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Projects Will Enhance Energy Security, Promote Advanced Energy Technologies  

"Pennsylvania is developing and supporting homegrown solutions through the Energy Harvest program to lessen our dependence on foreign oil," Governor Rendell said. "We can't wait for the federal government to establish a policy that gives us back our energy independence. Instead, we are acting."

Governor Rendell announced the investment of $5.9 million to support 34 projects that will enhance energy security, promote advanced technologies, spur economic growth and improve the environment.

"Pennsylvania is developing and supporting homegrown solutions through the Energy Harvest program to lessen our dependence on foreign oil," Governor Rendell said. "We can’t wait for the federal government to establish a policy that gives us back our energy independence. Instead, we are acting."
"Our investment in clean energy solutions has attracted nearly three times as much private-sector investment. That is capital that is creating new jobs and supporting our communities. We can all be proud of Pennsylvania’s leadership."
Since its inception in May 2003, the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program has awarded $15.9 million and leveraged another $43.7 million in private funds. The grants provide the last increment of funding for clean and renewable energy projects to be built in the commonwealth from sources such as biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, coal-bed methane and waste-coal.
"Investing in homegrown energy sources yields significant environmental and economic benefits, even more so in the face of rising fuel costs and recent record-high oil and natural gas prices," Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. "Governor Rendell is working aggressively to invest in indigenous energy development to enhance energy security, grow the economy, create jobs and improve the environment."
The 34 Energy Harvest projects will produce or conserve the equivalent of 37,800 megawatts-per-hour a year, enough to power 5,000 homes, as well as reduce harmful air emissions.
The projects will eliminate 85,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide, 131,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 2,700 pounds of carbon monoxide and 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide. The projects also will displace 167,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
The Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program is one of a number of initiatives that Governor Rendell has put in place to promote advanced energy projects in the state. The Governor’s successful and visionary leadership was recently recognized by former President William J. Clinton in the Inaugural Clinton Global Initiative, an international summit.
Governor Rendell launched the East Coast’s first commercially viable biofuels storage and blending system in Middletown, Dauphin County, last month. The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with domestically produced biodiesel and will keep about $6 million worth of energy dollars in the commonwealth by reducing the state’s need to purchase imported fuels.
Governor Rendell also made Pennsylvania a frontrunner in addressing the country’s dependence on foreign oil by supporting the nation’s first-ever waste-coal-to-diesel plant and creating a fuel consortium that will purchase nearly all of the cheaper, cleaner, diesel fuel that will be produced at the Schuylkill County facility.
The plant, which is being built by Waste Management and Processors Inc. of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, will use waste coal to produce as much as 40 million gallons of clean-burning diesel annually. Construction will create as many as 1,000 jobs. Operating the plant will produce another 600 permanent, high-paying, positions. The company expects to break ground and start construction as early as spring of 2006.
Nationally syndicated business and financial columnist Lou Dobbs praised Governor Rendell recently on his CNN news program for his national leadership on energy initiatives. Barron’s, one of the nation’s premier financial weekly magazines, and Bloomberg News, also highlighted the Governor’s leadership in creating the buyers’ consortium.
Pennsylvania is home to one of the nation’s most progressive alternative energy portfolio standards, ensuring that 18 percent of all energy generated comes from clean, efficient sources by the year 2020. The commonwealth is one of two states with a portfolio standard that includes energy efficiency, and the commonwealth’s portfolio standard far surpasses any other state requirement for solar energy, guaranteeing a market share for solar that is some 300-percent greater than anywhere else in the country. Benefits include $10 billion in increased output for Pennsylvania, $3 billion in additional earnings and between 3,500 and 4,000 new jobs for residents over the next 20 years.
Governor Rendell’s Growing Greener II initiative provides significant resources to build on the success of other energy initiatives, including up to $10 million annually for the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, which has up to $1 billion available to provide financing to help build clean power and fuel plants. In June, PEDA awarded its first $6.5 million to finance 16 clean energy projects that will create as many as 450 permanent and construction jobs, including 327 full-time jobs.
The Governor’s newly created Renewable Agricultural Energy Council focuses on developing and expanding agricultural energy industries in Pennsylvania. Renewable agricultural energy has the potential to support and grow the agriculture industry by providing as many as 64,000 additional jobs. Renewable agricultural energy can help diversify agricultural activities and stimulate the growth of crops that strengthen the agriculture industry. Agricultural energy sources can save the average household $1,200 annually on energy bills.
