Country’s largest sloped solar array powers on at former Pittsburgh steel mill

One of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the country has gone live at RIDC’s Mill 19 at Hazelwood Green in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 110,000 sq ft of high-powered solar panels cover the entire rooftop area and will produce over two million kWh per year, enough to power the entire existing facility, according to Donald F. Smith, Jr., RIDC’s president. The installation of the solar array was recently completed by Scalo Solar Solutions.


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

The Mill 19 structure includes the steel skeleton of the original mill building, formerly built by the Jones & Laughlin Steel Company in 1943. The tenants of this site include Carnegie Mellon University’s Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing and Manufacturing Futures Initiative and Catalyst Connection in Building A. Building B houses 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 now has invested $30 million in Mill 19,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. “We have done so because Mill 19 is the launching pad for Hazelwood Green – a project that will make life-changing differences for the good people of Hazelwood, who too often have been left behind, and for all of the greater Pittsburgh region. Mill 19’s solar panels reflect Pittsburgh’s national leadership in both sustainability and contemporary economic development. This project demonstrates that those two worthy objectives don’t have to be at odds. We can do both together.”

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

The 2-MW single-sloped solar array uses 4,784 panels over the quarter-mile length of Mill 19.

“The activation of this solar array at Mill 19, home to CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, is another example of the power of public-private partnerships to embrace a future driven by innovation,” said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. “Carnegie Mellon is grateful to our foundation and local community partners, our elected officials, and RIDC for helping to 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 technologies, but as a model for sustainable development that enhances quality of life for citizens.”

News item from RIDC