John Sider, deputy secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development (DECD) told local business executives and economic development professionals that the commonwealth has new resources to invest in businesses and communities. This funding is expected to create thousands of jobs and drive Pennsylvania's new energy economy.
Sider announced the availability of funds from the Alternative Energy Investment Fund and the Alternative Fuels Investment Fund at a session co-hosted by TECHQuest PA, an organization of professionals dedicated to deploying advanced technologies in state communities.
The $650 million Alternative Energy Investment Fund and the nearly $16 million Alternative Fuels Investment Fund include $237.5 million specifically targeted toward helping consumers conserve electricity and manage higher energy prices, and $428.4 million to spur the development of alternative energy resources. The state's investment is expected to leverage as much as $3.5 billion in private investment and create at least 13,000 new green-collar jobs.
‘Many people believe renewable energy will be to the 21st century what biomedical research and information technology was to the 20th century,’ says Sider. ‘It's important that we make this investment now so Pennsylvania doesn't miss out.’
The outlay of the money is directed by the Commonwealth Financing Authority. It includes $25 million available through the Renewable Energy Program, which will provide loans and grants to eligible businesses, not-for-profit entities, economic development organizations and political subdivisions for wind and geothermal projects.
In addition, Sider says the four regional Ben Franklin Technology Partners, which identify and support promising ventures with technical assistance and capital, will receive $40 million to make energy-related investments in early-stage activities, including management support, commercialization of research, incubator support services and company investment.