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PA Farm Show Complex Flips Switch On Energy-Saving Solar Array
Ongoing Improvements Reduce Facility’s Environmental Footprint, Save Hundreds of Thousands of Dollar
1/8/2011

Harrisburg – Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today flipped the switch on a new money-saving rooftop solar energy array, part of a $3.6 million energy savings renovation project at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center that will reduce annual operating costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The 120 kW photovoltaic solar system is part of the facility’s Going Green program, which includes extensive recycling and energy saving retrofit projects, as well as use of a wind turbine to generate electricity.

Combined, these measures have reduced operating costs at the facility more than $300,000 each year.

“For 95 years, the Pennsylvania Farm Show has featured the latest advancements in agriculture, and now the complex is a model for eco-friendly and money-saving investments,” said Redding.  “I thank the hardworking, forward-thinking staff of the Farm Show Complex for being good stewards of our resources—embodying our commitment to keeping Pennsylvania growing.”

In addition to the solar array, the energy saving project included:

• Replacing more than 8,000 lighting fixtures with energy efficient bulbs;
• Adding aerators to sinks and low-flow valves to toilets and urinals;
• Installing a rooftop solar system to provide supplemental hot water to the existing domestic system; and
• Replacing inefficient motors and heaters with more energy efficient models.

The upgrades will conserve electricity and water and reduce the facility’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1,650 metric tons annually—roughly the equivalent of taking 300 cars off Pennsylvania’s roads each year.

Redding said the upgrades complement other green measures already in place at the complex, such as a wind turbine that produces nearly 4,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year—enough to power an average home for four months—an extensive recycling program, storm water garden and rooftop rain water collection tank.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center features more than one million square feet—approximately 24 acres—under one roof and hosts more than 200 shows and events each year, from conferences to proms and livestock shows.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.

For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.

Editor’s Note: To receive news releases, media advisories and story ideas, subscribe to the Farm Show Media Service at www.farmshow.state.pa.us (click on Media).

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