Monday, May 08, 2006

$10 MILLION for alternative energy projects from Pennsylvania

Governor Rendell today announced Pennsylvania will create jobs in the rapidly growing alternative energy industry and provide affordable, reliable energy by investing $10 million in new clean energy projects. Grants will leverage private investments to deploy the next generation of clean, renewable energy sources made in Pennsylvania.

Governor Rendell made $5 million in grants available for the third round of Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority funding. Brought back to life by the Governor after years of inactivity, PEDA has awarded $15 million in grants and loans for 41 clean energy projects that will leverage another $200 million in private investment. The projects will create 1,558 permanent and construction jobs. Research projects, if successful, could net as many as 327 full-time jobs.

The Governor also announced $5 million in available grants for the fourth round of funding under the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program. The program has awarded $15.9 million and leveraged another $43.7 million in private funds for more than 100 clean energy projects since its inception in 2003.

Energy Harvest grants will fund innovative energy deployment projects that emphasize protecting air or water quality while supporting economic development and enhancing the quality of life.

Eligible proposals include renewable energy deployment, including biomass energy; waste coal reclamation for energy; deployment of innovative energy efficiency technologies; and distributed generation projects.

Applicants for PEDA financing can seek grant assistance for capital costs for a variety of innovative, advanced energy projects and for businesses interested in locating their advanced energy operations in Pennsylvania.

Eligible PEDA projects may include solar energy; wind; low-impact hydropower; geothermal; biologically derived methane gas, including landfill gas; biomass; fuel cells; coal-mine methane; waste coal; integrated gasification combined cycle; demand management measures, including recycled energy and energy recovery, energy efficiency and load management; and clean, alternative fuels for transportation.

PEDA project priorities include solar, distributed generation for critical public infrastructure and clean, alternative fuels for transportation.

Proposals will be evaluated on a variety of criteria, including ability to promote indigenous energy resources, encourage energy diversity and enhance energy security. Projects will be judged on the potential to create jobs and stimulate investment in the commonwealth. Potential environmental benefits, as well as technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness, also will be considered.

Pennsylvania has a goal of 18 percent of all energy generation comes from clean, efficient sources by 2020. Pennsylvania leads in wind production east of the Mississippi, providing enough clean energy to power some 70,000 homes. Gamesa, the second largest wind energy company in the world, is investing $84 million in Pennsylvania for four manufacturing facilities and its North American headquarters. As many as 1,000 jobs will be created over five years.

The nation's very first coal gasification-liquefaction is proposed for Schuylkill County. Construction of Waste Management's waste-coal-to-diesel plant would create as many as 1,000 jobs; operating the plant would produce another 600 permanent, high-paying positions. The proposed plant would clean up tens of millions of tons of waste coal while giving the state and consumers clean diesel at a fraction of the market price.

Pennsylvania recently was recognized for its national energy leadership in working to put landfill gas to work for the economy. Granger Energy's Lanchester Landfill project supplies treated gas to several companies to use in place of natural gas in boilers and processes, displacing their reliance on natural gas.

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