Governor Rendell Announces 40 Innovative Energy Projects to Create 1,400 Jobs; Calls for Higher Solar Standards to Spur Additional Job Growth

Sep 01, 2010, 13:23 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced $20.5 million in state and federal investments that will create 1,400 jobs in the rapidly expanding clean energy industry.

The funding will benefit 40 diverse energy projects that will generate or save the equivalent of more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of electricity over their lifetimes. That's enough energy to power 1 million average homes in Pennsylvania for one year — and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 9 million tons, which is the equivalent of removing 1.5 million passenger cars from the roads for one year.

"A few years ago, projects like these existed only in theory. Today, they are a reality," said Governor Rendell. "They benefit Pennsylvania's consumers by generating and saving electricity, driving down utility rates, making additional projects more affordable and feasible, while stimulating the economy by creating manufacturing and employment opportunities, attracting private investments and making our environment cleaner."

The Governor noted that the state investment provided through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, or PEDA, will also leverage more than $211 million in private funds, generating a 10-to-1 return on investment. Since 2005, PEDA has invested more than $99 million in 201 projects which have generated more than $883 million in matching funds.

He also stressed the need to increase Pennsylvania's clean energy portfolio standards, saying higher standards will translate into even more jobs and economic development for the state — just as the first Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards law did.

"The solar industry has grown at a rapid pace despite the uncertain economy," said Governor Rendell. "Investors and developers have proven anxious and eager to invest in clean solar energy projects. Venture capitalists alone poured $1.4 billion into the industry last year. Pennsylvania could attract a larger share of that action if we just increased the solar share of our portfolio standards law."

When it was enacted in 2004, Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards act was one of the nation's most ambitious laws, but has since been surpassed by other states.

The current law's solar share requirement requires that one-half-of-one percent of the electricity Pennsylvanians purchase in 2021 come from solar power. However, Delaware has a 3.5 percent requirement by 2025; Maryland will require that 2 percent of their electricity comes from solar by 2022; New Jersey will require 4 percent solar generation by 2021; and Illinois — the seventh-largest coal producer in the nation — has set a 1.5 percent goal for 2025.

"Pennsylvania is on pace to become one of the top five states this year for the amount of installed solar generation capacity we have, but that's because of the standards we enacted six years ago," said the Governor, adding that less than two years ago, Pennsylvania's installed solar capacity was minimal. "Today, we have more than 39 megawatts of capacity installed, or enough to power 5,900 homes and that number increases daily.  

"Unless we move now to increase our solar share — even to a modest 1.5 percent target — the types of projects we're announcing today won't even consider Pennsylvania. They'll look elsewhere and take their jobs with them. And the 600 solar businesses now operating in Pennsylvania may move to another state where the sun shines brighter. Not acting on this issue now will only hurt our economy in the long-run."

The projects announced by the Governor were funded through three sources. Twenty-four projects were funded with $13 million from Growing Greener II, eight projects were funded with $5 million in federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and eight projects in the Pittsburgh region were funded with $2.5 million through Duquesne Light Co. settlement funds.

For more information, visit, keyword: PEDA, or call the Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Energy and Technology Deployment at 717-783-8411.

For more information on how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working in Pennsylvania, visit

Media contacts:

John Repetz, DEP; 717-787-1323

Michael Smith, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

Editor's Note: Following is a list, by county, of the 40 alternative and renewable energy projects approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. (kWh=kilowatt hours, MW=megawatts).

24 Projects funded by Growing Greener II:


Roaring Springs Blank Book Co. -- $450,000 to turn wood- and paper-based waste into cleaner burning fuel cubes that can be used in place of coal. The project is the first of its kind in Central Pennsylvania.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 676,261,332

Solar Development Group LLC -- $737,139 for a 1.5 MW photovoltaic system.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 70,555,983


KGRA Energy Corp. -- $750,000 to construct a heat-recovery-to-power project at a gas gathering station which will convert waste heat from eight Caterpillar reciprocating engines to clean, renewable electricity.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 254,861,250


