Pennsylvania/EZ Policies

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EZ Policies for Pennsylvania

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Policy Place Policy Type Active Implementing Sector Summary
Air Quality Regulations (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Air Quality Program regulates more than 70,000 inspection points such as pollution control devices, boilers, fuels and paints at 3,650 facilities that produce air pollution in Pennsylvania. The program administers the rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and the Pennsylvania Code. The Code has specific regulations for coal-fired combustion units, natural gas, and other potential pollutants.
Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes State/Territory Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), created by S.B. 1030 on November 30, 2004, requires each electric distribution company (EDC) and electric generation supplier (EGS) to retail electric customers in Pennsylvania to supply 18% of its electricity using alternative-energy resources by 2020.* The law initially exempted EDCs (and EGSs operating within an EDC's service territory) from having to comply with the standard during rate freeze and restructuring cost recovery periods. The exemption periods began expiring in 2007, and as of January 1, 2011 none remain in force. Pennsylvania's standard provides for a solar set-aside, mandating a certain percentage of electricity generated by photovoltaics (PV). Pennsylvania's AEPS also includes demand-side management, waste coal, coal-mine methane and coal gasification as eligible technologies.

In 2007 H.B. 1203 provided a more detailed solar schedule, clarified the force majeure clause, confirmed REC property rights for generators, added solar thermal to Tier I, clarified that AEPS credits (Alternative Energy Credits or AECs) cannot have been retired for other purposes, and expanded the definition of customer-generator. Revised rules addressing these changes and other necessary clarifications became effective in November 2008.

Separate from the PUC rule making that took place during 2008, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted H.B. 2200 in October 2008 further amending the RPS. The amendments added specific low-impact hydropower projects as Tier I resources, and also classified pulping and wood manufacturing by-products as either Tier I (in-state facilities) or Tier II (out-of-state facilities) resources. Prior to this, all facilities of this type were defined as Tier II resources. The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is required to increase the Tier I percentage (%) requirements on a quarterly basis to reflect these additions to the Tier I resource classification. The PUC subsequently issued an order describing how this will take place, beginning June 1, 2009 (the beginning of the 2009-2010 compliance year). This magnitude of this adjustment has been tiny, amounting to an average increase of 0.004% to the Tier I compliance requirement during CY 2012.

There are two categories of energy sources under the law, termed "Tiers". The standard calls for utilities to generate 8% of their electricity by using "Tier I" energy sources and 10% using "Tier II" sources by May 31, 2021. Generally, eligible resources must originate within Pennsylvania or within the PJM regional transmission organization (RTO) in order to be counted for compliance. However, out-of-state resources located in the MISO (which also serves a portion of Pennsylvania) may be used in areas served by the MISO. This effectively limits the use of out-of-state MISO based resources to the Pennsylvania Power Co. or EGSs operating within its service territory.

Tier I sources include new and existing facilities which produce electricity using the following sources/technologies: photovoltaic energy, solar-thermal energy, wind, low-impact hydro, geothermal, biomass, biologically-derived methane gas, coal-mine methane and fuel cells.

Tier II sources include (new and existing) waste coal, distributed generation (DG) systems, demand-side management, large-scale hydro, municipal solid waste, wood pulping and manufacturing byproducts, and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) coal technology. (See 73 P.S. § 1648.2 for detailed definitions of eligible alternative-energy sources.) The Technical Reference Manual, first adopted in May 2009 but revised annually, contains a detailed description of how demand-side management will be addressed under the standard. The eligible energy efficiency technologies listed at the top of this page are a selection of specific measured identified in the Technical Reference Manual. Solar thermal technologies that do not produce electricity (e.g., domestic solar water heaters) are considered Tier II demand-side management resources.

The PUC has adopted the following 15-year compliance schedule to implement Pennsylvania's AEPS. The compliance year (CY) for the standard runs from June 1 to May 31 and is followed by a 3-month true-up period. The table below refers to each compliance year according to the year in which it ends (e.g., CY 2008 ran from June 1, 2007 to May 31, 2008). Due to supplier exemptions, CY 2007 did not begin until February 28, 2007. All other compliance years include a full year of time.

Compliance Year (CY) Tier I (including Solar PV)** Tier II Solar PV
CY 2007 1.5% 4.2% 0.0013%
CY 2008 1.5% 4.2% 0.0030%
CY 2009 2.0% 4.2% 0.0063%
CY 2010 2.5% 4.2% 0.0120%
CY 2011 3.0% 6.2% 0.0203%
CY 2012 3.5% 6.2% 0.0325%
CY 2013 4.0% 6.2% 0.0510%
CY 2014 4.5% 6.2% 0.0840%
CY 2015 5.0% 6.2% 0.1440%
CY 2016 5.5% 8.2% 0.2500%
CY 2017 6.0% 8.2% 0.2933%
CY 2018 6.5% 8.2% 0.3400%
CY 2019 7.0% 8.2% 0.3900%
CY 2020 7.5% 8.2% 0.4433%
CY 2021 8.0% 10.0% 0.5000%


Compliance is based on alternative energy credits (AECs). An AEC is equal to a megawatt-hour of qualified generation, and credits are the property of the generator unless expressly transferred. Banking of excess credits is allowed for up to two years, thus an AEC's useful life is three years, the year it was produced and the two subsequent years for which it can be banked. AECs are tracked by the PJM GATS system. Notably, the 2008 rule amendments exempt PV systems of 15 kW or less from a requirement that AEC production be verified by metered data, instead allowing the AEC program administrator to verify system output through alternate means (i.e., an engineering estimate of annual production). All other systems must have AEC production verified by metered data, and the rule has been implemented to only allow such "alternate means" to be used in cases where the system is not equipped with a revenue-grade system production meter.

The law establishes an alternative compliance payment (ACP) of $45 per megawatt-hour for shortfalls in Tier I and Tier II resources. A separate ACP for solar PV is calculated as 200% times the sum of (1) the market value of solar AECs for the reporting period and (2) the levelized value of up-front rebates received by sellers of solar AECs. Monies received through the ACP will be transferred into Pennsylvania's Sustainable Energy Funds and used solely to support alternative-energy projects.

The PUC has determined that electric distribution companies may fully recover "the reasonable and prudently incurred costs of complying" with the AEPS. These include the costs for purchases of alternative energy or alternative energy credits, payments to credit program administrators, and costs levied by RTOs to ensure that alternative resources are reliable. Recoverable costs generally do not include ACPs. The costs will be recovered through an automatic adjustment and are considered to be a cost of generation supply.

The AEPS contains a force majeure clause under which the PUC can make a determination as to whether there are sufficient alternative energy resources in the market for utilities to meet their targets. If the PUC determines that utilities are unable to comply with the standard despite good faith efforts, it may alter the obligation for a given year. The Commission may then require higher obligations in subsequent years to compensate for shortfalls.

Reports summarizing progress and compliance with the standard for 2007 - 2010 are available on the program website.


*Pennsylvania's rural electric cooperatives must offer retail customers a voluntary program of energy efficiency and demand-side management programs to satisfy compliance with the AEPS.

**With the 2008 legislation designating additional Tier I resources and providing for equivalent increases to the Tier I compliance %, the values listed here no longer precisely reflect actual Tier I obligations. As the increases associated with this change will be based on actual generation from the newly designated Tier I resources, it cannot be known precisely in advance how much the values will change for future years. As noted above, the quarterly adjustments averaged 0.004% during CY 2012.
Alternative and Clean Energy State Loan Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Loan Program Yes State/Territory It is important to note that some applicants are only eligible to apply under some aspects of the program. Political subdivisions are only permitted to apply for loans or grants for Clean Energy Projects. Businesses and non-profits may apply for loans for Alternative Energy Production Projects and Clean Energy Projects, but may only apply for grants for Alternative Energy Production Projects and for site preparation for an alternative energy system as a Clean Energy Project.
In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a grant and loan program for alternative energy and clean energy production projects. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). The most recent Program Guidelines were issued in January 2013. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.). 

