Pennsylvania Awards 32 Energy Grant Recipients

On behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty announced the 32 grant recipients of a $5 million state energy initiative that will leverage another $13 million in private funds to promote advanced energy technologies proven to generate jobs, improve air quality, preserve land, protect watersheds and enhance energy security.

Narvon, Pennsylvania – February 11, 2004 [] “When we announced the Energy Harvest initiative last May, we wanted to attract new investment to create the jobs we desperately need while ensuring the highest standards of environmental protection by promoting energy sources that are unique and especially important to Pennsylvania,” Secretary McGinty said. “This first year is a wonderful success, with projects that capitalize on advanced energy technologies to transform environmental challenges into economic opportunities while having a measurable impact on pollution prevention.” Secretary McGinty made the announcement at Wanner’s Pride-N-Joy Farm, a 400-head dairy farm in Salisbury Township, Lancaster County. The farm received a $327,412 grant, sponsored by the Lancaster County Conservation District, to help finance the installation of an anaerobic biodigester. The biodigester, which will process methane gas from manure, will be capable of producing about 967,000 kWh of electricity annually. This single project will be capable of powering all of the farms needs and a community of about 100 homes. In his budget address last week, the Governor announced plans to expand the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest initiative by $80 million over four years to provide the financial tools that will encourage clean and renewable energy projects from sources such as biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, coal-bed methane and waste-coal. Pennsylvania exports more than $20 billion per year- nearly as much as the entire state budget – to import energy fuels. Indigenous energy development has a multiplier effect in the economy that may generate as much as 1.6 times more revenue than from imports. Keeping energy dollars in state is the first step in retaining and generating more jobs. And with the rising imported fuel prices and recent record-high oil and natural gas prices, opportunities abound to explore new energy technologies that only a few years ago might not have been cost-competitive, said state officials. In its first year, Pennsylvania Energy Harvest received 139 applications with requests for $45 million in funding that would generate $96 million in private investment. Expansion of the program is critical to capitalize on this unmet demand and Pennsylvania’s potential to become a leader in advanced energy technology development and deployment. “This is just the start,” Secretary McGinty said. “By investing in Pennsylvania’s energy future and the future of clean and renewable energy, the Commonwealth will continue to attract new investments that will add another promising dimension to communities hardest hit by economic downturns, especially in the coal regions and rural Pennsylvania.”
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