Pennsbury School District -- $188,000 to install a solar roof, improve energy efficiency and enhance indoor air quality at the historic Makefield Elementary School.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 42,735,821

UGI Development Co. -- $900,000 to install a 2 MW solar facility at an existing manufacturing plant which will offset a portion of the plant's power requirements.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 59,925,000


Pennsylvania American Water -- $180,000 for the installation of a 30 kW micro-hydro turbine to recover energy from the raw water pipeline of the Oneida Valley Water Treatment Plant.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 7,530,000


MainLine Solar LLC -- $450,000 for a flat roof-mounted 900 kW solar electric farm on the A. Duie Pyle Parkesburg facility. The energy produced will supply 100 percent of the electricity needs for this distribution center.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 25,000,000

Phoenixville Area School District -- $554,500 to implement a comprehensive energy program at three school buildings. The work includes installation of 400 kW photovoltaic electric generation; energy efficient retrofits of lighting, heating, cooling, pumping and ventilation systems.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 49,389,969


Solar Strategies Development Corp. -- $730,000 to produce NetZero Energy Modular Homes in a re-equipped modular manufacturing facility.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA


Curwensville Area School District -- $574,772 for a closed-loop geothermal heat pump system that will reduce energy costs and substantially reduce the amount of air quality emissions which is currently produced from burning coal.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 140,674,080


Hamilton Health Center Inc. -- $242,672 for construction of a geothermal well field required for installation of a closed-loop geothermal system at the center's new facility located in an adaptively reused 68,000-square-foot warehouse on a Brownfield Action Team site.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 12,105,345


Haverford Township -- $300,000 to install a geothermal system in its new 35,000-square-foot Community Recreation Environmental Center located at the former Haverford State Hospital site.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 55,170,616


Community Energy Inc. -- $1,000,000 to construct a 15 MW, $65 million solar photovoltaic project which will be the largest solar electric generating facility in the eastern part of the United States.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 530,000,000

Kline's Services -- $250,000 to install a methane digester and a generator to produce electricity. The methane digester will take waste from Kline's operation and turn it into a methane rich biogas.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 120,000,000

Quanta Technologies Inc. -- $500,000 for the development of the next generation of Insulating Glass System (IGS) product. The company currently markets an IGS to the low-income weatherization segment. This development will broaden the product line, allowing greater penetration of this energy saving technology in the region.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: N/A


Renewable Energy Partners Inc. -- $850,000 to install a minimum of 1.8 MW of net-metered photovoltaic solar modules on 12.5 acres of land adjacent to, and part of the Greater Lewistown Corporate Center.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 55,118,657


American Refining and Biochemical Inc. -- $315,000 to equip and expand its existing thick film manufacturing facility and dedicate it to the production of improved metallization pastes that are used in the manufacture of high-efficiency silicon solar cells.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA


Metro-Tek Electrical Services -- $831,250 for a 2.2 MW ground mounted solar system for Moore Township Elementary and Lehigh Township Elementary schools.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 61,188,000

Ultra Poly Corp. -- $750,000 to convert 20 tons per day of non-source separated waste plastic into 3,000 gallons per day of liquid fuel meeting the American Standard Test Method standard for low sulfur fuel.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 1,302,313,747


Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center -- $393,400 for the installation of a 330 kW solar energy generator on the south facing roofs of the center, and an energy efficient lighting system for the tennis building.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 11,357,536

Philadelphia City Treasurer Department of Recreation -- $412,482 to replace lighting and upgrade controls at six recreation sites, and install a 14.5 kW photovoltaic system at one site.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 26,962,200

Viridity Energy Inc. -- $900,000 for installation of an innovative energy storage system to maximize the recapture of existing regenerative braking capacity from trains along a portion of the Market-Frankford Line, the highest ridership line in SEPTA's system.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA


UPMC Health System -- $124,170 for a closed-loop geothermal system which uses an industrial-sized chiller to manage the cooling and air replacement requirements of a hospital. The system will also eliminate chemical cooling tower treatments and reduce demands placed upon the municipal water and sewage infrastructure.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 12,800,000


