Pennsylvania Offers $31 Million in Clean Energy Grant
During a tour of a landfill gas-to-energy project in Somerset County, Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty announced that the state will make $31.4 million in grants available to help businesses and organizations develop clean energy and alternative fuel projects.
The project by Johnstown Regional Energy, LLC, was partly financed by a previous $250,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. It captures gas from two landfills and processes it into pipeline-quality methane gas.
The grants will be funded through Pennsylvania’s three alternative energy development programs–up to $16.4 million through the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants (AFIG) program, including $10 million through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, and $5 million in Energy Harvest grants.
By emphasizing investments in ethanol and biodiesel, AFIG supports the PennSecurity Fuels Initiative within Governor Ed Rendell’s Energy Independence Strategy.
PennSecurity will require the use of one billion gallons of domestically produced clean and renewable fuels, approximately the amount of fuel Pennsylvanians are expected to buy from the Persian Gulf in 2017. Instead of sending billions of dollars overseas each year, more of these funds will be spent purchasing fuel from Pennsylvania companies and farmers.
AFIG funding awarded over the last two years will result in the use of 1.5 million gallons of B20, a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, as well as the production of 33 million gallons of biodiesel through 2008.
Studies show that alternative fuels are cleaner than conventional fuels because they emit little to no particulate matter, less carbon monoxide, and fewer of the pollutants that contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog.
Grant funds awarded through AFIG can cover the added cost to purchase E85 ethanol-blended fuels or biodiesel and to install related refueling equipment. Pennsylvania producers of ethanol or biodiesel are eligible for a reimbursement of 5 cents a gallon for up to 12.5 million gallons in a 12-month period.