Governor Rendell also signed an executive order, "Energy Management and Conservation in the Commonwealth," ensuring maximum efficiency in energy management and conservation in state facilities through the implementation of a centralized energy strategy. This measure will decrease energy consumption and energy costs and promote a cleaner environment.
The Governor also has proposed a twice-a-year green sales tax holiday on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances to help move Pennsylvania to the forefront of energy innovation. Using energy efficient appliances could save families about 30 percent of the average $1,400 annual utility bill – or approximately $400 each year.
The Governor enacted an expansion of the state’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, which invests in enhancing the infrastructure necessary to expand the state’s capacity to produce alternative fuels. AFIG also helps residents purchase alternative-fuel vehicles and finances related fuel projects to create new markets that can have measurable impacts on pollution reduction, environmental protection and economic growth.
More recently, Governor Rendell announced a plan to replace some 25 percent of the state’s vehicle fleet with hybrids by 2011.
Aside from long-term strategic energy policies, Governor Rendell also has been working aggressively to help residents overcome high prices in the short term. With cooler temperatures here and winter on the way, many of the state’s most vulnerable residents are being forced to choose between food today and fuel.
Governor Rendell launched Stay Warm PA to make available $30 million in state funding and increased support from energy companies and utilities to make sure residents get the help they need. The Governor convened a live statewide videoconference Nov. 1 that connected 180 stakeholders in seven locations to help put into action the comprehensive program.
Major components of Stay Warm PA include seeking for the first time state support of $15 million to supplement federal funds that may be insufficient to maintain the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which served 350,000 Pennsylvania households last year, and requesting from the legislature $3 million to boost the state’s Homeowner Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program to ensure residents don’t have to make a choice between paying their monthly mortgage and heating their home.
Information about all of the Stay Warm PA proposals, along with tips to bring down utility bills and ways to conserve energy, are available at http://www.staywarmpa.com. For more information on these energy initiatives, visit DEP’s Web site at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: "OETD."
The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell’s initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit his Web site at: http://www.governor.state.pa.us.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a list by county of the $5.9 million
awarded in Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grants:
                                 ADAMS COUNTY
    Adams County Conservation District – $40,500 to the district on behalf
    of the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center to install a
    solar photovoltaic system that will generate approximately 16,400 kilowatt
    hours of electricity a year.
                               ALLEGHENY COUNTY
    Liquid Elevator Inc. – $307,195 to deploy up to three liquid elevator
    systems to facilitate the extraction of natural gas that is otherwise
    economically unavailable.
    Carnegie Mellon University – $120,000 to install and operate a cooling,
    heating and power (BCHP) system using a biodiesel generator and solar
    thermal energy.
    University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers – $57,000 to purchase and
    install a 40-kilowatts solar photovoltaic array system that will generate
    48,928 kilowatt hours a year.
    The Pittsburgh Project – $48,460 to install solar hot water heater
    collectors that were salvaged from Carnegie Mellon University as part of a
    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building
    project.
    Pittsburgh Voyager Inc. – $100,000 to operate a new vessel, Voyager II,
    on a diesel hybrid electric propulsion system, which will be operated with
    a biodiesel blended fuel.
                                BEAVER COUNTY
    Temple Ridge LLP – $126,225 for a residential green building
    redevelopment project in Aliquippa. The units will be built using green
    building technology and renewable energy systems that will provide
    substantial cost savings to the homeowners in their utility bills.
                                 BERKS COUNTY
    American Genius Corp – $63,878 to install a liquid desiccant air
    conditioning system at a car wash and service facility.
                                 BUCKS COUNTY
    Friends of Peace Valley Nature Center – $11,000 to install a 4.8-kilowatt
    photovoltaic system on an existing roof of the passive solar nature
    center.
                                CARBON COUNTY
    Eastern Middle Anthracite Region Recovery Inc. – $289,578 to install a
    100-kilowatt mycrohydro system on the mine outfall from the Jeddo Tunnel.
    Revenues from the electricity generation will be used to purchase
    materials to treat the outfall.
                                CENTRE COUNTY
    Centre County Conservation District – $323,100 for the conservation
