Four States Award $61 Million for Clean Energy Projects
October 18, 2006
Four states have awarded nearly $61 million over the past month and a half to support clean energy projects. The states include California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, and the funds are supporting a wide range of energy technologies. On the West Coast, for instance, the California Energy Commission (CEC) loaned $2.2 million to the City of San Diego on October 11th to make energy efficiency improvements to a variety of municipal buildings and to install five 30-kilowatt solar power systems. The CEC also awarded 10 research grants for nearly $950,000 in late September to advance wind turbines, solar cells, landfill gas systems, building cooling devices, and energy storage systems. See the October 11th and September 28th press releases from the CEC.
Industrial states are also pursuing clean energy projects. Michigan is known for auto manufacturing, so its no surprise that when its 21st Century Jobs Fund awarded more than $25 million to clean energy technologies, many of the projects were related to vehicles. The fund is helping to develop technologies for biodiesel production, fuel cells, lithium batteries, ethanol-fueled engines, advanced materials for vehicles, and advanced manufacturing technologies. In addition, about $3 million of the funds will go toward a statewide support network for alternative energy technologies. And Pennsylvania is a major steel producer, but it has awarded nearly $11.8 million to a variety of clean energy projects in recent weeks, including the September award of about $276,000 to 51 small businesses to upgrade their energy efficiency, install solar power systems, or install heat or power units in long-haul trucks. In October, two state programs awarded a total of $11.5 million to 43 projects involving industrial energy efficiency, energy efficient homes, geothermal heat pumps, solar energy, fuel cells, wind power, biofuels, biomass energy, and even a high-efficiency locomotive. See the September 6th and October 16th press releases from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; the Web page for Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund; and the September 7th, October 5th, and October 11th press releases from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Perhaps the most unique effort is a $21 million demonstration project in western New York to convert hydropower into hydrogen. The project will draw 700 kilowatts of power from the Niagara Power Project, using electrolyzers to break down water into its elemental components, hydrogen and oxygen. When completed in 2007, the project will feature two hydrogen generating stations producing up to 120 kilograms per day of hydrogen. The facility will also include hydrogen storage and fueling facilities. The project is based on an engineering feasibility study performed by the New York Power Authority and the Electric Power Research Institute. See the press release from New York Governor George Pataki.