The program will offer support for alternative energy and clean energy projects in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Under this program, alternative energy production projects and clean energy production projects are governed by distinct sets of definitions and rules. Eligible activities for each type of project are described briefly below (see program rules for more detailed descriptions).

Clean Energy Projects

  • Construction or renovation of a High Performance Building.
  • Site preparation of a business park consisting exclusively of certified High Performance Buildings.
  • Installation of equipment to facilitate or improve energy conservation or energy efficiency (including but not limited to heating, lighting, and cooling equipment). Equipment must be Energy Star rated if applicable.
  • Installation of an alternative energy system which produces energy from sources defined under the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • Replacement or enhancement of an existing energy system that utilizes nonrenewable energy with an energy system that utilizes alternative energy (as described above).
  • Modification of the contract terms of an energy service project by a political subdivision pursuant to a new energy savings contract (ESCO) with a qualified provider under the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) of 1996.

Alternative Energy Production Projects (construction or development of):

  • An alternative energy project which produces energy from sources defined under the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • A facility that manufactures or produces alternative fuels
  • A facility that manufactures or produces products, including component parts that provide alternative energy (as defined above), improve energy efficiency, or conserve energy
  • An alternative energy or alternative fuel R&D facility
  • A project for the development or enhancement of rail transportation systems that deliver alternative fuels or high efficiency locomotives.

Both types of project allow eligible costs associated with the preparation of plans, specifications, studies, and surveys, necessary or incidental to facilitating or developing an eligible project, and costs (up to 3%) associated with administering a grant. The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program (i.e., incentives generally limited to 50% of costs).

Loans Loans are available at a fixed interest rate which varies based on project type. Loans may generally be amortized over a period corresponding to the life of the equipment, not to exceed 25 years, and must be repaid within 10 years. Loans for energy efficiency and energy conservation projects (including geothermal systems) have a 10-year amortization. Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $40,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Failure to create the requisite number of jobs within three years may cause the interest rate to be raised by 3% over the remaining portion of the loan. Loans are also generally limited to $5 million, although higher amounts may be authorized on a case-by-case basis as determined by the DCED.

Grants Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $10,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants are limited to $2 million for other alternative energy, clean energy projects, and high performance building projects; $500,000 for energy savings contracts (ESCOs); and $175,000 for planning and feasibility studies. Grants for green building projects are also limited to 10% of costs (as opposed to the general limit of 50% of costs for other projects).

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Special Session H.B. 1 authorized a total of $165 million for this program. Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.


*While solar energy is in fact eligible under the state AEPS, a specific solar energy program was also authorized as part of the enabling legislation and as a result solar energy projects have been excluded from some other programs created by the same legislation. The program guidelines do not list solar energy as an eligible technology. However, it appears that some solar technologies could qualify if they are incorporated into the broader design of a High Performance Building.
Alternative and Clean Energy State Grant Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Grant Program Yes State/Territory It is important to note that some applicants are only eligible to apply under some aspects of the program. Political subdivisions are only permitted to apply for loans or grants for Clean Energy Projects. Businesses and non-profits may apply for loans for Alternative Energy Production Projects and Clean Energy Projects, but may only apply for grants for Alternative Energy Production Projects and for site preparation for an alternative energy system as a Clean Energy Project.
In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a grant and loan program for alternative energy and clean energy production projects. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). The most recent Program Guidelines were issued in January 2013. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for alternative energy and clean energy projects in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Under this program, alternative energy production projects and clean energy production projects are governed by distinct sets of definitions and rules. Eligible activities for each type of project are described briefly below (see program rules for more detailed descriptions).

Clean Energy Projects

  • Construction or renovation of a High Performance Building.
  • Site preparation of a business park consisting exclusively of certified High Performance Buildings.
  • Installation of equipment to facilitate or improve energy conservation or energy efficiency (including but not limited to heating, lighting, and cooling equipment). Equipment must be Energy Star rated if applicable.
  • Installation of an alternative energy system which produces energy from sources defined under the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • Replacement or enhancement of an existing energy system that utilizes nonrenewable energy with an energy system that utilizes alternative energy (as described above).
  • Modification of the contract terms of an energy service project by a political subdivision pursuant to a new energy savings contract (ESCO) with a qualified provider under the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) of 1996.

Alternative Energy Production Projects (construction or development of):

  • An alternative energy project which produces energy from sources defined under the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • A facility that manufactures or produces alternative fuels
  • A facility that manufactures or produces products, including component parts that provide alternative energy (as defined above), improve energy efficiency, or conserve energy
  • An alternative energy or alternative fuel R&D facility
  • A project for the development or enhancement of rail transportation systems that deliver alternative fuels or high efficiency locomotives.

Both types of project allow eligible costs associated with the preparation of plans, specifications, studies, and surveys, necessary or incidental to facilitating or developing an eligible project, and costs (up to 3%) associated with administering a grant. The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program (i.e., incentives generally limited to 50% of costs).

Loans Loans are available at a fixed interest rate which varies based on project type. Loans may generally be amortized over a period corresponding to the life of the equipment, not to exceed 25 years, and must be repaid within 10 years. Loans for energy efficiency and energy conservation projects (including geothermal systems) have a 10-year amortization. Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $40,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Failure to create the requisite number of jobs within three years may cause the interest rate to be raised by 3% over the remaining portion of the loan. Loans are also generally limited to $5 million, although higher amounts may be authorized on a case-by-case basis as determined by the DCED.

Grants Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $10,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants are limited to $2 million for other alternative energy, clean energy projects, and high performance building projects; $500,000 for energy savings contracts (ESCOs); and $175,000 for planning and feasibility studies. Grants for green building projects are also limited to 10% of costs (as opposed to the general limit of 50% of costs for other projects).

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Special Session H.B. 1 authorized a total of $165 million for this program. Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.


*While solar energy is in fact eligible under the state AEPS, a specific solar energy program was also authorized as part of the enabling legislation and as a result solar energy projects have been excluded from some other programs created by the same legislation. The program guidelines do not list solar energy as an eligible technology. However, it appears that some solar technologies could qualify if they are incorporated into the broader design of a High Performance Building.
Alternative and Clean Energy Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory NOTE: It is important to note that some applicants are only eligible to apply under some aspects of the program. Political subdivisions are only permitted to apply for loans or grants for Clean Energy Projects. Businesses and non-profits may apply for loans for Alternative Energy Production Projects and Clean Energy Projects, but may only apply for grants for Alternative Energy Production Projects and for site preparation for an alternative energy system as a Clean Energy Project.


In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a grant and loan program for alternative energy and clean energy production projects. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). The most recent Program Guidelines were issued in October 2013 available here. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).


The program will offer support for alternative energy and clean energy projects in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Under this program, alternative energy production projects and clean energy production projects are governed by distinct sets of definitions and rules. Eligible activities for each type of project are described briefly below (see program rules for more detailed descriptions).

Clean Energy Projects


  • Construction or renovation of a High Performance Building.
  • Site preparation of a business park consisting exclusively of certified High Performance Buildings.
  • Installation of equipment to facilitate or improve energy conservation or energy efficiency (including but not limited to heating, lighting, and cooling equipment). Equipment must be ENERGY STAR rated if applicable.
  • Installation of an alternative energy system which produces energy from sources defined under the stateAlternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • Replacement or enhancement of an existing energy system that utilizes nonrenewable energy with an energy system that utilizes alternative energy (as described above).
  • Modification of the contract terms of an energy service project by a political subdivision pursuant to a new energy savings contract (ESCO) with a qualified provider under the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) of 1996.

Alternative Energy Production Projects (construction or development of):


  • An alternative energy project which produces energy from sources defined under the state Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), including wind, geothermal, biomass, waste energy, hydroelectric, fuel cells, biologically derived methane gas, fuel cells, and biomass; but not including solar energy.*
  • A facility that manufactures or produces alternative fuels
  • A facility that manufactures or produces products, including component parts that provide alternative energy (as defined above), improve energy efficiency, or conserve energy
  • An alternative energy or alternative fuel R&D facility
  • A project for the development or enhancement of rail transportation systems that deliver alternative fuels or high efficiency locomotives.
  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueling stations.

