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Crayola Adding 1.5MW Solar to Factory

Solar panels at the Crayola headquarters will provide about 10 percent of the energy used at the Forks Township, Penn., operation. That’s enough to make 3 billion crayons a year.

The 15-acre solar panel park is expected to start generation in early 2010. Eventually, the facility will draw up to 1.5 megawatts of power from 26,000 photovoltaic solar panels, according to a press release.

The solar energy comes as part of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between Crayola, PPL Corp. and UGI Energy Services Inc.

Pennsylvania provided a $1.5 million grant to fund a portion of the development, which will include a solar energy educational display at the The Crayola Factory in downtown Easton, Penn., which attracts up to 300,000 visitors a year.

In the past decade, throughout its LeHigh Valley area manufacturing facilities, Crayola has managed to cut natural gas use 19 percent, electricity 11 percent and waste by 40 percent. In total, the company recycles 70 percent of its waste.