The Erie City Fire Station will soon have a reliable source of back-up power during outages.

A new system of rooftop solar panels will be implemented. This is partly funded by a $200,000 Green Mountain Energy grant.

“They’ll even have battery storage that will have them remain off-grid, even at night and during cloudy days for up to seven days. This was very important to us because we understand the importance of fire stations to the city’s infrastructure,” said Johnny Richardson, Program Manager at Green Mountain Energy.

The City of Erie also received grants from Penelec and the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

The solar-powered system will provide 100% of the electricity at the fire station.

“It’s going to save the city, probably not a huge amount of money, but some money. There might also be some excess electricity created which will be sold to Penelec and will provide revenue to the city, so we want to do more and more of that. This is a huge first step in the right direction,” said Mayor Joe Schember, (D) City of Erie.

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Sarah Peelman, the City of Erie Sustainability Coordinator, said she hopes the solar panel project is successful so they can continue with eco-friendly initiatives.

“Becoming more energy-efficient and more sustainable is very important for a city like ours because the City of Erie is very beautiful. We’re on one of the five Great Lakes of the world, and we really want to do as much as we can to keep our city an attractive place and promote a higher quality of life for our residents,” said Sarah Peelman, Sustainability Coordinator at the City of Erie.

According to Mayor Schember, the installation of these panels will begin in the next two months.