Both types of project allow eligible costs associated with the preparation of plans, specifications, studies, and surveys, necessary or incidental to facilitating or developing an eligible project, and costs (up to 2%) associated with administering a grant. The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program (i.e., incentives generally limited to 50% of costs).

Loans

Loans are available at interest rate caculated 250 basis point higher than the 10 year treasury bond (set at 5% for 2014). Loans may generally be amortized over a period corresponding to the life of the equipment, not to exceed 25 years, and must be repaid within 10 years. Loans for energy efficiency and energy conservation projects (including geothermal systems) have a 10-year amortization. Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $40,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Failure to create the requisite number of jobs within three years may cause the interest rate to be raised by 3% over the remaining portion of the loan. Loans are also generally limited to $5 million, although higher amounts may be authorized on a case-by-case basis as determined by the DCED.


Grants


Maximum amount of grant for any alternative energy project or clean energy project is capped at $2 million or 30% of the project cost. Public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) can get a grant up to 40% of the project costs, while a private CNG or LNG facility can get a grant up to 25% of the cost. Grant for Home Performance Building is capped at 10% of the cost; $500,000 for energy saving contracts (ESCOs); and $175,000 for planning and feasibility studies. Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $10,000 for every job created within three years of grant approval. Total maximum amount of financial incentive including combination of loans and grants for any project is limited to 50% of the total project cost.


Loan Guarantees


Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Special Session H.B. 1 authorized a total of $165 million for this program. Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.


*While solar energy is in fact eligible under the state AEPS, a specific solar energy program was also authorized as part of the enabling legislation and as a result solar energy projects have been excluded from some other programs created by the same legislation. The program guidelines do not list solar energy as an eligible technology. However, it appears that some solar technologies could qualify if they are incorporated into the broader design of a High Performance Building.
Ben Franklin Partners Challenge Grant Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Grant Program No State/Province The Ben Franklin Technology Partner's Challenge Grant and Alternative Energy Development Program (AEDP) provides funds to businesses through the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners for access to capital, business expertise, technology commercialization services to advance the development of new technologies and for the generation, conservation, and transportation of alternative and clean energy. The BFTDA Centers receive funding to award to entrepreneurs, start-up and early-stage companies, established companies, investors, higher education and research and BFTP alumni companies. Grants may be used for direct company investments, business and technical support, technology and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and administrative expenses. For further information and program requirements, please see the guidelines: BenFranklinTechnologyPartners_Guidelines_10-2.pdf.
Chesapeake Bay Preservation Programs (Multiple States) Maryland
Pennsylvania
Virginia
Washington D.C.
Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. The Chesapeake Bay Program partners include the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; the Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; and participating citizen advisory groups.

The Chesapeake Executive Council was established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983. Under the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement, membership changed from cabinet secretaries to the governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the mayor of the District of Columbia; and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a legislative body serving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The Council: (a) Establishes the policy direction for the restoration and protection of the Bay and its living resources; (b) Exerts leadership to marshal public support for the Bay effort; (c) Signs directives, agreements and amendments that set goals and guide policy for Bay restoration; and (d) Is accountable to the public for progress made under the Bay agreements.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality administers complementary programs and regulations to prevent future pollution and degradation of the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding lands. More information can be found here: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay.aspx
City of Philadelphia - Green Power Purchasing (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Green Power Purchasing Yes Local Philadelphia has committed to purchasing green power to supply 20% of the city's electricity by 2015.* In doing so, the city is exceeding the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires 11.2% renewables and "alternative" energy resources by 2015. Philadelphia also has a goal of producing 57.7 megawatts (MW) of solar power by 2021, of which 3.8 MW is currently on-line. The city's 2012 Greenworks Progress Report indicates that through the end of 2011, 12.2% of the electricity used in Philadelphia was sourced from alternative energy resources. The city is exploring a variety of complementary policies and programs to help achieve this goal, including solar power purchase agreements for public buildings, revised solar zoning and permitting guidelines, and an aggregate electricity purchasing program for local businesses (Philly Buying Power).


*In contrast to renewable energy purchasing goals of many local governments, Philadelphia's initiative targets total electricity use within the city as opposed to only purchases made by the city itself. This distinction is significant because the city itself is already making alternative energy purchases equivalent to 20% of municipal government needs.
City of Philadelphia - Streamlined Solar Permitting and Fee Reduction (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Green Building Incentive Yes Local Photovoltaic systems of 10 kW or less installed on 1- or 2-family residential units are eligible for streamlined permitting and a fee reduction. PV projects can use a combined electrical and building permit instead of filling out two separate permits if the project meets certain installation and electrical requirements (as outlined on the combined permit form). In addition, electrical and building permit fees for all PV projects are reduced to $25 per $1,000 labor - lowered from the standard $25 per $1,000 of labor and equipment costs. This treatment was established by separate bills relating to electrical permits and building permits enacted in late 2011. Philadelphia has a Solar Installation Guidebook to assist residents and builders in Philadelphia through the process of obtaining the necessary permits and installing solar.
Climate Action Plan (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Climate Policies Yes State/Province The Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance works with citizen's groups, businesses, trade organizations, local governments and communities to help them reduce pollution and save energy. In addition, the office works to foster and develop alternative energy solutions. Part of that effort includes encouraging the deployment and use of innovative environmental and advanced energy technologies, including renewable energy.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States) United States Grant Program
Loan Program
Yes Federal Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
Dam Safety (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Dam Safety provides for the regulation and safety of dams and reservoirs throughout the Commonwealth in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and their property. This division is required to assure proper planning, design review, construction review, maintenance monitoring and supervision of dams and reservoirs. This requirement is mandated by the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, as amended, and the Pennsylvania Code. The division directs and coordinates field investigations with regional offices on authorized projects during construction; provides program guidance and coordination to regional program staff in the periodic inspection of all existing dams to determine their condition and safety; and directs, coordinates and develops policies and technical standards in the area of dam safety for the Department.
Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This act sets the standards and criteria for the siting and design of dams, water obstructions and encroachments considering both existing and projected conditions. It requires operational plans to be prepared and implemented by owners and also requires monitoring, inspection and reporting of conditions affecting the safety of dams, water obstructions and encroachments. No person is authorized to construct, operate, maintain, modify, enlarge or abandon any dam, water obstruction or encroachment without the prior written permit of the department.
Delaware River Basin Commission (Multiple States) Delaware
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
New York
Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is a federal-interstate compact government agency that was formed by concurrent legislation enacted in 1961 by the United States and the four basin states (Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware). Its five members include the basin state governors and the Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who serves as the federal representative. The commission has legal authority over both water quality and water quantity-related issues throughout the basin.

Much of the new drilling interest taking place in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York is targeted at reaching the natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies about 36 percent of the Delaware River Basin.

In connection with natural gas drilling, the commission has identified three major areas of concern:

1) Gas drilling projects in the Marcellus Shale or other formations may have a substantial effect on the water resources of the basin by reducing the flow in streams and/or aquifers used to supply the significant amounts of fresh water needed in the natural gas mining process. 2) On-site drilling operations may potentially add, discharge or cause the release of pollutants into the ground water or surface water. 3) The recovered "frac water" must be treated and disposed of properly.

While the Delaware River itself is un-dammed, there are 13 dams within the basin that feed into the river. The Commission holds authority to approve any project that will have a substantial effect on the water resources of the basin.

