Pennsylvania Joins States Pushing Greener Power

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be generating 18% of its energy from cleaner sources by 2020, according to legislation signed in December by Gov. Edward G. Rendell. With this move, Pennsylvania joins a growing list of states backing the development of more environmentally friendly energy resources.

03/01/2005


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be generating 18% of its energy from cleaner sources by 2020, according to legislation signed in December by Gov. Edward G. Rendell . With this move, Pennsylvania joins a growing list of states backing the development of more environmentally friendly energy resources.

The new Pennsylvania law defines a two-tier strategy which requires 8% of retail electricity to come from traditional renewable sources, such as solar and wind generation. The second tier calls for larger-scale clean sources, including hydropower, coal gasification and municipal solid waste.

One example of a Tier II resource is the Champion Refuse Pile , containing 37.5 million tons of waste coal, which will be used to power a new 300-MW generating station. Over its projected 25-year lifespan, it is anticipated to generate $2.1 billion in revenue while returning the site to a developable state.

A recent report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory details growing state-level interest in such efforts.

According to "The Impact of State Clean Energy Fund Support for Utility-Scale Renewable Energy," nine states have committed more than $345 million to support 163 large-scale renewable-energy products capable of producing more than 1 MW of electricity. Fourteen states have established clean-energy funds, backed by a surcharge on retail electricity rates, with an aggregate total of more than $300 million annually.

Many of these states also have been active in promoting smaller-scale distributed-generation installations, the report's authors note.

Gathering the funds has apparently been easier than spending them. Only 707 MW of state-supported capacity has been constructed, out of a total commitment of 2,288 MW, resulting in 1,500 MW still in the development pipeline.





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