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Knouse Foods Solar Farm

Environmentally friendly fruit processor powers the future of food production.
  • Converting sunlight to electricity, a brilliant example of preserving our natural resources-Gannett Fleming

    Grower-owned cooperative brings sustainable solar farm to its processing facility. 

Client
Knouse Foods

Location
Peach Glen, Pennsylvania 

Our Role
Permitting, Engineering Design, Procurement, Site Work, Installation, Commissioning, Operation and Maintenance. 

Data
Size
32 acres
Completed
2011
Type
New Construction
Duration
6 months
Outcomes
  • Powers the Knouse Foods fruit processing plant
  • Energy not consumed by Knouse is available to consumers through the power grid
  • Alternative energy credits offset construction cost, operation, and maintenance
  • Makes use of the client’s closed 32-acre landfill.

Built on a closed landfill in Peach Glen, Pennsylvania, the Knouse Foods solar system is one of the largest solar projects in the state. Its ground-mounted solar panels—arrays of photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight into electricity—provide power to the adjacent processing plant. The solar farm consists of more than 14,000 polycrystalline solar panels and three self-contained power vaults. Each power vault contains four inverters, making this one of the first Pennsylvania projects to feature “megawatt-in-a-box” installations. An Internet-based monitoring system provides project stakeholders real-time updates concerning performance irregularities, the amount of power generated, and the number of alternative energy credits realized.

The Knouse Foods solar farm is expected to produce more than 100 million kwh of electricity during its lifetime. It demonstrates a sustainable step toward reducing U.S. reliance on traditional energy sources and powering a brighter future.

What We Did

Completed within a limited time frame—six months from contract to commissioning—Gannett Fleming Project Development Corporation (GFPDC) provided an array of services for the Knouse Foods solar farm, including permitting, engineering design, procurement, site work, installation, and commissioning. 

During a worldwide shortage of photovoltaic modules, GFPDC procured 14,000 panels through extensive research and seamlessly planned logistics. Our firm constructed the solar farm and installed the transmission lines that run nearly one mile from the solar farm to a grid system interconnection point at the processing plant. We installed overhead lines that run parallel to Knouse Foods’ orchard trees and underground lines by directional drilling under the roads. Permits and approvals for the facility involved numerous entities—two counties, two townships, the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Commonwealth Financing Authority, and Metropolitan Edison. Our project commitment is demonstrated by our operating, maintaining, and guaranteeing the performance of the solar farm for 10 years. 

Key Features

  • More than 14,000 polycrystalline solar panels
  • Three self-contained 1-MW power units
  • Transmission lines
  • Racking system and supports for the solar panels
  • Internet-based monitoring system
  • Security fencing for the entire project
  • Sitework including a paved access road and drainage.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Generates more than 4 million kWh of clean energy annually
  • Carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 3,000 tons
  • Equivalent to planting 15 million trees
  • Will generate more than 100 million kWh of electricity for future generations.

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