Sourcing energy close to load (the point of consumption) minimizes the loss of energy and the costs and uncertainty associated with transporting electricity over long distances. Since sunshine falls (to varying degrees) everywhere, it is possible to locate a solar PV farm where power is needed, thereby avoiding the lengthy delays, costs and environmental impacts associated with extensive transmission infrastructure construction and upgrades. In a typical installation, Penn will seek suitable solar farm locations in close proximity to one or more existing electrical distribution lines – the very lines that already exist to serve the homes, businesses and schools in the community. Large-scale, high-voltage transmission lines and big transmission structures are not required.
The development of distributed generation assets, such as community-based solar farms, reduce the stresses on the large-scale transmission system and in the process make the electrical transmission system more efficient, thereby reducing costs and the need for new, expensive, transmission lines. In combination with the fact that solar power is produced at peak hours, this project siting strategy minimizes transmission-related constraints and enables the delivery of power when and where it is needed.