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State awards $2M for solar equipment at future LNG plant

Several solar panels lined up next to each other. Shuttershock

Philadelphia Gas Works’ planned liquid natural gas (LNG) plant just got a boost from the state in the form of a $2 million grant.

The RACP grant was given to PEC, the group partnering with Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) on the project, specifically to “install solar photovoltaic equipment” at the future South Philly plant.

”The potential solar energy savings could reduce energy costs at the facility and increase the return on investment of the sale of LNG from the site, increasing revenue,” PGW said in a statement on the grant last week.

LNG is produced by cooling natural gas to -260 degrees Fahrenheit, making it transportable without the need for a pipeline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Association. It produces less carbon than other combustable fuels, according to Elengy.

The $60 million LNG plant, called the Passyunk Energy Center, will go in at PGW’s South Philly location, just off Passyunk Avenue.

The project was approved by City Council in June, amid outcry from local activists, who argue that the city and residents don’t know the full environmental impact of the plant. Some residents who spoke at the June council meeting argued that emissions produced by the plant could be harmful to Philadelphians living nearby.

But supporters of the plant have said that it will create new jobs and bring in over $4 million each year in additional revenue for PGW, a city-owned company.

”This proposed solar project would be another win for PGW and ratepayers by providing another way to save money, while also promoting sustainable, affordable energy.” Councilmember Derek Green, chair of the Philadelphia Gas Commission said in the statement.