Meet Pennsylvania's Newest Millionaires, They're Into Renewables

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 5:18 PM CDT
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Meet Pennsylvania's Newest Millionaires, They're Into Renewables

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HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2008 (ENS) - The School District of Philadelphia has been approved for $1 million to buy a geothermal heat pump HVAC system for use in an energy-efficient, green high school. The system will reduce energy costs by 40 percent, or more than $50,000 a year. The project is expected to create 30 permanent full-time jobs and 100 temporary jobs, and use of the system will avoid pollutants that form smog, and 160 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The 100 year old knit fabric manufacturer Fessler USA based in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania will receive $1 million to complete a solar photovoltaic installation. The project will generate 667,000 kWh per year of electricity and avoid air pollution from traditional power plants, including 506 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

One million dollars goes to Church & Dwight Company, makers of Arm & Hammer products, to provide energy-efficient components for a new 1.1 million square foot manufacturing, warehouse and office space designed to meet LEED standards.

The laundry detergent manufacturing complex, in Jackson Township, 100 miles from Philadelphia, is designed to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent, and reduce solid waste generation, water consumption and industrial effluent by 50 percent. The project will create approximately 300 jobs as it also reduces carbon dioxide by 159 tons annually.

American Refining Biochemical of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania will receive $1 million to construct a facility that will process up to 180,000 tons of biomass per year into more than 60,000 tons of a coal-like fuel.

Plextronics Inc. based in Pittsburgh will get $1 million to establish a organic photovoltaic module process development line that will allow the company to reduce manufacturing costs of the company's printed electronics. Plextronics has a new contract to manufacture flexible and light-weight printed electronics for the United States Military, including flexible solar panels for tent tops, solar-powered foldable blankets and helmet-mounted panels, printed lighting, flexible displays and printed circuitry.

And there goes five of the $12 million that Governor Ed Rendell Friday announced his administration would invest in alternative clean energy projects that will create at least 1,200 full-time and part-time jobs and attract nearly $118 million in private investment into the state.

"We are investing in Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that are committed to the development of clean-burning home-grown fuels and renewable energy sources," said Governor Rendell of the projects approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

Each of the other projects that were approved for amounts less than $1 million is unique in its own way - from LED lighting panels to wood pellets for stoves, from conversion of waste vegetable oil to biodiesel, to a solar system to dewater iron oxide from mine drainage to make EnvironOxide, a green construction product.

"The investment in innovative technologies and energy efficiency will help drive energy costs down, provide affordable energy, create good-paying, green jobs in communities throughout the state and reduce our dependence on foreign fuel," the governor said.

In total, the projects will avoid emissions from fossil fueled power plants, including more than 310,000 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, as well as 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 430 tons of nitrogen oxides - pollutants that combine to form ground-level ozone and smog, the equivalent to removing 55,000 cars from the road.

{Photo: Close-up of Plextronics' organic solar cell}

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

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