Pennsylvania OKs 8 Renewable Energy Projects

Pennsylvania will triple its solar capacity with nearly $23 million in new grants and loans for companies throughout the state that are embracing the renewable energy industry.

"From a 134-acre solar park in the northeast to hot water heaters for Pittsburgh firehouses, Pennsylvania is investing in its energy future," said Gov. Edward G. Rendell. Eight projects were approved recently for funding by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. The grants and loans are funded by the solar energy program, a key component of the $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund. The approved projects and their funding are as follows:

  • The city of Pittsburgh, $47,000 grant toward a $94,000 project to install solar hot water heaters at five firehouses. City employees also will be trained on installation and the technology involved so they can help residents and businesses undertake similar projects.
  • Conshohocken-based Solar Park LLC, a $5.5 million grant for a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Nesquehoning Borough, part of a $78 million PA Solar Park that is being developed on 134 acres in Carbon County by Green Energy Capital Partners. The facility will generate enough electricity to power about 1,450 homes.
  • Merck & Co., a $1 million grant toward an $11.3 million, 1.6-megawatt solar photovoltaic system that will generate about 22 percent of the electricity for its Upper Gwynedd Township facility.
  • Solar Roofing Systems Inc., or SRS Energy, a $430,000 grant for the acquisition of $7.3 million in equipment to manufacture solar roofing tile at a manufacturing facility in Lansdale.
  • Brown's Super Store Inc., a $1 million grant for a $5.1 million project to install a 695-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system on its ShopRite Supermarket in Cheltenham, which will greatly reduce electricity costs and help to preserve 283 jobs.
  • Orwigsburg-based Meck Energy Partners LLC, a $1.6 million loan for a $5.4 million solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the H.H. Fessler Knitting Co. Inc's Deer Lake facility in West Brunswick Township.
  • Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland, a $13.1 million loan on behalf of Solar Power Industries Inc. SPI is making a $40 million purchase of solar photovoltaic manufacturing equipment to build a 100-megawatt photovoltaic module manufacturing facility in Pleasant Township. SPI anticipates creating 375 new jobs and retaining 120 over the next three years.
  • Leg Up Farm Inc., a $4,500 grant toward a solar hot water system in its East Manchester Township developmental and therapeutic center for children with special needs.

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