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Home > News > State Investments Helping to Replace Inefficient Systems, Foreign Oil with Cleaner Geothermal, Biofuel Alternatives

State Investments Helping to Replace Inefficient Systems, Foreign Oil with Cleaner Geothermal, Biofuel Alternatives

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Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development  3/31/10


Harrisburg – Pennsylvania is strengthening its position as a leader in alternative energy innovation with new investments of more than $5 million in six projects, Governor Edward G. Rendell said today.
The projects are in six counties across the state and include three geothermal system installations, two biofuel projects, and one study that will examine the feasibility of mixed-income housing in Pittsburgh that would reduce utility consumption by up to 90 percent for its occupants.
"We are proving alternative energy technology can help families, businesses and municipalities save millions collectively on their utility costs," said Governor Rendell. "That’s a worthwhile incentive from our perspective, but we’re also putting people to work and fueling the demand for green collar jobs, while developing and deploying the technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and strengthen our national security."


The Commonwealth Financing Authority recently approved the six investments. The CF administers Pennsylvania's economic stimulus programs, including portions of the $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund that Governor Rendell signed into law in 2008.
All told, the six project account for nearly $16.4 million, with more than two thirds of that total investment in Pennsylvania’s economy coming from private funds.

The eight energy projects approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority are listed below:


Dauphin County
Penn State University will receive an $817,000 grant from the alternative and clean energy program toward the development of the Central Pennsylvania Laboratory for Biofuels in Middletown. The project will create a biofuels research, development and deployment facility for second generation biofuel crops with distinct, competitive advantages. The lab will develop new species of biofuel crops specifically designed to thrive in Pennsylvania’s climate and produce higher yields. These plants can be deployed on lands with little agriculture value. The total project cost is $1.6 million.


Allegheny County
ACTION-Housing Inc. will receive a $163,812 alternative and clean energy program grant to help determine the feasibility of a "Net Zero" housing development in Pittsburgh. The planning process and feasibility study could ultimately lead to 120 units of mixed-income housing, with an 80- to 90-percent reduction in utility consumption. The total project cost is $369,437.


Lancaster County
G. Blaine Hetrick III will receive a $19,150 renewable energy program loan to help pay for the purchase and installation of a geothermal system for a 4,900-square-foot home in Manheim Township. The existing forced-air oil burner and air conditioning unit is to be replaced with a 5-ton geothermal heating and cooling system. The new $38,300 geothermal system will cut the use of oil by 1,500 gallons, which would yield nearly $4,400 in annual savings based on today’s price of heating oil.


Lehigh County
Kevin Hiestand will receive an $11,134 renewable energy program loan to help purchase and install a geothermal system in a 2,495-square-foot home in Upper Milford Township. The new $27,835 geothermal system will reduce energy use at the residence by more than half.


Montgomery County
Thomas B. Rutter will receive a $14,146 renewable energy program loan to help purchase and install a geothermal system in a 3,000-square-foot home in Douglass Township. Rutter will replace a 15-year-old natural gas furnace with a closed loop geothermal heating and cooling system. The $28,292 geothermal system is anticipated to generate over $1,000 per year in energy savings.


Warren County
United Refining Company will receive a $4 million loan from the alternative and clean energy program to help blend low-carbon fuels at its facility in Warren. The company plans to install tanks, pipes, foundations and equipment to receive and off-load ethanol and biodiesel fuels and inject them into transportation fuels. The $14.3 million project will create 4 new jobs.


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Release Date: Mar 31, 2010  |  Author: Theresa Elliott, DCED; 717-783-1132; Michael Smith, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116

For more information on programs available through the Department of Community and Economic Development, visit http://www.newpa.com/index.aspx or call 1-866-466-3972.
Media contacts:
Theresa Elliott, DCED; 717-783-1132
Michael Smith, Governor’s Office; 717-783-1116