The Commission also has approval authority over energy projects that need to draw water from the basin, including coal plants, biomass plants, and natural gas extraction and power plants.
Forestry Policies (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Pennsylvania has over 17 million acres of forests, managed by the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry. The Department issued in 2010 its Strategic Plan "Sustaining our Forests", which mentions the policy of providing assistance in diversifying and improving local economies and in stimulating jobs through the use of renewable forest resources:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/stateforestmanagement/sfrmp/index.htm

The Department provides a number of resources, guidelines, and leasing policy information related to natural gas extraction on forested lands:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/NaturalGas/index.htm
Fuel Mix Disclosure (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Generation Disclosure Yes State/Territory In April 1998, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) adopted rules requiring retail electricity suppliers to "respond to reasonable requests made by consumers for information concerning generation energy sources." Suppliers must respond to these requests "by informing consumers that this information is included in the annual licensing report and that this report exists at the Commission." Suppliers must verify fuel mix data through an independent auditor and submit this information in an annual report to the PUC.
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (multi-state) Illinois
Indiana
Minnesota
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Ontario
Quebec
Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act describes the management of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River basin, and regulates water withdrawals, diversions, and consumptive uses from the basin. The Act establishes a Council, which is responsible for water conservation and efficiency programs and reviewing proposed projects. Projects which may lead to new or increased water diversions are limited; exceptions are described in this statute. More information can be found on the website of the Council: http://www.glslcompactcouncil.org/
Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Grant Program
Yes State/Province This Act tasks the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection with regulating hazardous waste. The department is charged with siting, review, permitting and development of hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities in order to protect public health and safety, foster economic growth and protect the environment. Pennsylvania law establishes a fund to provide to the Department the financial resources needed to plan and implement timely and effective responses to the release of hazardous substances and contaminants, including emergency response actions, studies and investigations, planning, remedial response, maintenance and monitoring activities, replacement of water supplies and protection of the public from the hazardous site. The fund also allows the Department to administer grants for the purchase or lease of recycling equipment to eliminate hazardous waste by reclamation into a usable product.
High Performance Building Incentives Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Grant Program Yes State/Territory In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for high performance buildings. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were issued in April 2009 and revised in November 2009. Incentives are available to both in-state small businesses (100 or fewer total employees) and individuals for the construction or major renovation of homes or commercial buildings. Homes must be primary residences in order to be eligible.

The program will offer support for green buildings in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). In order to be eligible for incentives, new construction and major renovation projects must achieve the applicable Gold certification under USGBC LEED or the National Green Building Standard, or at least 3 Globes under the GBI Green Globes system. Buildings must also meet additional requirements in certain categories. Funds may be used for the following project costs:


  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a high performance building
  • Project planning, design, and modeling work
  • Fees for registration and certification of a project
  • Commissioning and enhanced verification of building performance
  • Administrative costs of the applicant to administer a grant

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans
Loans are available at a fixed interest rate, which is updated quarterly, and must be repaid within 10 years. The maximum loan is $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects. Loans may be amortized over a period of up to 25 years.

Grants
Grants are available for up to 10% of eligible project costs or $500,000. Applicants may request both a grant and a loan, but not for the same project.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant, up to $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
High Performance Buildings Incentive Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Loan Program Yes State/Territory In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for high performance buildings. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were issued in April 2009 and revised in November 2009. Incentives are available to both in-state small businesses (100 or fewer total employees) and individuals for the construction or major renovation of homes or commercial buildings. Homes must be primary residences in order to be eligible.

The program will offer support for green buildings in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). In order to be eligible for incentives, new construction and major renovation projects must achieve the applicable Gold certification under USGBC LEED or the National Green Building Standard, or at least 3 Globes under the GBI Green Globes system. Buildings must also meet additional requirements in certain categories. Funds may be used for the following project costs:


  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a high performance building
  • Project planning, design, and modeling work
  • Fees for registration and certification of a project
  • Commissioning and enhanced verification of building performance
  • Administrative costs of the applicant to administer a grant

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans
Loans are available at a fixed interest rate, which is updated quarterly, and must be repaid within 10 years. The maximum loan is $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects. Loans may be amortized over a period of up to 25 years.

Grants
Grants are available for up to 10% of eligible project costs or $500,000. Applicants may request both a grant and a loan, but not for the same project.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant, up to $100,000 for residential projects and $2 million for small business projects.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
High Performance Green Schools Planning Grants (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Grant Program Yes State/Territory The Governor's Green Government Council of Pennsylvania provides an incentive for new schools to be built according to green building standards. High Performance Green Schools Planning Grants are designed to cover a portion of the "soft" costs of designing a green building that are not typically included within the conventional design fee structure. Grants may vary in size depending upon the scope of the project, but it appears that typical past awards have been for $25,000. Grants may be used for simulation and modeling costs, including daylighting studies and energy modeling, additional consultancy fees, and costs of documentation required for LEED for Schools certification. The incentive is only for new construction of a LEED Silver, Gold, or Platinum project.

In addition to planning grant opportunities, the Department of Education offers an additional reimbursement to schools that build or renovate to LEED silver or higher, or achieve two or more Globes on the Green Building Initiative Green Globes rating scale. When a school district undertakes a major construction project, the district seeks reimbursement from the Commonwealth through the "Planning and Construction Workbook" (PlanCon) process. This incentive may result in a state funding contribution up to 10% larger than it would have been for a non-rated building.
Interconnection Standards (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Interconnection Yes State/Territory The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission was required to adopt interconnection standards and net-metering rules by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004.The PUC subsequently adopted interconnection standards for net-metered distributed generation (DG) systems in August 2006 (52 Pa. Code § 75.21 et seq.). In July 2007, H.B.1203 required the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop "technical and net-metering interconnection rules for customer-generators... consistent with rules defined in other states within the service region of the regional transmission organization that manages the transmission system in any part of the [state]."

In July 2008 the PUC issued a final rulemaking order (effective November 2008) adopting new net metering regulations, but leaving the state's interconnection standards unchanged. Separately, in February 2009 the PUC issued two additional determinations affecting interconnection. One action adopted a "Policy Statement" defining application fees for different levels of interconnection review (52 Pa. Code § 69.2101 et seq.), a subject that had been left unaddressed in the existing rules. The other issued an opinion and order adopting a set of standardized interconnection applications and agreements for use by electric distribution utilities.

Pennsylvania's standards include provisions for four levels of interconnection for generators up to five megawatts (MW)* in capacity:

  • Level 1 interconnection applies to certified, inverter-based systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. Application fee of $100.
  • Level 2 interconnection applies to certified, inverter-based systems up to 5 MW in capacity that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1 interconnection. Application fee of $250 plus $1.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.
  • Level 3 interconnection applies to systems up to 5 MW in capacity that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1 or Level 2 interconnection. Application fee of $350 plus $2.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.
  • Level 4 interconnection applies to systems that do not qualify or were not approved for Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 interconnection, and that do not export power to the grid. Application fee of $350 plus $2.00/kilowatt (kW) of nameplate capacity.

The IEEE 1547 and UL 1741 technical standards are used in evaluating interconnection requests under all levels of review. There are technical screens and specified time lines for each level of interconnection. The standards allow a single point of interconnection for a location with multiple generators. Limited interconnection to area networks is permitted. The approved application fee schedule also allows utilities to charge the customer for the cost of grid upgrades necessary to accommodate the system and costs of up to $100/hour associated with system impact, feasibility, or facility studies. Utilities are not permitted to deviate from the fee structure described above without an approval that such a deviation is appropriate from the PUC.

Customer-generators must provide an accessible external disconnect switch or access to a disconnect switch through a lock-box system. The customer-generator must pay for the disconnect switch. However, customer-generators are not required to carry liability insurance. The program web site contains draft, standardized forms for Level 1 applications and Level 2, 3 and 4 applications. Actual interconnection forms can be found on the applicable utility web site.

Utilities must designate a contact person from whom customer-generators may obtain relevant information regarding a project. A list of these contacts is available on PUC web site. Disputes may be resolved through complaint procedures available through the PUC, or through an alternative process approved by the commission.


