Pennsylvania Commits $650M for Alternative Energy Package

July 09, 2008

This afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell signed a $650 million package of tax incentives, loans and grants to spur the development and use of clean energy technologies within the state. The governor believes that the bill will help the state leverage as much as $3.5 billion in private investment and help the state build a stronger clean energy industry. Highlights from the Alternative Energy Investment Act include:

  • $165 million for loans and grants that support alternative and renewable energy projects conducted by businesses and local governments;
  • $100 million for loans, grants and rebates covering up to 35 percent of individual and small business costs incurred by installing solar energy systems;
  • $40 million for an alternative energy development program under the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, which will support early-stage research, incubator support services and other business assistance;
  • $20 million for wind and geothermal energy projects;
  • $80 million for grants and loans related to solar energy production projects; and,
  • $50 million for an alternative energy production tax credit equal to 15 percent of the cost of eligible energy production projects.

Another $150 million will be used to establish a consumer energy program for individuals and small businesses to support energy efficiency projects. The program will cover 25 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing energy conservation tools, support a $5 million energy efficiency loan fund, and offer up to $1 million per year in tax credits for clean energy projects.

A separate bill commits the state to provide $5.3 million each year through 2011 to increase the production of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel. In an economic development twist on traditional renewable fuel standards, the legislation will require gasoline sold in the state to be 10 percent Pennsylvania-produced cellulosic ethanol. This requirement will only become applicable once annual cellulosic ethanol production in the state hits 350 million gallons.

In a press release accompanying the announcements, Governor Rendell committed to working through the summer to reach an agreement with the legislature on other measures that will revamp the state’s energy policies. This would include several measures dropped in the final version of the bill pertaining to electricity conservation and rates.

Read the test of the Alternative Energy Investment Act (Special Session HB 1) at: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=PDF
&sessYr=2007&sessInd=1&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=0001&pn=0086

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