    district on behalf of the Hogs Galore Farm to install a biodigester that
    will produce approximately 200,000 kilowatt hours a year.
                                CHESTER COUNTY
    Green Valleys Association – $39,860 to install a grid-tied microhydro and
    a photovoltaic system.
                                CLARION COUNTY
    Clarion University of Pennsylvania – $212,000 to purchase and install a
    30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that will generate 35,000 kilowatt
    hours a year.
                              CLEARFIELD COUNTY
    River Hill Power Company LLC – $100,000 to develop an environmental
    sampling program for the development and construction of a 290-megawatt,
    waste-coal-fired power facility that will generate over 2 million megawatt
    hours of low-cost electricity a year.
                              CUMBERLAND COUNTY
    Environmental Management Group International Inc. – $225,000 to build an
    anaerobic digester to produce electricity at the Mains Dairy Farm. The
    system will produce nearly 1,100 megawatt hours a year.
                                 ERIE COUNTY
    Millcreek Township School District – $250,000 to purchase and install a
    30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that will generate 34,600 kilowatt
    hours a year.
                                  LANCASTER
    Environmental Management Group International Inc. – $390,055 to install
    an anaerobic digester at the Red Knob Dairy Farm to produce electricity.
    Lancaster County Conservation District – $600,000 to the conservation
    district on behalf of the Brubaker Farm to install an anaerobic digester
    to produce electricity.
                                LUZERNE COUNTY
    Earth Conservancy – $602,000 to remediate the Bliss Bank in Hanover
    Township by removing approximately 120,000 tons of culm and convert it
    into 30,000-megawatt hours of electricity.
    Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future – $200,000 to deploy a one-megawatt
    wind turbine to offset the energy usage at the Hazleton Waste Water
    Treatment Plant.
                                MERCER COUNTY
    Mercer County Conservation District – $55,000 to the conservation
    district on behalf of Munnel Run Farm to install a grid-tied 10-kilowatt
    wind turbine that will generate 6,000 kilowatt hours a year.
                                MIFFLIN COUNTY
    Mifflin County Conservation District – $45,900 to install a 10-kilowatt
    wind turbine.
                              MONTGOMERY COUNTY
    Upper Salford Township – $41,000 to purchase and install a 9.6-kilowatt
    solar photovoltaic array system on the roof of the volunteer Upper Salford
    Fire Company.
                                 PHILADELPHIA
    CARDONE Industries Inc. – $63,000 to install auxiliary power test units
    in 23 of their company tractors to reduce idling.
    The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education – $40,500 to install a
    10.2-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.
    Clean Air Council – $107,000 to install Shurepower anti-idling units at
    20 truck parking places that will allow the trucks to use electricity to
    heat or cool their cabs as well as power other amenities during long
    periods of idling.
                                POTTER COUNTY
    Potter County Conservation District – $130,000 to the conservation
    district on behalf of Four Winds Farms to supplement a previous Energy
    Harvest Grant to install an anaerobic digester with a generating capacity
    of 140 kilowatts.
                              SCHUYLKILL COUNTY
    Guilford Mills Inc. – $100,000 to install a hot oil heater for direct use
    of landfill gas from Pine Grove landfill to displace the use of 300,000
    gallons of fuel oil used in plant boilers annually.
                                   SOMERSET
    Somerset County Conservation District – $275,000 to the conservation
    district on behalf of the Hillcrest Saylors Dairy Farm to install an
    anaerobic digester that will generate 910,000 kilowatt hours a year.
    Borough of Berlin – $200,000 to develop the Berlin Wind Turbine Project.
    This project consists of three 1.8-megawatt turbines and is expected to
    generate 16,500,000 kilowatt hours a year.
                                 WESTMORELAND
    Westmoreland County Conservation District – $200,000 to retrofit a 30-
    year-old building and its surrounding 2.5 acres with practical green
    technologies, recycled materials and best management practices, including
    a green roof and a solar array.
                              MULTIPLE COUNTIES
    PP&L Sustainable Energy Fund and the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central
    Eastern Pennsylvania – $440,854 to design, build, own, operate and lease
    a biodigester to produce electricity and fertilizer.
    Penn Ag Industries Council – $48,758 to install new technology that will
    manage poultry litter, reduce nutrients and odors and decrease energy
    expenditures associated with poultry house operations.
    Solar Power Industries Inc. – $73,115 to establish and promote deployment
    of a Renewable Solar Energy Security System to supply electric power to
    critical systems in homes in the event of grid failure.
    CONTACT:  Kate Philips
              Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
              717-783-1116
              Kurt Knaus
              Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
              717-787-1323

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/051118/phf037.html?.v=13

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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