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Free Wind Turbines Part of Pennsylvania Push for Wind

The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority is looking for a few good municipalities, public authorities and school districts to generate a buzz about alternative energy.

Brought back to life by Governor Edward G. Rendell after years of inactivity, PEDA recently awarded a $193,000 grant to Southwest Windpower to place 15 small, advanced technology wind turbines in highly visible locations across the state. Each of the turbines will generate enough electricity to power a typical residence -- and get people thinking about adopting alternative energy sources in their homes and businesses. "The price of imported fuel is too high in terms of dollars and security," Governor Rendell said. "To become energy independent ourselves, Pennsylvania is blazing a new trail by making strategic investments to build a base of alternative energy supplies and infrastructure that can meet the clean energy needs of our residents and our economy. By placing these windmills in where many people can see them, Pennsylvanians will be able to learn about and experience alternative energy as part of their daily lives." PEDA and Southwest Windpower, the world's largest producer of small wind turbines, are inviting Pennsylvania municipalities, public authorities and school districts to apply to participate in the PEDA Small-Scale Community Wind Project. Successful applicants will receive one of the Southwest Windpower small-scale wind systems and basic installation at no charge. Recipients must pay the fee to connect to the grid, as well as any cost above basic installation (for example, if special ground work is needed to prepare the site). The recipients also will provide public outreach and education. The wind energy systems will be mounted in the ground on 35-foot towers and generate 1.8 kilowatts of electricity each, enough to meet the needs of a typical home. The units are valued at $10,000 each. SunLion Solar Inc. of Leacock Township, Lancaster County, will install some of the systems. Applications must be submitted to PEDA no later than May 12. PEDA and Southwest Windpower will review the applications and make the selections. "Pennsylvania already is a wind energy leader on the East Coast for its utility-scale production, and its growth potential is significant," Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said. "PEDA's Small-Scale Community Wind Project is an outstanding opportunity to bring energy diversity off the mountain tops and into our daily lives." A key part of Governor Rendell's alternative energy strategy is to position Pennsylvania as a leading manufacturing center of advanced energy technologies. The state's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard will create the demand for more than 3,000 megawatts of wind energy over the next 15 years. Governor Rendell also personally led the 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 in Philadelphia and manufacturing facilities in Bucks and Cambria counties, Gamesa represents an $84 million investment in the state that will create as many as 1,000 jobs over five years. "Energy will be one of the defining challenges of our generation, but we can make this challenge an opportunity to reduce our dependence on imported energy and create significant economic benefits for our local and regional economies," Governor Rendell said. "Instead of spending our energy dollars overseas, we will invest at home and put Pennsylvanians to work." PEDA is one of the initiatives Governor Rendell has launched to build a clean energy future in Pennsylvania; it 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. In addition, the research projects, if successful, could net as many as 327 full-time jobs. For more information on PEDA or to download an application for the Small-Scale Community Wind Project, visit DEP's website at the following link, Keyword: "Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA)."

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