HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced Pennsylvania is making investments to support clean energy projects that will create more than 1,000 permanent and temporary jobs. The Governor added that the state's $8.5 million investment in 25 projects will leverage more than $144 million in private sector investment. The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority today approved $8.5 million in grants and loans for 25 clean energy projects that will leverage another $144.3 million in private investment. The projects will create 228 permanent and up to 880 construction jobs in the commonwealth. "Pennsylvania is using its resources to build a clean energy future that enhances security, generates economic growth and cleans up the environment," Governor Rendell said. "Development and deployment of alternative energy resources is an economic and environmental win. By investing in companies, we are creating opportunities to put our people to work." Energy output from the projects, which were approved by PEDA, will generate 3.5 million megawatt hours, enough to power about 437,000 Pennsylvania homes. Another 526,225 megawatt hours will be conserved. The projects also have the potential to produce 45 million gallons of biofuel. The 25 projects will receive financial assistance in the form of grants or loans for a variety of clean electricity projects using sources such as wind, solar, biomass, waste coal and recycled energy. The funding also will finance comprehensive redevelopment plans and technological innovations using Pennsylvania fuels. The state financing supports millions of dollars in funding being invested into the projects by private interests. This funding represents the second round of awards by PEDA, which Governor Rendell revitalized after years of inactivity as part of his strategy to build a clean, indigenous, diversified energy industry in the state. In June, PEDA awarded $6.5 million to finance 16 clean energy projects that will create as many as 450 permanent and construction jobs. In addition, the research projects, if successful, could net as many as 327 full-time jobs. The PEDA projects were evaluated on a variety of criteria, including their ability to promote Pennsylvania's indigenous energy resources, encourage energy diversity and enhance energy security. The projects were judged on their potential to create jobs and stimulate investment in the commonwealth. Potential environmental benefits, as well as technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness, also were considered. "Governor Rendell's leadership is giving Pennsylvania a competitive edge by making sure we have an affordable, reliable supply of clean energy to attract business and industry," said Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty, who serves as PEDA chairperson. "As traditional energy costs rise, alternative energy projects not only become more competitive, they become imperative." Earlier this month, Governor Rendell traveled to the nation's capital to call upon President Bush to do all he can to address the energy needs of the United States. If the federal government follows the leadership of the states, including Pennsylvania's "American Energy Harvest" model, Governor Rendell said there would be many significant benefits, including cutting dependence on energy imports, creating jobs, boosting the country's energy entrepreneurs and companies, reducing the trade deficit and improving domestic security. "By changing how and where we spend energy dollars, we can create more jobs, increase domestic investment and make our nation safer," Governor Rendell said in a speech before the National Press Club. "What we are doing in Pennsylvania offers a vivid illustration of how our economy, our quality of life and our security can be improved by investing in America's fuels." Governor Rendell is putting in place policies and financial tools designed to promote advanced energy projects in the state. Through Pennsylvania EDGE --- Energy Deployment for a Growing Economy --- Governor Rendell is providing regulatory and financial incentives to shut down older, dirtier, inefficient power plants and re-power with advanced coal gasification technology. The Governor launched the East Coast's first commercially viable biofuels storage and blending system in Middletown, Dauphin County. 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 40 million gallons of diesel fuel that will be produced at Waste Management and Processors Inc.'s facility in Schuylkill County. The Governor also personally led a campaign to land the Spanish wind-energy company Gamesa Corp., the second largest wind energy company in the world, beating out many other vying states. With its U.S. headquarters and two manufacturing facilities now based in Pennsylvania, Gamesa represents a $40 million investment in the state that will create as many as 1,000 jobs over five years. This is one of the state's most important economic development announcements in decades, as it marked a significant turnaround with Pennsylvania luring high-paying manufacturing jobs from overseas. 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. 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. The Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program funds projects that build markets for advanced and renewable energy technologies that use biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, energy efficiency, coal-bed methane and waste coal. The program has awarded $15.9 million and leveraged another $43.7 million in private funds since its inception in May 2003. 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 PEDA. The Governor's newly created Renewable Agricultural Energy Council focuses on developing and expanding agricultural energy industries in Pennsylvania. An executive order, "Energy Management and Conservation in the Commonwealth," ensures maximum efficiency in energy management and conservation in state facilities through the implementation of a centralized energy strategy. The Governor also has proposed a twice-a-year green sales tax holiday on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances to help families save about 30 percent on their annual utility bill. For more information on PEDA, visit DEP's Web site at http://www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: "PEDA." 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: Following is a list by county of the $8.5 million in grants and loans awarded through PEDA for 25 clean energy projects. ALLEGHENY Plextronics Inc. - $250,000 grant and $750,000 loan to advance its research into development of the next generation of solar cells based on polymer technology. PFBC Environmental Energy Technology Inc. - $640,285 in grants and loans to design and construct a pressurized fluidized bed combustion test facility. The test unit will be able to burn a wide variety of Pennsylvania waste coals. Tests will be done to provide the data needed to build commercial-scale units. Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County - $361,829 to develop a community energy system in association with Mon Power. The CES proposes to convert waste biomass into synthetic gas for use in generating electricity. The waste will be converted into syngas using a clean, controlled heat process, not an incinerator. University of Pittsburgh - $70,847 to apply a newly created process for effectively harvesting waste coal from dumpsites and then producing a clean product for electricity generation. Carnegie Mellon University - $167,115 as partial funding for a biodiesel powered system in an Intelligent Workplace at the university. The project will demonstrate efficiencies when married with an energy-efficient building using solar, heat recovery and other ancillary projects. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - $150,000 to install and operate a solid oxide fuel cell. Total energy savings are expected to exceed 60 percent while concurrently reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent on a per-kilowatt basis. Breen Energy Solutions - $299,400 to install a slurry gasification and re-burn system at Del Monte Foods' coal-fired industrial boiler in Pittsburgh. The system will use waste coal fires from CONSOL Energy and reduce nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions from the facility. BERKS PPL Energy Services Holdings LLC - $250,000 to develop a 17.5-megawatt biomass-to-energy project in Reading. The project will produce enough electricity to power 17,500 homes and result in the creation of 15 jobs. BUTLER Slippery Rock University - $27,500 to erect a Synergy S20000 wind turbine on land adjacent to the university's Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research. The turbine is expected to generate 6000 kilowatt hours annually, about 22 percent of the annual electrical energy use at the center. CENTRE Penn State University - $138,888 for research on high-efficiency properties of titanium dioxide nanotubes in photovoltaic solar cells. CHESTER Franklin Fuel Cells Inc. - $408,737 for an applied research project for ongoing development of solid oxide fuel cell technology. Within 12 months, Franklin Fuel Cells expects to have a core direct oxidation solid oxide fuel cell technology that has been proven to be technically feasible, economically viable and ready for incorporation into pre-commercial products. Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services - $415,000 for support in installing one of the largest photovoltaic systems in the state. The 100-kilowatt system will generate approximately 125,000 kilowatt hours annually. CLARION Allegheny-Clarion Valley Development Corp. - $340,160 for a 30-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant in Paint Township, Clarion County. The company will hire 30 to 35 employees with salaries ranging from $28,000 to $120,000 per year with full benefits. Soybean oil will be used as the feedstock for the biodiesel. DAUPHIN The Harrisburg Authority - $360,295 to conduct feasibility studies on a proposed 30-megawatt wind energy project on authority-owned land in the DeHart Dam watershed. LANCASTER Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future - $348,000 to install 51.7 kilowatt PowerLight Sharp photovoltaic modules on the roof of the beverage building at Turkey Hill Dairy in Conestoga. LAWRENCE The Lawrence County Economic Development Corp. - $287,133 to help the company Star Class upgrade and expand their manufacturing plant in New Castle so they can increase production of the auxiliary power units for idling trucks. LEHIGH AFC First Financial Corp. - $500,000 to serve as a portion of a loan loss reserve fund to offset its risk of offering unsecured loans for the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program. AFC First Financial will offer this program to contractors and retailers who deal in energy efficient equipment as well as home improvements for residential customers, with financing below-market interest rates. McKEAN American Refining Group - $284,328 to install a steam turbine generator to produce electricity. An arrangement is being made to sell energy back to the local utility company. PHILADELPHIA Solar Strategies Development Corp. - $130,457 to introduce zero-energy homes into the housing market in Philadelphia, while simultaneously redeveloping an older, neglected neighborhood and providing the homeowners with one of the most energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, sustainable housing options in the state. The project is proposed for the Juniata Park section of Philadelphia. SOMERSET The Cambria Somerset Authority - $269,000 for final design and installation modifications needed to install an 850-kilowatt micro-hydroelectric plant at the authority's Quemahoning reservoir. The resulting project is expected to generate approximately 4,467 megawatt hours of electricity per year. Casselman Windpower LLC - $500,000 for the proposed Casselman Windpower Project, a 34.5-megawatt wind development project. The project is located in rural Somerset County, with about one-third of the turbines proposed for reclaimed surface mining areas. The nature of soils at previously mined areas require higher than normal construction costs, and these areas are at lower elevations than other proposed turbine sites, making them less productive. WESTMORELAND Solar Power Industries Inc. - $500,000 for expansion of silicon production for solar cells used in photovoltaic systems and applications, leading to the creation of 52 permanent jobs. Elliott Co. - $458,026 to accelerate the commercialization of its high-efficiency large-scale permanent magnet drive motor. This motor is a substitute for large, lower-efficiency combustion turbines for mechanical drive applications. MULTIPLE PowerWeb Inc. - $400,000 to install a demand-management system and Web-based trading platform known as the PALM Procurement Platform. This is an interactive trading system designed to interface energy consumers with the supplier to monitor commodity-based contracts for load management. Southwest Windpower - $193,000 to partner with DEP, SunLion Solar and local communities and libraries to install 15 of their recently developed 1.8 kilowatt wind turbines to provide power to public buildings. Fifteen of these turbines would generate approximately 75,600 kilowatt hours per year. CONTACT: Kate Philips of the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, +1-717-783-1116 or Kurt Knaus, DEP, +1-717-787-1323.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor