Tuesdays, August 3, 10, 17, and 24, 10AM – 11:15AM | Register individually or as entire series

Tuesdays in August join WeConservePA for a series of solar seminars following up on the popular Land Conservation Conference session, Utility Scale Solar Development in PA –What are the Implications on Conserved Land, Present and Future. As energy transitions continue to expand nationally and, in the Commonwealth, utility scale solar is being seen as becoming one of the key energy sources of our future.  Questions are arising around siting, land transitions, and how can local communities plan for large scale solar arrays in their jurisdiction. For these follow-up sessions, we will be joined by Tom Murphy, Director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) with Penn State Cooperative Extension, and Brook Duer, Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law with Penn State Law, as well as other experts in this emerging field.

Registration

Individual Sessions

August 3 | Utility Scale Solar: Environmental and Siting Considerations

What are the key factors in determining how utility scale solar is sited on land in the Commonwealth?  And what environmental considerations are part of the decision-making process.  Join the Penn State solar team as they explore how landowners can influence how and where solar arrays are placed on their property should they agree to lease for solar energy production.  Are there baseline tests which should be initiated?  And what are the preferred features companies are looking for to site solar facilities, along with those they are looking to avoid.

Presenters:

Thomas Murphy | Director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) with Penn State Cooperative Extension

Tom has 35 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension/Outreach branch of the University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and renewables, with a more recent emphasis on utility scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities.

Brook Duer | Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law at Penn State Law

Brook Duer joined Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law as a staff attorney in 2019. Prior to that, he was an attorney with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 12 years, serving 8 of those years as Chief Counsel to the agency and supervising the agency’s legal office. Prior to that, Brook practiced law in Lancaster County for 18 years. Brook received a B.S. in Communications from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

August 10 | Land Transitions During Solar Energy Expansion in PA

With projections in the Commonwealth that 80,000 acres of land could be transitioned to solar arrays by 2030, what will the impact be to farmland in PA?  Will all of that impact agricultural land or are their other options.  And where is the technology heading related to continually improving efficiencies.  This discussion will also explore the convergence of deployed solar energy in dual use systems more commonly known as agrivoltaics.  How are energy companies and farmers partnering to allow some form of agricultural production to be an active part of the energy production system?

Presenters:

Thomas Murphy | Director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) with Penn State Cooperative Extension

Tom has 35 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension/Outreach branch of the University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and renewables, with a more recent emphasis on utility scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities.

Brook Duer | Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law at Penn State Law

Brook Duer joined Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law as a staff attorney in 2019. Prior to that, he was an attorney with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 12 years, serving 8 of those years as Chief Counsel to the agency and supervising the agency’s legal office. Prior to that, Brook practiced law in Lancaster County for 18 years. Brook received a B.S. in Communications from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

August 17 | Utility Scale Solar and Local Land Use Planning

In any location where utility scale solar is going to move forward from design to construction, it is recommended to have a solar ordinance in place at the municipal or county level or both.  And yet in PA, most municipalities across the state currently do not have one in place.  Join the discussion on where the research currently is in PA, which is looking at the solar ordinance development trends, and the language found in more contemporary solar ordinances.  As local jurisdictions plan for this fast-moving energy development showing up in communities across the Commonwealth, what ordinance planning is essential for all parties in the discussion?

Presenters:

Thomas Murphy | Director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) with Penn State Cooperative Extension

Tom has 35 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension/Outreach branch of the University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and renewables, with a more recent emphasis on utility scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities.

Brook Duer | Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law at Penn State Law

Brook Duer joined Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law as a staff attorney in 2019. Prior to that, he was an attorney with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 12 years, serving 8 of those years as Chief Counsel to the agency and supervising the agency’s legal office. Prior to that, Brook practiced law in Lancaster County for 18 years. Brook received a B.S. in Communications from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

August 24 | Government Policy and Solar

What is happening at the government level to shape and drive solar policy in PA and beyond, from farmland preservation to tax policy (subsidies) to broader energy trends driven by expanding climate metrics? This discussion will look at several key factors which are moving PA to becoming a more significant solar energy provider in the PJM grid, and potentially in communities, as distributed energy production nudges more traditional baseload capacity off the grid.  What are the challenges and opportunities coming from this shift in the current energy paradigm?

Presenters:

Thomas Murphy | Director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR) with Penn State Cooperative Extension

Tom has 35 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Extension/Outreach branch of the University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and renewables, with a more recent emphasis on utility scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s related energy outreach events and research activities.

Brook Duer | Staff Attorney, Center for Agricultural and Shale Law at Penn State Law

Brook Duer joined Penn State Law’s Center for Agricultural and Shale Law as a staff attorney in 2019. Prior to that, he was an attorney with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for 12 years, serving 8 of those years as Chief Counsel to the agency and supervising the agency’s legal office. Prior to that, Brook practiced law in Lancaster County for 18 years. Brook received a B.S. in Communications from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.