Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

Solar Looks For A Sunny Outlook In Pennsylvania

SolarCity Corp., the nation’s largest rooftop photovoltaic developer, is hoping a new day is dawning for solar in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The San Mateo, Calif., company announced Thursday a bundle of new financing options aimed at customers in the Peco Energy Co. service territory. SolarCity and its competitors typically install their systems on customers’ roofs for no money down.

The campaign is aimed at reversing the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania solar market, which went into hibernation after 2011, when federal and state incentives dwindled.

“We have a few hundred customers in Pennsylvania, but it’s been slow to develop over time,” said Leon Keshishian, SolarCity’s regional vice president.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150313_Solar_looks_for_a_sunny_outlook_in_Pa_.html#lSQXTxsBwMKzL3DW.99

Solar Energy To Light Up Wilkes-Barre Township Shopping Center

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania h...

English: Map of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania highlighting Wilkes-Barre Township (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EDWARDSVILLE, PA — After successfully using solar energy at the Gateway Shopping Center, Joe Amato Properties is number crunching on the feasibility to install solar panels at the East End Centre, Wilkes-Barre Township.

Three years ago, the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville made a groundbreaking move, becoming the first area shopping plaza to install solar panels to light all common areas such as parking lots, lights under canopies and an office space.

Liana Kissinger, property manager for Joe Amato Properties, and A.J. Bittner, president with Keystone Energy Solar Services, Wyoming, confirmed they are working together again with the East End Centre under consideration for a similar installation.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/business/50441894/Solar-energy-to-light-up-East-End-Centre

MCCC Wind Turbines Now Part Of Pottstown Landscape

Wind Ribbon Cutting

Wind Ribbon: Pictured cutting the ribbon during Montgomery County Community College’s wind turbine dedication on April 21 are (from left) MCCC Trustees Andrew Cantor and Ed Mullin, MCCC Trustee Chairman Michael D’Aniello, Pottstown Borough Mayor Sharon Thomas, MCCC President Dr. Karen A. Stout, MCCC West Campus Vice President Dr. Steady Moono, Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney, and Pa. Representative Mark Painter. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Pottstown, Pa—Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) cut a symbolic green ribbon on April 21 to dedicate four brand new wind turbines at its West Campus in Pottstown.

Pa. Rep. Mark Painter, Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney and Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas joined College President Dr. Karen A. Stout and members of MCCC’s Board of Trustees in cutting the ceremonial ribbon. 

The 25-foot vertical axis wind turbines were recently installed outside MCCC’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center at 140 College Drive, adjacent to Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill River. While the turbines won’t power major facilities on campus, the demo project will provide real-life teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty.

Each wind turbine produces 1,000 watts of energy, for a combined 4,000 watts, enough energy to power the LED lighting in the Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center parking lot. The lightweight carbon fiber and fiberglass blades have a cut-in speed of 7.83 miles per hour, meaning that winds must be at least eight miles per hour to generate usable electricity.

While the turbines may look big in stature, they are quiet to operate. Each turbine produces about as much noise as a desktop computer—quieter than most air conditioning units. The turbines, which are similar to those found at Lincoln Financial Park in Philadelphia, are endorsed by the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the National Audubon Society, and by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Wind Turbines vertical

Wind Turbine Vertical: Four, 25-foot wind turbines now stand outside of Montgomery County Community College’s Schuylkill Riverfront Academic & Heritage Center. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

The new wind turbines are part of the College’s Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc., which has enabled MCCC to implement a series of self-funding energy conservation projects. Collectively, these projects will result in 19 percent energy savings—and more than $6 million in cost savings—over the next 15 years.

Other conservation initiatives include converting several buildings from propane to natural gas; retrofitting lighting with energy-efficient units; weatherizing buildings; installing water-conservation commodes; improving heating and cooling units; upgrading building automation and energy management system; and incorporating renewable energy sources—like solar panels at MCCC’s Central Campus, and now wind turbines at MCCC’s West Campus in Pottstown.

