Nation’s largest sloped solar array powers on at former Pittsburgh metal mill


One of the largest rooftop solar systems in the country went into operation at RIDC Mill 19 in Hazelwood Green, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to Donald F. Smith, Jr., President of RIDC, the 110,000 square feet of high-performance solar panels cover the entire roof area and will produce over two million kWh per year, enough to power the entire existing facility. The installation of the solar array was recently completed by Scalo Solar Solutions.

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“The solar array on Mill 19 is the largest of its kind,” said Smith. “What was once a rusty old steel mill is now a model for the innovative, cleaner future of our region. As people look back in generations as we look back to our days as an industrial powerhouse, we hope they see Mill 19 as a turning point for the Hazelwood community and a catalyst for wider revitalization and an economic and environmental renaissance. ”

The structure of Mill 19 includes the steel skeleton of the original mill building, which was built in 1943 by the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company. Tenants at this location include Carnegie Mellon University’s Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing and Manufacturing Futures initiative and Catalyst Connection in Building A. Building B is home to Aptiv, which recently entered into a joint venture with Hyundai to create autonomous or “self-driving” vehicles .

“With this solar panel project, the Richard King Mellon Foundation has now invested $ 30 million in Mill 19,” said Sam Reiman, director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. “We did this because Mill 19 is the launch pad for Hazelwood Green – a project that will make life changing differences for the good people of Hazelwood who have been left behind too often and for the greater Pittsburgh area as a whole. Mill 19 solar panels reflect Pittsburgh’s national leadership in sustainability and contemporary economic development. This project shows that these two worthy goals need not be in conflict. We can do both together. “

The completed 2 MW Mill 19 solar project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. RIDC

The sloping 2 MW solar array uses 4,784 modules over the quarter mile of Mill 19.

“The activation of this solar array at Mill 19, home of the CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, is another example of the power of public-private partnerships to create an innovation-driven future,” said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. “Carnegie Mellon is grateful to our foundation and local partners, our elected officials, and the RIDC for helping make sustainability a driving force behind Mill 19. This commitment will further catalyze the future of Hazelwood Green – not just as a hub for new technology, but as a model for sustainable development that improves the quality of life for citizens. “

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