*The administrative rules adopted in 2006 limit standardized interconnection processes to systems of 2 MW or less. However, Pennsylvania law permits net metering for certain renewable energy facilities up to 5 MW and the interconnection fee schedule is defined as applying to all "net-metered distributed generation systems." PUC staff has indicated that interconnection requests from all qualifying net-metered systems can be addressed under the standards described above; however, the standard application indicates that for projects approaching or exceeding 2 MW applicants should contact the utility for guidance on the appropriate application process.
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (Multiple States) District of Columbia
Maryland
Pennsylvania
Virginia
West Virginia
Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes Local The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin's (ICPRB) mission is to enhance, protect, and conserve the water and associated land resources of the Potomac River and its tributaries through regional and interstate cooperation. The IPCRB administers an interstate compact, authorized by Congress in 1940, which aims to help the Potomac basin states and the federal government to enhance, protect, and conserve the water and associated land resources of the Potomac River basin. The Commission is responsible for regulating and controlling pollution impacts and water uses. The Commission provides planning coordination for the development and use of the water and associated land resources through cooperation with, and support and coordination of, the activities of federal, state, local and private agencies, groups, and interests concerned with the development, utilization and conservation of the water and associated land resources.
Interstate Mining Compact Commission (multi-state) Alabama
Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Missouri
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
West Virginia
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Interstate Mining Compact is a multi-state governmental agency / organization that represents the natural resource and related environmental protection interests of its member states. Currently, 23 states are members to the compact, and 6 additional states are associate members. The compact is administered by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, which does not possess regulatory powers but “provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states” and thus aids the development of effective regulatory programs and environmental protection initiatives. The Commission exercises several powers on behalf of the states, all of which are of a study, recommendatory or consultative nature. The Commission does not possess regulatory powers, as some Compacts do. The Commission provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states. It is the potential to stimulate the development and production of each state's mineral wealth through effective regulatory programs that draws many of the states together in the prosecution of the Commission's work. Given the environmental sensitivities associated with this objective, a significant portion of the Commission's work is dedicated to the environmental protection issues naturally associated with this mineral development. It is the significant value and clout that comes from "compacting" together and speaking with a strong, united voice that can make a difference in each state's efforts to implement effective regulatory programs that will conserve natural resources and secure a vibrant state (and thus national) mineral economy.
Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Compact (Multiple States) Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Virginia
West Virginia
Wyoming
Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission assists member states efficiently maximize oil and natural gas resources through sound regulatory practices while protecting the nation's health, safety and the environment.

The Commission serves as the collective voice of member governors on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern petroleum resources within their borders.

The Commission formed the Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force, which examines the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to safe and effective storage of CO2 in the subsurface (depleted oil and natural gas fields, saline formations and coal beds).

The Commission also funds research on hydraulic fracking, reusing water used in extracting oil and gas, and makes recommendations on national energy policies and statutes for individual states.

The Commission also has several associate states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In addition, it has international affiliations with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.
Job Creation Tax Credits Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Corporate Tax Incentive Yes State/Province The Job Creation Tax Credits Program can be used to offset business tax liabilities and is available to businesses that create 25 or more jobs or increase employment by 20% within three years of a negotiated start date. Every new full-time job results in a $1000 tax credit.
Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Enterprise Zone
Corporate Tax Incentive
Yes State/Province The Keystone Innovation Zone Tax Credit Program provides tax credits to companies less than eight years old who operate within designated innovation zones. A total pool of $25 million in tax credits is available each year to businesses within these zones. A business can claim a tax credit up to 50% of the increase in gross revenues attributable to activities within innovation zones. The tax credit limit is $100,000 per business per year. Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZs) are designated zones that may be established in communities that host institutions of higher education – colleges, universities, and associate degree technical schools. These zones are designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. They do this by gathering and aligning the combined resources of educational institutions, private businesses, business support organizations, commercial lending institutions, venture capital networks (including angel investors), and foundations (KIZ partners) In other words, where a partnership of these organizations is formed, a KIZ is possible.
Keystone Opportunity Zones (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Enterprise Zone
Property Tax Incentive
Sales Tax Incentive
Corporate Tax Incentive
Yes State/Province Keystone Opportunity Zones allows businesses located within designated areas to qualify for a tax exemption, deduction, credit, or abatement of state and local taxes such as sales and use tax, corporate net income tax, and property tax.
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This act provides a comprehensive strategy for the siting of commercial low-level waste compactors and other waste management facilities, and to ensure the proper transportation, disposal and storage of low-level radioactive waste. Commercial incineration of radioactive wastes is prohibited. Licenses are required for low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities not licensed to accept low-level radioactive waste. Disposal at any municipal landfill or commercial incinerator is prohibited.

Records must be maintained for facilities and operations that generate, transport, handle, manage or dispose of low-level waste to identify the volume and radioactivity content of low-level waste generated and shipped, the method of transportation, the origin and disposition of such low-level waste, and submit reports to the Department of Environmental Protection quarterly, listing the quantities, types and classes of low-level waste generated during a particular time period.

Separation of all low-level radioactive wastes must be done in accordance with the waste classification system established by the Department. Potentially suitable sites shall not have any slopes for the disposal area of more than 15~oas mapped on a scale of 1:24,000 with a contour interval of either 10 or 20 feet as available on published U.S.G.S. 7.5 minute quadrangles. Shallow land burial is prohibited. An above-land grade facility is required. The facility shall have the goal of a zero release capacity.
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Regional Facility Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Fees
Yes State/Province This act establishes a low-level radioactive waste disposal regional facility siting fund that requires nuclear power reactor constructors and operators to pay to the Department of Environmental Resources funds to be utilized for disposal facilities. This act ensures that nuclear facilities and the Department comply with the Low-Level Radioactive Disposal Act. The regional facility siting fund is used for reimbursement of expenses incurred by the regional facility operator for regional facility site selection, regional facility design and land purchase activities, but not to include any profit; or for fees paid by the department to consultants for the purpose of assisting the department in the implementation of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Act.
Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Grants (FirstEnergy Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Grant Program Yes Local FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed) Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000 with an initial contribution of $5.7 million. The fund later received an additional contribution of $2.5 million as a result of the merger between GPU Energy and FirstEnergy, bringing the total to $8.2 million. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the Metropolitan Edison Company SEF takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments, but a limited number of grants are available each year for specific purposes. The following types of projects are currently eligible for grants:


  • Projects that educate power users in the Med-Ed region about renewable energy, the importance of energy conservation and/or energy conservation methods.
  • Projects that improve the environment in the Met-Ed service territory, as defined by their relationship to the company's transmission and distribution facilities. Grants are limited to projects that propose to provide a public benefit from the use of the company's facilities.
  • Studies of the implementation of established or developing technologies (e.g., wind studies, methane quality studies) for projects situated in the Met-Ed region. Projects that, if feasible, are likely to attract investment from the fund will be given preference.
Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the grant guidelines.
Metropolitan Edison Company SEF Loans (FirstEnergy Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Loan Program Yes Local FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000 with an initial contribution of $5.7 million. The fund later received an additional contribution of $2.5 million as a result of the merger between GPU Energy and FirstEnergy, bringing the total to $8.2 million. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the Metropolitan Edison Company SEF takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments. The program is open to any individual, organization, governmental entity, or corporation.

The fund is designed to promote:


  • The development and use of renewable energy and clean-energy technologies;
  • Energy conservation and efficiency;
  • Sustainable-energy businesses; and
  • Projects that improve the environment in the companies' service territories, as defined by their relationship to the companies' transmission and distribution facilities.

As identified on the program web site, specific types of projects eligible for loans may include renewable electricity generation projects for on-site use or grid supply; projects involving the development of a sustainable energy technology (e.g., solar panel manufacturing); businesses that use renewable energy in the operation of a business; and businesses that enhance energy efficiency and conservation.


Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the investment guidelines.
Model Wind Ordinance for Local Governments (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Solar/Wind Permitting Standards Yes State/Territory Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments that wish to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

In 2006, Pennsylvania developed a model local ordinance for wind energy facilities through a collaborative effort involving several state departments and stakeholder groups. The purpose of the model is to provide local governments with a general template for permitting wind energy facilities that they may change and adapt to fit their own needs. The initial model ordinance was completed in the spring of 2006 and updated later the same year. The document covers the three ways in which local governments may regulate land use within their borders: zoning ordinances; subdivision and land development ordinances (SLDO); and inherent municipal "police" powers for protecting public welfare.

The model zoning ordinance simply defines what constitutes a wind energy facility, then proceeds with example language defining appropriate zones for wind energy as a permitted or conditional use. The SLDO portion of the model ordinance provides a comprehensive set of standards for the construction, operation, and decommissioning of a wind energy facility. The model language is directed at commercial wind energy facilities as opposed to stand-alone systems constructed primarily for residential or farm use. It includes provisions for several wind facility characteristics, including:

Design and Installation: This category of standards includes general criteria related to safety and construction codes as well as visual appearance (i.e., color, lighting advertising) of the facility and associated support infrastructure (e.g., power lines).

Setbacks: This section defines the minimum required distance between wind turbines and other structures. The model language includes setbacks of 1.1 times the total height (base to tip of blade) from the nearest occupied building, 5 times the hub height to the nearest occupied building of a non-participating landowner, 1.1 times the total height to the nearest property line, and 1.1 times the total height from the nearest public road. A separate section addresses waivers to setbacks.

Public Disturbances: This broad term includes several sections relating to possible adverse effects of wind farm operation. Among the possibilities addressed in the ordinance are road damages and repair liability; interference with television, radio, telephone and similar signals; shadow flicker; and noise. The section on noise suggests 55 decibels (dBa) as the upper limit and describes appropriate measurement methods.

Additional sections of the model ordinance address local emergency services, insurance requirements, facility decommissioning, site restoration, abandonment, and dispute resolution. The "police" power model covers the same topics as the model SLDO in a slightly different format.
Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This act provides for planning for the processing and disposal of municipal waste; requires counties to submit plans for municipal waste management systems within their boundaries; authorizes grants to counties and municipalities for planning, resource recovery and recycling; imposes and collects fees and requires municipalities to implement recycling programs. The department shall not issue any approval or permit for a resource recovery facility under the Solid Waste Management Act, unless the applicant has provided the department with adequate documentation and assurances that all ash residue produced from or by a resource recovery facility will be disposed at a permitted landfill. Prior to the approval of any permit application for a resource recovery facility, the operator shall submit a plan to the department for the alternate disposal of municipal waste designated for disposal at the resource recovery facility. The department shall not issue any approval or permit for a resource recovery facility unless the applicant has provided the department with a study that documents the short-term and long-term effects that the facility will have on the public and private water supply. The department shall not issue a permit for, nor allow the operation of, a new municipal waste landfill, a new commercial residual waste treatment facility or a new resource recovery facility within 300 yards of a building which is owned by a school district or a parochial school and used for instructional purposes, parks or playgrounds existing prior to the date the department has received an administratively complete application for a permit for such facilities.
Natural Gas Competition Law (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This act aims to regulate the distribution system for natural gas by utility companies in terms of contracts, costs, tariff structures and competition. These regulations include minimum standards for the construction, testing, corrosion protection, operation, release prevention, and repair and reuse of storage tanks, periodic inspection of the leak detection systems, release prevention measures and an annual registration fee to be paid by owners of storage tanks. The Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO)oversees competition in the retail natural gas supply market. OCMO promotes the development of the competitive retail natural gas market. OCMO also facilitates the resolution of disputes between natural distribution companies (NGDCs) and natural gas suppliers (NGSs) and provides a forum for informally addressing obstacles faced by NGSs in participating in the retail market.
Net Metering (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Net Metering Yes State/Territory Note: In March 2012 the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a Final Order (Docket M-2011-2249441) approving the use of third-party ownership models (i.e., system leases or retail power purchase agreements) in conjunction with net metering. The Order allows these types of arrangements for net metered systems, subject to a restriction that the system be designed to produce no more than 110% of on-site electricity needs. As applied to virtual net metering customers, the 110% limit refers to cumulative consumption across all qualifying meters.

The PUC adopted net-metering rules and interconnection standards for net-metered systems and other forms of DG in 2006, pursuant to the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (AEPS) Act of 2004. In 2007, H.B. 1203 amended the Pennsylvania AEPS and also expanded net metering. Revised rules consistent with these amendments were adopted by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC), effective November 29, 2008 (PUC Omitted Rulemaking Order, Docket L-00050174).

In Pennsylvania, investor-owned utilities must offer net metering to residential customers that generate electricity with systems up to 50 kilowatts (kW) in capacity; nonresidential customers with systems up to three megawatts (MW) in capacity; and customers with systems greater than 3 MW but no more than 5 MW who make their systems available to the grid during emergencies, or where a microgrid is in place in order to maintain critical infrastructure. It is important to note that electric generation suppliers (EGSs) in Pennsylvania are permitted but not required to offer net metering. Thus customers who choose an electricity supplier other than their utility must check with the supplier to see if it offers net metering service. Net metering is available when any portion of the electricity generated is used to offset on-site consumption (i.e., system size is not limited by the customer's on-site load).

Systems eligible for net metering include those that generate electricity using photovoltaics (PV), solar-thermal energy, wind energy, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass energy, fuel cells, combined heat and power (CHP), municipal solid waste, waste coal, coal-mine methane, other forms of distributed generation (DG) and certain demand-side management technologies.

Net metering is achieved using a single, bi-directional meter that can measure and record the flow of electricity in both directions at the same rate. Net excess generation (NEG) is carried forward and credited to the customer's next bill at the full retail rate. Customer-generators are compensated for remaining NEG at the utility's "price-to-compare" at the end of the year. The price-to-compare includes the generation and transmission components -- but not the distribution component -- of a utility's retail rate. In order to reconcile net metering with Pennsylvania's broader renewable energy goals, the "year" referenced above is defined to coincide with the compliance year (June 1 - May 31) used for Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS).

The utility must provide this meter if a customer’s existing meter does not meet these requirements. If a customer agrees, a dual-meter arrangement may be substituted for the bi-directional meter. Utilities must provide net metering at nondiscriminatory rates identical with respect to rate structure, retail rate components, and any monthly charges to the rates charged to non-net-metered customers. Utilities may not charge net-metered customers any fees or other charges that do not apply to non-net-metered customers. Furthermore, utilities may not require customers to install any additional equipment or carry liability insurance.

Customers retain ownership of alternative-energy credits (commonly referred to as “renewable-energy credits” or "RECs" when associated with renewable energy) unless there is a contract with an express provision that assigns REC ownership to another entity, or unless the customer expressly rejects REC ownership. If a net-metered customer chooses to take ownership or transfer ownership of alternative-energy credits, then the customer is responsible for installing metering equipment required to measure alternative-energy credits.*

Pennsylvania’s rules allow meter aggregation on properties owned or leased and operated by a customer. This primarily benefits farms that are commonly owned and operated. Aggregation is limited to meters (in a single utility’s service territory) that are located on properties within two miles of the boundaries of the customer’s property. The utility must provide the necessary equipment for physical meter aggregation, but the customer must pay the costs. In addition, "virtual meter aggregation" is allowed for properties owned or leased and operated by a customer and located within two miles of the boundaries of the customer's property and within a single utility's service territory. For virtual meter aggregation, the customer is responsible only for any incremental expense involved in processing the account on a virtual meter aggregation basis.

If a net-metered customer’s self-generation results in a 10% or higher reduction in the customer’s purchase of electricity for an annualized period, the customer must pay for its share of stranded costs to prevent inter-class or intra-class shifting.


