The Erie Central Fire Station will soon receive sustainable upgrades, including solar panels.

The fire station will have a reliable source of back-up power during outages.

A new system of rooftop solar panels and battery storage will be funded by a $200,000 Green Mountain Energy Grant, a $25,000 grant from Penelec’s Sustainable Energy Fund, and a $24,375 from Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) Restart Grant.

The new system will provide 100% of the fire station’s electricity, and will allow the fire station to operate off-grid for up to seven days.

“Erie is quickly becoming a model city in Pennsylvania as we move forward adopting renewable sources like solar energy,” said Mayor Joe Schember, City of Erie. “Improvements like this solar energy project are vital for the City of Erie to maintain our trajectory toward a sustainable environment for future generations. I am happy that we will soon have a 24/7, 365 day Emergency Management Center that is not relying on the traditional power grid in the event of a power outage.”

The city’s sustainability coordinator says it’s important to implement eco-friendly projects like this for future generations of Erie residents. 

“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, City of Erie.

According to Mayor Joe Schember, the installation will begin in the next two months.

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This project was made possible in part by the Erie Downtown Development Corporation, the Erie Zoological Society (Erie Zoo and Flo Fabrizio Ice Center), the Erie Downtown Partnership, the LEAF Farmers Market, the Whole Foods Co-Op, and Culture, Arts, Festivals and Events of Erie (CAFE).