more than any other energy efficiency project completed to date, making it a key strategy in the City’s Municipal Energy Master Plan. The project will pay for itself through energy savings.
Trial LED installations have been installed in 15 locations citywide. For a map of the locations and access to the survey to provide feedback on the LED lighting options, please visit the project’s website.
Importantly, this project will be felt and seen in every neighborhood in Philadelphia. The better, more reliable lighting will improve traffic safety for drivers, pedestrians and bike riders by improving their ability to see at night.
Construction is slated to begin in Spring 2023.
For details on the project and its progress, please visit the Philly Streetlight Improvment Project website.
Adams Solar PPA
PEA signed a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement on behalf of the City for 70 MW of solar electricity, to be built about 2.5 hours west in Adams County, PA. As the sole offtaker of the project, the City enabled the construction of Pennsylvania’s largest solar array, and expects to be operational by the end of 2023. This array will provide 22% of the City’s municipal electricity.
The project developer was Community Energy and the Owner/Operator is Energix. Both companies agreed to create opportunities for diverse trainees and contractors as part of the project.
Philadelphia Northeast Airport Solar PPA
Philadelphia City Council authorized a 1.5MW on-site solar power purchase agreement at the Philadelphia Northeast Airport (PNE). The array will account for all of PNE’s electricity use and is the City of Philadelphia’s second power purchase agreement.
This project is designed to be budget neutral and to provide a long-term hedge against future electricity price increases, all while providing clean, renewable energy to PNE and helping the City meet its climate goals.
In addition, this project will provide educational and internship opportunities for students in PEA’s Bright Solar Futures solar training program to gain on-the-job experience on a renewable energy project here in the city.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) had the highest energy consumption of any City building a few years ago, due to the complex humidity requirements and 24/7 nature of their operations, all needed to protect priceless art. PEA supported the Office of Sustainability to execute an energy performance contract at PMA to reduce water and energy use dramatically. PEA holds the long-term contract with Johnson Controls, the selected vendor.
The project, completed in early 2021, invested $11.4 million in energy and water conservation measures. In its first year of post-construction performance, the energy savings project at the PMA has exceeded expectations, saving an additional $440,000 over initial savings projections. In total, the energy project has saved the City of Philadelphia $1.2 million in energy and operational costs over this one-year period.
The project created 329 jobs and 44% of all contracts were awarded to minority and women-owned businesses. View full case study by Johnson Controls.
Energy Master Plan for the Built Environment
In 2022, OOS released an updated City Energy Master Plan which provides the current roadmap for how the City will reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions to meet the City’s goal of 80% carbon reduction by 2050.
The current Master Plan builds upon City’s 2017 Energy Master Plan, 2020 update, and 2022 update.
Powering Our Future: A Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia
In 2018, OOS released a citywide Clean Energy Vision and Action Plan that serves as a roadmap for all Philadelphians to help mitigate the worst effects of climate change. The plan highlights five areas of focus:
- Clean Electricity Supply
- Citywide Solar
- Energy-efficient Homes and Businesses
- Low-carbon Thermal Energy
- Low-carbon Economy
Check out the full report and the Action Plan here.