CONSOL Energy Inc. -- $529,157 for a micro turbine generator to capture and use a waste stream from a coal bed methane processing plant to produce electricity.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 141,841,498

8 Projects funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:


Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal Ltd. -- $1 million to upgrade infrastructures on an existing steam generation and distribution system located in downtown Pittsburgh.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 322,581,058


Albright College -- $846,000 for the installation of a 1 MW combustion turbine which will include a waste heat recovery boiler. The system will allow for the on-site production of power combined with the recovery of waste heat for use on site as well.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 120,431,408


Piney Creek L.P. -- $429,599 to supplement a portion of its waste coal fuel with biomass fuel. Sources of biomass could potentially include a range of materials including forest harvesting residues; sawmill residues and municipal biomass wastes.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 690,302,950


ArcelorMittal USA Inc. -- $800,000 to purchase and install an energy-efficient, low-emission, reheat furnace at its Steelton facility. The proposed project will implement the most advanced technology to recycle and recover energy, increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 5,319,238,650


General Electric Compacting through GE Transportation Division -- $500,000 to provide a portion of the costs for a higher capacity crane at the Erie-area facility to allow test and development of wind turbine drive trains from 2.0 to 3.6 MW in order to meet the market need for larger drive trains.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA


Kraft Foods Inc. -- $577,500 to purchase and install a filtration system compressor and pipeline to deliver 105 MMcf (million cubic feet) per year of biomethane – which is currently flared off at a wastewater treatment plant -- to fuel a boiler at Kraft.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 615,449,100


The Fox Chase Cancer Center -- $250,000 to replace all existing windows with new thermally improved aluminum frames with low E, high-shading coefficient insulated glazing assembly. An operating energy cost savings of at least 40 percent can be achieved.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 31,080,383


Sullivan County School District -- $630,000 to install a biomass energy system which will replace 85 percent of the heating oil used with 775 tons of sustainable, harvested local biomass, which will reduce energy costs at the high school and elementary school.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 47,697,305

8 Projects funded by the Duquesne Light Settlement:


Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc. -- $498,357 to redevelop the flat roof of an existing office/warehouse building, utilizing three different solar energy technologies totaling 105 kW. A green roof under and around a section of the solar installation will allow for the study of increased solar efficiency from ambient air temperature reduction around solar arrays.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 13,240,479

City of Pittsburgh -- $816,105 for the first phase of an energy efficient streetlight conversion that will replace 40,000 high pressure sodium lights with more efficient light-emitting diodes (LED). Phase I will replace the lights in 30 business districts throughout the city.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 49,546,065

Converteam Inc. -- $250,000 to transfer the company's existing state-of-the-art ProSolar inverter technology developed by its German affiliate to its manufacturing facility in Pittsburgh. The goal of this project is to develop and manufacture the next generation of higher power and higher efficiency solar inverter systems for utility-scale photovoltaic installations in the U.S.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA

PPG Industries Inc. -- $35,784 to complete an energy efficient lighting upgrade at the company's Glass Business and Discovery Center. The work will include installation of nearly 3,500 energy efficient lighting products.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 16,419,288

School District of Pittsburgh -- $71,000 for a solar thermal initiative, following a successful LED lighting initiative started in 2009. Solar thermal systems, each including roof-solar collection systems, will be installed at three properties. Each is expected to offset energy costs associated with heating domestic hot water and provide a practical teaching tool.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 1,753,485

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum Trust Inc. -- $84,000 to update and enhance electrical operations to reduce annual costs. The project will involve new lighting systems, HVAC upgrades and variable speed drives.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 13,162,725

United States Green Energy Corp. -- $750,000 for an automated continuous flow high speed solar siding/shingle lamination machine at a restored roundhouse located on a former steel mill site in McKeesport.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: NA

Wilkinsburg Borough -- $141,750 for energy efficiency improvements to the municipal building. The roof has been replaced, boiler system replaced and 66 new energy efficient windows installed. Fifty-five remaining original construction windows will be replaced.

Lifetime kWh Saved/Generated: 1,256,569

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor