State and Utility Clean Energy Programs Chalk Up Successes

May 19, 2004

From the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, states and utilities are helping to cut energy use while advancing renewable energy.

In New York, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) released a five-year report on its Clean Energy Initiative in April, noting that the initiative has saved more than 624,000 megawatt-hours of electricity while cutting Long Island's peak power demand by 110.5 megawatts. The initiative has helped to install 138 geothermal heating and cooling systems, more than 2.7 megawatts of solar power, and 40 fuel cell installations. See the LIPA press release.

Nearby, Pennsylania's Energy Harvest grant program is proving a bit too popular, as last year's $5-million program was greeted with 139 applications requesting a total of $45 million in funding. Another $5 million is available this year, but Governor Rendell hopes to boost funding to $80 million, spread over the next four years. Applications for this year's funds are due on July 23rd. See the Pennsylvania Energy Harvest announcement and the press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

In the nation's heartland, Wisconsin's Focus on Energy has helped install more than 70 solar, wind, and biomass energy systems that will generate more than 4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and nearly 27,000 therms of energy. The partnership has also helped nearly 3,000 Wisconsin businesses save a total of nearly $15 million in energy costs since July 2001. See the Focus on Energy press releases from March 4th and April 22nd.

And in the Pacific Northwest, DOE's Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) takes a different approach, offering a discount to the utilities that buy its power if they implement energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. As a result, the program has yielded an average energy savings of about 37.4 megawatts, and has resulted in nearly $14 million in investments in renewable energy projects over the past three years. See BPA's interim report on its Conservation and Renewables Discount Program (PDF 85 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.