Pennsylvania funds biomass, biogas projects

By Anna Austin | July 12, 2011

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has awarded $4.2 million in grants and loans to 10 alternative energy projects in six counties, four of which are biomass and biogas projects.

The funding initiative is an expansion of the state’s goal to help businesses meet water quality requirements and also reduce costs, recycle waste and help Pennsylvania meet the Chesapeake Bay nutrient requirement.

In Adams County in south central Pennsylvania, Twin Springs Fruit Farm was awarded $326,273 in grants and loans for the purchase and installation of a new biomass boiler. The boiler will be fueled by 700 tons per year of wood waste and will supply 100 percent of the thermal heat needed by the farm's greenhouse. The DCED funding will cover about half of the total project cost, which is $652,546.

Three dairy farms in Cumberland, Juniata and Lancaster counties were awarded grants and loans to cover the costs of buying and installing anaerobic digesters at the farms, all of which will use manure and food waste as feedstock. Hard Earned Acres Inc. in Cumberland County will receive $663,419 in grants and loans for its $1.3 million project, Reinford-Freymoyer LLC in Juniata County will receive $698,585 for its $1.3 million project, and Yippee Farms in Lancaster County will receive $1.1 million to help fund its $2.2 million project.

The grants and loans are part of Pennsylvania’s Alternative and Clean Energy Program and Renewable Energy Program, which provide financial assistance in the form of grant and loan funds for alternative, clean and renewable energy projects in the commonwealth. The programs are administered jointly by the DCED and the Department of Environmental Protection, under the direction of the Commonwealth Financing Authority.