The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will produce or purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“DCNR’s commitment to sustainability is second to none and we are proud to announce this critical step to a more sustainable energy use across our department as good stewards of our natural resources,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “This agency is committing to a measured, strategic plan to address energy conservation, creation, and consumption for the facilities that are critical parts of operating public lands.”
DCNR expects to use 28.7 gigawatt hours of electricity by 2030 with a plan to have the department produce 15.5 gigawatt hours and purchase 13.2 gigawatt hours — all from renewable energy sources.
The department is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to a clean-energy future as clean-energy leaders from around the world meet in Pittsburgh this week to discuss clean global energy solutions, she said.
“With 121 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest land, and 42 million visitors a year, our department consumes a lot of energy for operations, visitor services, and to maintain infrastructure,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Mike Walsh said. “As a result, our public lands are a proving ground for innovative solutions to energy use and demonstrating the value of reducing our carbon footprint, investing in clean energy for long-term savings, and sharing our successes with the public to set an example for Pennsylvanians to consider sustainable alternatives.”
DCNR currently has 23 solar installation projects completed on its lands, with another 18 currently in design or under construction. This work is a part of the agency’s climate and sustainability efforts and the Green Gov initiative led by Gov. Tom Wolf.
In addition to solar installation projects, the department has 17 high-performance facilities under its supervision, has installed electric vehicle charging stations at more than 35 state parks and forests, is implementing battery-operated maintenance equipment, and continues investing in electric vehicles across the agency’s fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles.
In 2021, DCNR reduced its Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 194 metric tons. This reduction is equivalent to the emissions produced by a passenger vehicle traveling 480,838 miles, DCNR said.