*In November 2008, amended rules for the Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) took effect. These rules exempt PV systems of 15 kW or less from a requirement that alternative energy credit (AEC) certification be verified by metered data, and instead provide a more general instruction that it be verified by the system administrator. Thus, despite the reference to "required" equipment that remains in the net metering rules, small solar facilities may not be required to install additional metering equipment in order to generate AEPS eligible credits.
Nuclear Safety (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province The Nuclear Safety Division conducts a comprehensive nuclear power plant oversight review program of the nine reactors at the five nuclear power sites in Pennsylvania. It also monitors the activities associated with management and disposal of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Pennsylvania and provides planning and support for Bureau response to incidents involving nuclear power plants and/or radioactive material in Pennsylvania. This oversight responsibility includes routine site visits and safety review activities, off-hour surveillance, review of all license amendments, evaluation of generic and specific nuclear safety issues, participation in nuclear power plant emergency exercises, and the inspection of radioactive waste shipments. The Radiation Protection Act established a fee system which requires the nuclear utilities in Pennsylvania to pay for the costs associated with the implementation of this program. Each nuclear utility pays to the Department an annual amount of $550,000 per reactor site. There are currently nine operating nuclear power plants on five different sites in the Commonwealth.
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (Multiple States) Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Virginia
West Virginia
Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), was established on June 30, 1948 to control and abate pollution in the Ohio River Basin. ORSANCO is an interstate commission representing eight states and the federal government. ORSANCO operates programs to improve water quality in the Ohio River and its tributaries, including: setting waste water discharge standards; performing biological assessments; monitoring for the chemical and physical properties of the waterways; and conducting special surveys and studies. ORSANCO also coordinates emergency response activities for spills or accidental discharges to the river, and promotes public participation in programs, such as the Ohio River Sweep and the RiverWatchers Volunteer Monitoring Program. ORSANCO sets Pollution Control Standards for industrial and municipal waste water discharges to the Ohio River, and tracks certain dischargers whose effluent can seriously impact water quality. The standards designate specific uses for the Ohio, and establish guidelines to ensure that the river is capable of supporting these uses. To keep pace with current issues, ORSANCO reviews the standards every three years. As part of the review process, workshops and public hearings are held for public input.
Oil and Gas- Leases to remove or recover (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This act states that a lease or agreement conveying the right to remove or recover oil, natural gas or gas of any other designation from lessor to lessee shall not be valid if such lease does not guarantee the lessor at least one-eighth royalty of all oil, natural gas or gas of other designations removed or recovered from the subject real property.
Opportunity Grant Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Grant Program No State/Province The Opportunity Grant Program provides funding to public and private enterprises. Eligible private companies and developers must maintain operations at a Pennsylvania site, invest private capital at the site, create or preserve jobs at the site, and operate the project site for a minimum of five years. The grant may be used for machinery and equipment, working capital, training, real estate, facilities, site preparation, and environmental assessment. The maximum amount available is $5000 per job created or retained.
PJM Interconnection (Multiple States) Delaware
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Maryland
Michigan
New Jersey
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia
District of Columbia
Interconnection Yes Non-Profit PJM (originally Pennsylvania, Jersey, Maryland) Interconnection is a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The PJM region has an area of 214,000 square miles, a population of about 60 million and a peak demand of 163,848 megawatts.
Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Grant Program (FirstEnergy Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Grant Program Yes Local FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund and the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania administers the Penelec loan and grant components of the Fund, which has assets of approximately $9.1 million. The fund is administered by the Berks County Community Foundation. The majority of funding available from the fund takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments, but a limited number of grants are available each year for specific purposes. The following types of projects are currently eligible for grants:


  • Projects that educate power users in the Med-Ed region about renewable energy, the importance of energy conservation and/or energy conservation methods.
  • Projects that improve the environment in the Met-Ed service territory, as defined by their relationship to the company's transmission and distribution facilities. Grants are limited to projects that propose to provide a public benefit from the use of the company's facilities.
  • Studies of the implementation of established or developing technologies (e.g., wind studies, methane quality studies) for projects situated in the Met-Ed region. Projects that, if feasible, are likely to attract investment from the fund will be given preference.
Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the grant guidelines.
Penelec SEF of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Loan Program (FirstEnergy Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Loan Program Yes Local FirstEnergy (formerly GPU) established the Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund and the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund in 2000. The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in Johnstown, Pennsylvania administers the Penelec loan and grant components of the Fund, which has assets of approximately $9.1 million. The majority of funding available from the fund takes the form of investments made in businesses pursuing one or more of the fund's objectives. These funds typically will be distributed as loans or equity investments. The program is open to any individual, organization, governmental entity, or corporation.


The fund is designed to promote:


  • The development and use of renewable energy and clean-energy technologies;
  • Energy conservation and efficiency;
  • Sustainable-energy businesses; and
  • Projects that improve the environment in the companies' service territories, as defined by their relationship to the companies' transmission and distribution facilities.

As identified on the program web site, specific types of projects eligible for loans may include renewable electricity generation projects for on-site use or grid supply; projects involving the development of a sustainable energy technology (e.g., solar panel manufacturing); businesses that use renewable energy in the operation of a business; and businesses that enhance energy efficiency and conservation.


Examples of projects funded in the past are available on the program web site, along with details of the investment guidelines.
Pennsylvania Capital Access Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Loan Program Yes State/Province The Pennsylvania Capital Access Program provides loan guarantees for all businesses for the purchase of land, buildings, machinery, equipment and working capital through participating banks. The program guarantees loans up to $500,000 but the conditions vary with each bank.
Pennsylvania Farmland and Forest Land Assessment Act of 1974 - Utilization of Land or Conveyance of Rights for Exploration or Extraction of Gas, Oil or Coal Bed Methane Pennsylvania Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province This act prescribes the procedure utilization of land or conveyance of rights for exploration or extraction of gas, oil or coal bed methane in agricultural and forest reserve areas. Land identified under the provisions of this act may be leased or otherwise devoted to the exploration for and removal of gas and oil, including the extraction of coal bed methane, and the development of associated facilities, including new roads and bridges, pipelines and other buildings or structures, related to exploration for and removal of gas and oil and the extraction of coal bed methane.
Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers Program Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes Local Rivers included in the Scenic Rivers System will be classified, designated and administered as Wild, Scenic, Pastoral, Recreational and Modified Recreational Rivers (Sections 4; (a) (1) of the Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers Act). Low dams are permitted on Modified Recreational Rivers, but are not permitted in other classifications. Land use constraints in the watersheds of designated Scenic Rivers is also restricted and subject to the approval of management organizations and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Individual organizations manage each Scenic River through the authorization and oversight of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. For a list of managing organizations, visit: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/conservation/rivers/scenicrivers/riversprograminformation/srmanagingorganizations/index.htm
Pennsylvania Solid Waste - Resource Recovery Development Act Pennsylvania Public Benefits Fund
Environmental Regulations
Grant Program
Yes State/Province This act promotes the construction and the application of solid waste disposal/processing and resource recovery systems that preserve and enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources. The act also provides means for financial assistance to municipalities, and development agencies in the planning and development of resource recovery and solid waste disposal/processing programs.
Pennsylvania Sunshine Solar Rebate Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Rebate Program No State/Territory Note: This program re-opened to new applications on January 24, 2013 with $7.25 million in new funding. A portion of this new funding will be reserved for prior rebate reservations and projects already on the waiting list. These projects must be completed by June 1, 2013 to retain their incentives. No new applications will be accepted after December 31, 2013 or when funding is exhausted.


The Pennsylvania Sunshine program offers rebates to residential and small commercial residents that install photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. Systems that use solar thermal energy for the purpose of radiant heating or pool or hot tub heating are not eligible; however, other types of uses which require heated water are eligible (e.g., industrial process heating). The program was authorized in July 2008 by the state legislature and began accepting applications in May 2009 under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Only systems installed after the date of program opening are eligible for rebates. A total of $100 million (funded through state bonds) is available for rebates over the lifetime of the program. The DEP expects the program as a whole to last three to four years.

