April 14, 2009 By Elaine Rundle
The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) has distributed $3.8 million from the stimulus package to five projects that it expects will create 155 jobs and attract an additional $19 million from private sources, said the state's acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger in a news release.
The $3.8 million in grants will be distributed as follows:
o $1 million for the Bridge Business Center LP in Bucks County to install an advanced energy system in a 50,000-square-foot laboratory renovation that will enable it to recycle waste heat from its operations and meet its energy needs. The company is investing $1.6 million on top of the state's grant.
o $650,000 for roofing manufacturer Carlisle SynTech in Cumberland County to install a 200 KW solar system. The company aims to develop an integrated solar roofing product that can be marketed to large commercial and industrial customers, and is investing $650,000 itself in the project.
o $840,000 for Philadelphia's Sysco Food Services to construct a 190,000-square-foot expansion of its distribution center and warehouse. The PEDA funding will make the expansion greener and more energy efficient by using energy conservation measures and tools that utilize the sun's power. Sysco is matching the $840,000.
o $1 million for the Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center in Lycoming County to help install a new 2 megawatt cogeneration system that will generate electricity and capture and reuse waste heat to provide heat and hot water for the hospital. The hospital is matching PEDA's investment with a $1.7 million investment.
o $281,000 for Campus Square Partners in Dauphin County to install a 50.5 KW solar photovoltaic system on its 70,000-square-foot building, which will help the building qualify for silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The redevelopment will cost $13 million, and PEDA's funding will go toward solar installation and equipment.
The PEDA has $21 million in grants available, which includes $9 million in state funds; $10 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; and $2 million to aid municipalities, local government authorities and first responders in the Duquesne Light Company's electric service territory.
Hanger said grants of up to $1.5 million are available for green initiatives like solar, wind, waste recovery and alternative fuels for transportation. Applications are due May 29.
"This is the right time for Pennsylvania to make needed investments in our energy future and support projects that put our people to work in good, green collar jobs," Hanger said. "The federal stimulus package has nearly doubled the funds available to help us develop new renewable energy technologies and support projects that will reduce our energy consumption, lower energy bills and speed up our economic recovery."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.