GOVERNOR EDWARD RENDELL announced on October 5 that Pennsylvania is investing $6.4 million in 16 clean energy projects that will create 316 permanent and up to 280 construction jobs in the commonwealth, as well as to leverage more than $38 million in private funds.

“Pennsylvania is making strategic investments to stimulate the growth of clean energy technologies that can power our future without leaving us in the grip of foreign governments or choking on harmful emissions,” Rendell said. “By partnering with Pennsylvania companies that are advancing solar power, biofuels and other forms of renewable energy, as well as building clean fossil technologies, we are creating opportunities to put Pennsylvanians to work now and for years to come.”

 Energy output from the projects, which were approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, will generate an estimated 15,710 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, enough to power about 1,600 Pennsylvania homes and produce the equivalent of enough natural gas to supply almost 2,500 homes for a year. Another 208 billion British thermal units (Btu) will be conserved.

The 16 projects will receive grants for a variety of clean fuels and green power projects, using sources such as solar, fuel cells, biofuels, landfill gas, wind and biomass. The funding also will boost Pennsylvania businesses by putting alternative energy technologies to work for them, bolster public infrastructure and support additional income streams for Pennsylvania farmers.

The Pennsylvania Economic Development Association (PEDA) has awarded $21 million in grants and loans for 57 clean energy projects that will leverage another $240 million in private investment since 2005. The projects will create 975 permanent and construction jobs. The 16 PEDA projects were evaluated on a variety of criteria, including their ability to promote Pennsylvania’s indigenous energy resources, encourage energy diversity, enhance energy security and improve the environment. The projects were judged on their potential to create jobs and stimulate investment in the state. Technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness also were considered.

This third round of PEDA financing priorities included solar, distributed energy generation for critical public infrastructure and clean alternative fuels for transportation and other technologies. Five of the projects include solar power, with a total public-private investment of almost $3.8 million. Two of the projects will spread solar power generation to sites across the commonwealth, raising the awareness of renewable energy and demonstrating the viability of power aggregated from multiple, small-scale sites.

Rendell has pursued a broad array of policies and financial tools in place to promote advanced energy projects in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard ensures that 18 percent of all retail energy generated by 2020 comes from clean, efficient and advanced resources. The law promises to substantially build on the state’s wind power production, with wind sources providing enough clean energy to power some 70,000 homes.

By 2021, when the solar share is in full effect, utilities will be required to purchase 700 MW of solar-produced electricity.             EC