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PA Governor Announces Federal Recovery Funds for State Energy Plan

Governor Edward G. Rendell has announced Pennsylvania has received $38.8 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for innovative, job-creating energy projects in every corner of the state.

"We want to increase opportunities to generate more renewable and alternative energy, reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency, and create thousands of jobs and competitive advantages for businesses," Governor Rendell said. "This federal money will enable us to fund more projects consistent with the goals of our diverse state energy plan."

Overall, Pennsylvania anticipates receiving $455 million in Recovery Act funding for energy related initiatives. The funding announced is part of the $99.6 million Pennsylvania will receive under the Recovery Act's State Energy Program.

The funding will be part of the state's 2009-2010 budget, and will not be available for distribution until the budget passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

The funding will be distributed among seven program areas: sustainable business recovery -- through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, wind energy, sustainable heat and power, solar energy, biogas, green development loans, and geothermal buildings.

The Department of Environmental Protection expects to issue grant opportunity guidelines shortly.

Energy-focused Recovery Act money was first awarded in March when $3.7 million was provided to five shovel-ready projects through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. These projects will generate green energy, help conserve and use energy more efficiently, put people to work and create business opportunities for others. They are prime examples of how Recovery Act funding can be used to supplement energy-relate efforts already underway. Last July, Governor Rendell signed into law the $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund to provide loans, grants and tax credits for energy efficiency and conservation projects for homes and small businesses.

"Diversity is the key," said Governor Rendell. "The money will be used to fund various projects such as heating and cooling, wind, solar, biogas and green building development. The more diverse we become in attempting to meet our future energy needs, the less reliant we will be upon foreign sources, and less likely to suffer the effects of energy-related price volatility.

"It usually takes a combination of funding sources to make these projects happen. The federal Recovery Act money cannot foot the bill by itself. But it certainly can help. Opportunities now exist for forward-thinking individuals to leverage private investments with the available federal funding and produce projects that generate clean, renewable energy, use less of it, create new, sustainable jobs and save money."

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