To learn more about MCCC’s Sustainability Initiative, visit http://www.mc3green.wordpress.com.

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Pittsburgh Solar Tour To Show Local Applications Of Solar Power

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roger Westman can easily tell when his solar panels are working. On a sunny day, his electric meter runs backward. But his rain garden? To see how it does the job, he braved a couple of downpours last fall.

“There’s good ol’ me, standing out there with an umbrella,” he said, laughing.

So, what was the verdict?

“It worked marvelously. It never overflowed, and in a half-hour to an hour it completely drained.”

Sustainable rain or shine, the house in Point Breeze that he shares with William Stevens is one of 23 stops on the Pittsburgh Solar Tour, which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Most are homes with solar water heaters or photovoltaic panels like the 6.9-kilowatt solar array on the roof of Mr. Westman and Mr. Stevens’ house. But the free tour organized by PennFuture will also include institutions that have gone solar, electric bicycles that tour-goers can try, and a tractor whose horsepower comes from the sun.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/home/pittsburgh-solar-tour-to-show-local-applications-of-solar-power-707245/#ixzz2hWWiGLFY

West Penn Power Parent To Close 2 Coal-Fired Plants In Western Pennsylvania

FirstEnergy Corp., the Ohio-based parent of West Penn Power, said it will shut down two coal-fired plants in Western Pennsylvania in the next three months.

The two facilities — Hatfield’s Ferry Power Station in Masontown and Mitchell Power Station in Courtney — represent more than 2 gigawatts of generating capacity, about 10 percent of the company’s total.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/west-penn-power-parent-to-close-2-coal-fired-plants-in-western-pennsylvania-694789/#ixzz2YZHM0Q6W

Pennsylvania’s Largest Solar Farm Taking Shape In East DrumoreTownship

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The former Gerald Kreider poultry farm in southern Lancaster County has taken on a new shine.

About 8,000 panels of glasslike crystalline silica may now be seen glinting in the sun as what will be Pennsylvania’s largest solar farm takes shape in East Drumore Township, just south of Buck.

By the time the field of solar panels begins producing electricity sometime this fall, 20,702 panels will be in place, each about 3 feet by 5 feet, covering some 30 acres.

Construction on the Keystone Solar Project began about six weeks ago, following 18 months of planning and marketing of the “green” electricity to be produced.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/701930_Pennsylvania-s-largest-solar-farm-taking-shape-in-East-DrumoreTownship.html#ixzz22Lgok9Np

Construction Begins On 70-Megawatt Wind Farm In Northern Lycoming County

English: The , also known as the Green Mountai...

Image via Wikipedia

WILLIAMSPORT, PA — Seven years after the project was announced, a subsidiary of Duke Energy has started construction on a 70 megawatt wind farm on Laurel Hill Ridge off Route 14 in northern Lycoming County.
    
Half the pads for the 30 turbines have been poured, and Laurel Hill Wind Energy of Rutland, Vt., anticipates the more than $150 million project will be in production by late summer, spokesman Robert Charleboif said Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/01/construction_begins_on_70-mega.html

More Solar Projects Funded By Pennsylvania

I recently posted an article about a solar project in Allentown that received grant money from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Here are three more entities that received state grants for solar energy projects. 

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare LP is receiving $1,000,000 toward the construction of a 3-megawatt rooftop array at their Manchester Township, York County regional distribution center.  The company is using this technology to cut down on energy costs and have a more energy-efficient network of facilities.

Morningstar Marketplace in Jackson Township, York County will receive $733,200 toward a 926-kilowatt ground-mounted array.

Blue Renewable Energy in Adams County will receive $457,500 toward a 366-kilowatt solar system at Gettysburg College.

Just sayin…. there is money out there for all kinds of projects.  Even in this economy!

Today’s Question…Why are people still driving giant gas guzzling cars??

As I made my way down Grace Street a few minutes ago, a mini van was taking their half out of the middle of the road and more.  I am always amazed that people still drive these jumbo vehicles that waste gas and more often than not, they can’t drive  because it’s too big.  Parking must be a bee.