LEED & Renewable Energy

Solar-Parking-Canopy Ferry-Electric

Renewable Energy

The Spark of Innovation

Ferry Electric Company has been connecting customers to cleaner, more productive energy for over 80 years.  We began in the early 20th Century, helping Western Pennsylvania convert from gas to electric light.  And we’ve been sustaining the spark of innovation ever since – installing, upgrading, and servicing electrical, voice, data, and fire alarm systems.

More Power For The Future

Now we’re focusing three generations of professional experience on the challenges of a new century.  We’re harnessing the elemental powers of the sun, air, water, and earth to help you capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity of renewable energy.

Learn how Ferry Electric Company can help you save money and conserve natural resources:


Why Solar? Why Now?

In May 2009, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania made $100 million available for solar installation rebates.  When you combine those funds with federal tax incentives – and the opportunity to sell sustainable energy credits back to power companies – the potential for a fast, sure return on investment makes solar energy extremely appealing to businesses.  January 1, 2011 also marks the beginning of power utility deregulation. So the anticipated rise in utility rates will further lower the relative cost of a solar investment and turn it profitable even sooner.

Why Here?

Western Pennsylvania gets an average of 4.2 kilowatt hours of sun per day.  As a practical benchmark consider this:  Germany gets the same amount of kilowatt hours of sun per day, and currently produces 47% of the world’s solar-generated power.

How Solar Panels Work

As sunlight hits the panels, their solar cells convert it into direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts the DC power to alternating current (AC), which can be used throughout any standard electrical system.  This solar array can be tied into the electric grid and set to generate as much or as little power as wanted.  It eliminates the need for batteries, and allows the owner to sell any excess power it generates back to the utility.

Voltaic Solar Resource Map of the United States
Click to Enlarge Photo

Wind Turbines

tl_files/FE_2010/photos/RE/windspire1.jpgThink Small. And Vertical.

Unlike the giant windmills erected by utilities, small wind-energy turbines can be used in both rural neighborhoods and urban environments.

Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWT), like the one shown here, collect wind from every direction, not just one.

They also tend to be safer and easier to build, because they can be mounted close to the ground, and they can handle the complex turbulence created by urban architecture – all while providing a safe, attractive source of “green” energy.

Hydro Electric

hydro electric plant

Harnessing the Water

Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned into electricity. This is called hydroelectric power or hydropower.

Ferry Electric Company was the electrical contractor on the construction of the hydroelectric plant on the Youghiogheny River Lake dam shown in the photographs on this page. This hydroplant is located on the dam of the Youghiogheny River, about a half mile above Confluence, Pa. The lake is located in Fayette and Somerset Counties in Pennsylvania and Garrett County in Maryland.

Youghiogheny Hydroelectric Authority holds a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license to operate this hydroelectric plant which has been operated and maintained by DR Hydro Company since 1989. The plant has the capacity to generate up to 12 megawatts of electricity per hour, which is enough to service approximately 8,000 homes for a year. The power generated by this hydroplant is fed into the Penelec power system and is used over its entire area which includes most of western and central Pennsylvania.

Biomass & Geothermal

Energy From the Earth

In addition to the Solar, Wind and Hydro systems that Ferry Electric Company installs, there are other technologies for renewable energy with which you should be familiar, including thermal energy sources from within the earth and the potential energy from organic matter that grows on it. Together all of these systems can help contribute to a clean earth and a secure energy future for our country as well as help reduce your utility bills.


The organic matter that plants are made up of is known as biomass. Biomass can be used to produce electricity, transportation fuels, or chemicals. The use of biomass for any of these purposes is called biomass energy or "bioenergy".

The most common way to see biomass energy in use is the burning of wood to keep warm or cook. Aside from wood, other sources of biomass that can be used include crops, byproducts or waste from agriculture or forestry, and the organic component of municipal and industrial wastes as well as the natural gas methane, from landfills.


Many technologies have been developed to take advantage of the Earth's internal heat or geothermal energy. This heat can be drawn from several sources: geothermal reservoirs located on or near the earth's surface, the slightly deeper but shallow ground near the Earth's surface that maintains a relatively constant temperature of 50°-60° F, and the hot water or steam reservoirs deep in the earth that are accessed by drilling.

The variety of geothermal resources allow the processes to be used on both large and small scales, including electric power production. The most common commercial use in our area is as a heating and cooling source of buildings.

Ferry Electric Company is proud to be a leader in renewable energy systems and energy-efficient technologies in Pittsburgh. We’re here to help you harness these elemental powers of the sun, air, water, and earth.


Ferry Electric Company is proudly associated with:
tl_files/FE_2010/photos/RE/keystone_help.gifNECASunWizeGreen Building AllianceEnergyLoanIBEW

A Full Service Electrical Contractor - covering Commercial, Institutional and Industrial customers in Western PA for over 85 years.

We install and service Electrical, Power, Lighting, Renewable Energy, Back-up and Emergency power, Voice, Data, Fire Alarm and other related systems in new and existing buildings.

Copyright © 2011 Ferry Electric Company. All rights reserved.