Solar power catching on in Pennsylvania

September 15, 2010 3:20:19 PM PDT
The business of solar power is catching on in Pennsylvania. While it may be happening more slowly than officials expected, some people are reaping benefits from the industry.

One example is Laran Bronze, the fine arts foundry in Chester which recently made the switch.

They have been building some of the most famous bronze sculptures for more than 25 years and, you can bet, they use a lot of energy.

"A suburban electrician was over here and here and he was telling us that by 2010 that our rates would at least double," said owner Larry Welker.

Welker says there was no way the company would be able to afford those rates, so they had to consider the worst case scenario.

"If you go out west the power is cheaper, but we're here and we've been established and we didn't want to move," he said.

One alternative was solar energy. Nine months ago solar panels were installed by Dynamic Solar in Plymouth Meeting.

DEP Secretary John Hanger applauds the company's effort to go Green.

"We've got 600 companies right now in Pennsylvania that are getting some, or in some cases all, of their revenue from the solar industry," Hanger said.

Hanger says Pennsylvania has long been playing catch up states like Delaware and New Jersey, but they're making strides in the solar industry.and creating more jobs.

"And these are also very good paying jobs, they're salaried positions with 401(k), 75% of their health benefits, so these aren't temporary jobs, these are real jobs," Mike Perillo of Dynamic Solar said.

As for the foundry, they'll now be able to get 90% of their energy from the sun - allowing them to control a piece of their destiny.

In three years those solar panels will have paid for themselves allowing Laran Bronze to continue creating masterpieces.


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