Pennsylvania increases hydro purchases in “green” program

Gov. Edward Rendell announced that Pennsylvania state government will buy 200,000 megawatt-hours a year of renewable energy, with 58 percent of the �green� power to come from hydroelectricity.

The $550,000 purchase, from renewables marketer Community Energy Inc., will boost state government’s renewables purchasing to 20 percent of its demand — up from 10 percent in its previous agreement with CEI. The modified contract calls for 58 percent of the electricity to be generated from hydropower sources and 42 percent from wind power sources.

The enhanced purchase makes Pennsylvania the largest state purchaser of green electricity, officials said Aug. 29.

The 200,000 MWh of renewable energy represents avoided emissions of 951 tons of sulfur dioxide, 271 tons of nitrogen oxide, and 123,410 tons of carbon dioxide.

CEI is a subsidiary of Spanish utility Iberdrola, which the state described as the largest owner and operator of renewable energy facilities in the world.

After taking office in 2003, Rendell doubled the state’s commitment to its Green Power Program, requiring state facilities to meet 10 percent of their energy needs through renewables. The state also offers grants for �low-impact� hydropower and other clean energy projects. (HNN 6/7/06)

The governor also supported Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which ensures that 18 percent of all retail energy generated by 2020 comes from clean, efficient, and advanced resources. The program includes incentives for conventional hydropower of all sizes and for pumped-storage hydro.

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