Pennsylvania funding to go to combined heat and power, solar projects

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced May 14 that the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved funding to support seven new Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) projects with the investment of more than $8.12 million in grants and $1.74 million in loans.

“The projects approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority will help to improve the environment and safeguard the state’s future,” Wolf said. “Investing in alternative and clean energy technologies helps to reinvigorate Pennsylvania’s path to success as an energy leader.”

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) approved three Alternative Energy Production projects, two High Performance Building projects and two Compressed Natural Gas projects through the state’s Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) program. The investments in Allegheny, Centre, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lycoming, Philadelphia and Wyoming counties are projected to result in nearly $93 million in additional economic investments.

The Alternative Energy Production Projects are:

  • Allegheny County – Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit will receive a $2 million grant for the installation of a combined heat and power system for the University’s Energy Center, which generates electricity and uses waste heat for heating buildings on campus. The existing gas-fired boilers will be replaced with lower-emission, higher-efficiency boilers, increasing capacity. The project is anticipated to save 18,256 million cubic feet of natural gas annually and provide $82,154 in annual cost savings. The total project cost is estimated at $11,320,000.
  • Dauphin County – Pennsylvania State University will receive a $940,000 grant for the purchase and installation of a 6-MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center located in Derry Township. The CHP plant will generate 38,858,291 kWh onsite, offsetting 29% of the electricity purchased from electric providers. In addition, the CHP plant will offset 228,485 MMBTu of thermal output from the existing steam boiler, a 44% savings. The total project cost is estimated at $18,991,278.
  • Lancaster County – The Borough of Columbia will receive a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant for the installation of an anaerobic digester for use at its wastewater treatment plant. Using hauled septage and food wastes, the system provides a beneficial reuse and will generate biogas. The biogas generated will be used to fire a CHP unit, which is used to operate the facility and generate electricity to power the equipment within the treatment plant. The new system will reduce the facility’s current electrical usage by 3,983 kWh. The total project cost is estimated at $3,499,942.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Projects:

  • Philadelphia County – Clean Energy will receive a $519,280 grant for the construction of a public access CNG fueling station located off Highway-1 in Philadelphia. The CNG fueling station will have a capacity to dispense 3,331,463 GCE of natural gas per year to both light and heavy duty vehicles from distribution centers and the port. The total project cost is estimated at $1,298,201.
  • Wyoming County – Southwestern Energy NGV Services LLC will receive a $725,503 grant for the construction of a CNG filling station to be located in Tunkhannock Township. In addition to 24/7 access, Mountain Energy’s fleet will be Southwestern Energy’s anchor vendor. The total project cost is estimated at $1,813,759.

High Performance Building Projects:

  • Centre County – State College Area School District will receive a $1,935,393 grant for the renovation of the State College Area North High School into a high performance building for their Delta Program School, which is currently located off site. The new, renovated 161,275-square-foot facility will include a high efficiency HVAC system, energy efficient windows, improved roof and wall insulation, LED lighting and a 83-kW solar photovoltaic system. The project is anticipated to reduce energy consumption by 4,928 MMBtu annually. The total project cost is estimated at $19,353,928.
  • Lycoming County – Montoursville Area School District will receive a $2 million grant for the renovation of the Montoursville Area High School into a high performance building. The renovated 205,000-square-foot high school will include a high efficiency HVAC system, energy efficient windows, improved roof and wall insulation, LED lighting and a 83-kW solar photovoltaic system. The project is anticipated to reduce energy consumption by 14,408 MMBtu annually. The total project cost is estimated at $36,463,952.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.