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Nov 172010
 

From Green Right Now Reports


New investments in alternative and clean energy, as well as energy efficiency, are helping Pennsylvania’s consumers, businesses and municipalities lower their energy bills by millions of dollars, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Austin Burke said today.

Burke said the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved nearly $7.9 million in grants and loans for 12 projects in 10 counties that will use energy-efficient technologies like cogeneration energy plants and alternative forms of power such as wind, geothermal and biomass.

In total, the projects account for $34.2 million in private investments and, once completed, are estimated to save citizens, businesses and local governments nearly $2.7 million annually in energy costs.

“With these new projects, which are large and small, urban and rural, the commonwealth is pushing forward to help businesses, families and local communities save money by becoming more energy efficient and by producing their own power,” Burke said in a statement.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority administers a number of programs created by Pennsylvania’s 2004 state economic stimulus program, as well as portions of the $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund that Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell signed into law in 2008.

Here is a list of the 12 alternative energy and renewable energy projects the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved today (potential costs savings are estimates calculated by DCED using standard industry methodology):

Berks County — Albright College will receive a $295,000 alternative and clean energy program loan to assist with the purchase of a $2 millionabsorption chiller and air handling unit for its gymnasium.  The college is planning to install a 1-megawatt cogeneration combined heating and power plant that will allow it to operate during off-peak hours and is expected to save the college$429,241 annually.

Butler County — David and Amanda Bokash will receive a $14,802 renewable energy program loan for a $29,604 geothermal system in theirLancaster Township home.  The new system is expected to save $2,639 annually.

Chester County — Michael and Kimberly DeLeo will receive a $13,492 renewable energy program loan to help purchase and install a $26,985geothermal system in their Westtown Township home. The closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system will replace the home’s 18-year-old electric heat pump, which is expected to reduce their current energy costs by $1,200 annually, or 66 percent.

Erie County — Coca-Cola Enterprises will receive a $37,500 renewable energy program grant to help with the $256,200 purchase and installation of a wind turbine in the City of Erie. The new equipment will offset 42 percent of the facility’s electrical consumption and save the company nearly $15,000 annually in energy costs.

Lancaster County — Providence Township will receive a $43,687 alternative and clean energy program grant to purchase and install a biomass boiler in Providence Township. The township plans to install a wood gasification boiler system to heat its new township office and maintenance buildings. The biomass boiler will offset 7,200 gallons of fuel oil annually, which will save the township nearly $22,200. The total project cost is $87,374.

Jay and Andrea Sensenig will receive a $575,000 alternative and clean energy program grant to assist with their $1.15 millionanaerobic digester project in Little Britain Township. The couple plans to construct a digester to generate energy for the main dairy site and improve nutrient management in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The system will generate nearly 879 megawatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power approximately 88 homes. The system will offset all of the electrical needs of the farm with the excess being sold to a utility.

Kenneth and Jennifer Eshleman will receive a $9,427 renewable energy program loan to help purchase and install an $18,854geothermal system in their Warwick Township home. The forced air, ground source, geothermal heating and cooling system is expected to save the Eshleman’s more than $2,400 annually.

Lehigh County — Allentown will receive a $2 million alternative and clean energy program grant to construct a biomass processing and energy production facility in Allentown. The city will process 50 tons of sludge and 100 tons of municipal solid waste produced daily from the wastewater treatment facility and convert it into clean, efficient energy to power the facility and sell the excess power to a utility. The new facility is expected to generate 25,200 megawatt hours of electricity annually, or enough to power approximately 2,520 homes. The total project cost is $9.6 million.

Montgomery County – Main Line Hospital Inc., doing business as Lankenau Hospital, will receive a $2 million alternative and clean energy program loan to purchase energy efficient equipment at its cogeneration energy plant in Wynnewood. The cogeneration system uses the excess heat and steam from an electrical generator to heat and cool the building. The hospital will use the loan to buy four 2-megawatt gas-fired engine generators. The $19.3 million project will save an estimated $1.8 million annually.

Northumberland County – Furman Foods, doing business as Furmano Foods, will receive a $1.75 million alternative and clean energy grant to install an anaerobic digester for its wastewater treatment plant in Point Township, using captured methane gas as a source of renewable energy. Furman Foods expects the $7 million project to save $215,000 in electrical costs per year.

Somerset County – The Zoological Society of Pittsburgh will receive a $267,000 alternative and clean energy grant to build an alternative fuel biomass burner at the International Conservation Center in Allegheny Township. The biomass burner will use switchgrass, wood chippings, elephant manure and other biomass to heat the barns that house animals. The $800,500 project is expected to save the zoo nearly $41,500 annually in energy costs.

Sullivan County – Sullivan County School District will receive a $691,340 alternative and clean energy loan and a $250,000 alternative and clean energy grant to purchase a biomass energy system for its facility in Laporte Borough. The $1.9 million project will be connected to an existing boiler facility and HVAC system and is expected to reduce conventional fuel oil utilization by approximately 53,000 gallons, which is expected to produce an annual energy savings of nearly $163,240.