Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece Fallingwater is now powered by solar energy. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, which owns the historic property, partnered with Ecogy Energy and Pennsylvania-based solar installer Groundhog Solar to construct a 540-panel ground-mount solar installation using bifacial panels on a meadow adjacent to the Fallingwater home. The array will offset 100% of the electricity used by Fallingwater’s main and guest houses.
Fallingwater’s transition to clean renewable energy was made possible through grant funding from the Pennsylvania Solar Center’s G.E.T. Solar Initiative and a power purchase agreement with Ecogy Energy of Brooklyn, New York. PECO, an electric utility company based in Philadelphia, purchased the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates from Ecogy Energy to help meet renewable energy goals set forth by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Groundhog Solar of Altoona, Pennsylvania, completed the installation of the array in February 2022. The system will begin producing solar energy in the coming weeks.
The area surrounding the panels will continue to be maintained as meadow habitat, which attracts a multitude of wildlife including native species, insects and pollinators.
Justin Gunther, VP of the conservancy and director of Fallingwater said stakeholders undertook a detailed feasibility analysis before deciding on solar.
“In designing Fallingwater, Wright sought to create a harmonious relationship between architecture and nature. He was inspired by the natural features of the woodland landscape for the house’s colors, materials and design motifs, and oriented the building to take advantage of natural light and passive airflows,” said Gunther. “Installing solar carries forward Wright’s ideals and continues the Conservancy’s commitment to protect and preserve this beautiful landscape and the architectural principles that make Fallingwater unique. We’re thankful to Ecogy Energy and Groundhog Solar for their partnership, helping us take steps toward a more sustainable future through clean renewable energy.”
News item from PECO. Updated at 10:11 a.m.