Pennsylvania has found a friend with clean energy through Governor Edward G. Rendell.

The state of Pennsylvania is aggressively promoting clean energy and energy efficiency. The latest initiative was a five-kilowatt solar facility in Allegheny County which was partially funded by a $64,000 Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grant. The facility is located at the Indiana Township Municipal Plaza, and is expected to save the township more than $1000 annually in electricity costs. Middle Allegheny Streams Alliance, Inc. and Solar Power Industries established a partnership in order to make the solar facility a reality.

This solar facility is not only beneficial to the residents of Indiana Township; it is also very beneficial to the environment. When the solar unit is functioning at peak capacity it will be able to supply a portion of the plaza’s electric demand, which is where the $1000 annual savings is generated. The solar facility will also help air quality by evading approximately 200 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 204 pounds of nitrogen oxide, 74,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 10 pounds of particulate matter each year.

The solar facility at the Indiana Township Municipal Plaza is just one of the many ways that Pennsylvania is working to become a national leader in advanced energy technologies, particularly cleaner, renewable energy sources. In 2003, Pennsylvania established Energy Harvest, a program which funds projects supporting the development and implementation of renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, energy efficiency, coal-bed methane, and waste coal.

Pennsylvania is on the cutting edge when it comes to alternative energy portfolio standards. In the next 15 years, Pennsylvania will produce 18 percent of all energy by using clean, efficient sources. Numerous research projects are currently underway in Pennsylvania to develop new technologies for clean energy and alternative energy which are expected to generate job opportunities as well as revenue. Governor Rendell also recently signed an executive order known as “Energy Management and Conservation in the commonwealth,” which will decrease energy consumption and energy costs in state facilities while also promoting a cleaner environment.

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