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Pa. gives Urban Outfitters $3M grant for solar array

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Pa. is giving Urban Outfitters Inc. a $3 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant to install a 3 megawatt solar array on the roof of its new direct-to-consumer fulfillment center in Salisbury Township, Lancaster County.

It will be the largest roof-mounted solar energy system in Pennsylvania and the seventh-largest energy system in Pennsylvania, covering up to 50 percent of UO's energy needs at the site, according to a news release. The solar array will be registered with Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Systems program.

Urban Outfitters is another great Pennsylvania success story,” Corbett said in the release. “I would also like to recognize and thank the legislative delegation from Lancaster County for their support of this critical project.”

Last September, UO purchased the 51.9-acre tract to construct a $110 million center. It will measure 970,000 square feet and employ at least 500 people when fully operational, in addition to 117 existing employees working at an adjacent distribution center.

“Urban Outfitters had many options when deciding where to locate our new fulfillment center but chose Pennsylvania because of its great workforce, the cooperation we received from the Governor's office, as well as the support of the local community including leadership at the county, local government, and school board level," said David Ziel, UO's chief development officer.

The release went on to say that RACP had "strayed considerably from its intended purpose of encouraging and assisting job growth through regional economic development projects" before Corbett took office, and "the state’s spending and borrowing for capital redevelopment assistance had become unsustainable for the state and its taxpayers, growing from $400 million in 1986 to slightly more than $4 billion in 2010."

Corbett reformed the state's method of funding RACP in 2012, it said, "making the process more transparent and objective. Projects are now selected based upon their job-creation potential, their economic impact, as well as their viability and construction readiness."

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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Dave July 24, 2014 4:51 pm

Urban Outfitters certainly has the ability to fund such a solar project, and probably would, if it made any economic sense on its own. How do we taxpayers benefit in any material way for the use of our tax dollars (grant) to fund a private solar project? We'd get more bang for the buck from a nuclear project.

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