All residential applicants must be Pennsylvania residents, own the home upon which the system is installed, and use it as a primary residence (i.e., vacation homes and investment properties do not qualify for residential rebates). Small business applicants must be for-profit entities located within the state of Pennsylvania with no more than 100 full-time employees. This definition includes producers of an agricultural commodity. Low-income residents (60% or less of median state income) are eligible for higher incentives than other applicants.

It is important to note that residents and small businesses do not submit incentive applications themselves. Applications must be submitted on behalf of the applicant by an approved installer. Households are eligible for only one PV and one solar thermal rebate. Small businesses may receive multiple rebates, but are only permitted to submit one PV application and one solar thermal application at a time and must complete the project and rebate process prior to submitting another application.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a policy statement on "double-dipping" from multiple solar rebate programs (e.g., the PA Sunshine and the PPL Electric Utilities solar rebate programs). Double-dipping is generally not permitted; however, the DEP does identify some circumstances where participation in PA Sunshine and another solar rebate program would not be considered double-dipping. Click here or visit the program website to view the DEP's statement.


The program was originally set up to provide rebates that decline over time as certain benchmarks, or "steps", of installed capacity were reached. The program is now coming to a close and incentive levels for PV are on the final step. Incentive levels for solar thermal systems remain on the first step. In 2011 a separate stepped incentive schedule was added for battery back-up systems. This incentive was originally available for retrofits of existing systems installed on or after September 1, 2010 but is now only available for new system applications.


The list below describes incentive levels and other program rules as they stood as of January 29, 2013.


  • Residential PV: $0.75/W for systems of 1-10 kilowatts (kW). Systems larger than 10 kW are eligible, but incentives are limited to first 10 kW.
  • Residential Battery Back-up: $0.35/amp-hour for up to 400 amp-hours/kW. Systems larger than 10 kW are not eligible for battery back-up incentives.
  • Small Business PV: $0.75/W for systems of 3-10 kW and $0.50/W for next 90 kW. Systems larger than 100 kW are eligible, but incentives are limited to first 100 kW.
  • Solar Thermal: 35% of installed system cost, with maximums of $5,000 for residences and $50,000 for small businesses.
  • Low-Income (PV and Solar Thermal): 35% of installed costs (the maximum rebate authorized by the enabling legislation).

All work must be performed by approved installers (see list on program website), and systems are subject to a variety of equipment and installation requirements. System owners or site hosts are permitted to assign the rebate to an installer or a leasing company. The application procedures generally require that systems be grid-connected, but exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the DEP on a case-by-case basis at the applicant's request. The program will not cover costs associated with roof repair. Provisions also exist for system inspections and performance reporting.

Ownership of renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental attributes produced by rebated systems is not addressed in the program rules; however, Pennsylvania's net metering rules grant the customer-generator title RECs generated by net metered systems unless the customer assigns them to another entity or specifically rejects ownership. Please consult the program guidelines or contact the DEP for further program details.
Pipeline Safety (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province The Pennsylvania legislature has empowered the Public Utility Commission to direct and enforce safety standards for pipeline facilities and to regulate safety practices of certificated utilities engaged in the transportation of natural gas and other gas by pipeline.

The Commission is authorized to enforce federal safety standards as an agent for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety. The safety standards apply to the design, installation, operation, inspection, testing, construction, extension, replacement and maintenance of pipeline facilities. The PUC may prescribe additional pipeline safety standards over and above federal standards, provided they are not in conflict.

Whenever the Commission uncovers pipeline safety violations, it is empowered to direct the utility to take necessary steps to correct the violation.

The PUC investigates all methods or practices of pipeline companies, including reports, records and other information. PUC investigators inspect the property, buildings, plants and offices of the pipeline companies and inspect books, records, paper, email and documents relevant to the enforcement of the rules and regulations.
Property Tax Assessment for Commercial Wind Farms (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Property Tax Incentive Yes State/Territory Pennsylvania enacted legislation in November 2006 providing that wind turbines and related equipment (including towers and foundations) may not be counted by tax assessors when setting property values.* However, the law states that the valuation of real property used for the purpose of wind-energy generation "shall be developed by the county assessor utilizing the income capitalization approach to value." This valuation is determined by the capitalized value of the land-lease agreements, supplemented by a sales comparison data approach as deemed necessary by county assessors. Lessees or lessors must provide relevant, non-proprietary lease and lease-income information to county assessors by September 1 of each year.


In 2010, S.B. 918 consolidated and amended property tax assessment laws in Pennsylvania. The provisions governing the assessment of wind energy facilities were relocated at this time, but not changed in a substantive way. Click here for local tax information from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.


*Although the language of the statute is somewhat unclear on this point, the law is apparently not intended to address property tax assessments of residential scale wind energy systems. With a lack of clear guidance from the state on this issue, assessment methodologies for residential wind systems may vary from county to county.
Public Benefits Programs (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Public Benefits Fund Yes State/Territory Note: Currently, the four funds are not collecting revenue. The funds are transitioning toward a revolving loan and investment fund model in order to sustain their capital.

Although Pennsylvania's December 1996 electricity restructuring law did not establish a clean-energy fund, four renewable and sustainable-energy funding programs were subsequently created through individual settlements with the state’s five major distribution utilities: Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), PECO Energy (PECO), PP&L (PPL), and Allegheny Power/West Penn Power Company (WPP). These utilities created individual "Sustainable Energy Funds" with the goals of promoting (1) the development and use of renewable energy and advanced clean-energy technologies, (2) energy conservation and efficiency, and (3) sustainable-energy businesses. Each utility has established an oversight board and designated a fund administrator.

The four Sustainable Energy Funds (SEF) in Pennsylvania are:

Under terms of the initial settlements, approximately $55 million was collected through the utilities' distribution rates to promote the development of sustainable and renewable energy. The Sustainable Development Fund (in PECO’s territory) received an additional $18.5 million in funding over a five-year period as a result of the PECO/Unicom merger. Likewise, the Met-Ed and Penelec funds received an additional $5 million ($2.5 million each) in funding due to the merger of GPU Energy and FirstEnergy. The PUC agreed to continue funding the PPL SEF though December 31, 2006. The per-kilowatt-hour surcharge included in the utility's distribution rates for 2005 and 2006 was $0.0001 and $0.00005 per kilowatt-hour, respectively.

As of 2011, the West Penn fund was the only fund still scheduled to receive additional revenue, equivalent to a $0.0001/kWh charge on utility distribution sales. The payments were set to sunset at the end of 2010, however, under the terms of a recent settlement agreement (see PUC Docket Number A-2010-2176732 for details) arising from the merger of Allegheny Power and First Energy, funding continued for 2011 and 2012 at the same levels. The annual payments amount to approximately $1.5 - $2 million per year and began in 2006. Without the expectation of significant additional revenue, the collective funds are making efforts to transition towards becoming revolving loan and investment funds in order to sustain their capital.

The Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Board was formed in 1999 to enhance communications among the four funds and state agencies. The board includes representatives from the PUC; the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate; the Pennsylvania Environmental Council; and each regional board. The board's annual reports provide details on the projects and activities supported by each of the four funds. In addition, the Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Board has developed uniform guidelines for the business practices of the sustainable energy funds. The PUC approved these guidelines in 2007. See the program web site for details on fund activities and the guidelines.

See DSIRE's summaries of financial incentives in Pennsylvania for more information about assistance offerings available from the four funds.
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals Yes State/Province This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in Pennsylvania as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia) may be lower.
Radiation Protection Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province This Act combines the radiation safety provisions of The Atomic Energy Development and Radiation Control Act and the Environmental Radiation Protection Act, and empowers the Department of Environmental Resources to implement a comprehensive statewide radiation protection program. The Act also provides for radiation emergency response, establishes requirements for transport of spent reactor fuel, and establishes fees and penalties.
Solar Alternative Energy Credits (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Performance-Based Incentive Yes State/Territory Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), created by S.B. 1030 on November 30, 2004, requires each electric distribution company (EDC) and electric generation supplier (EGS) to retail electric customers in Pennsylvania to supply roughly 18% of its electricity using alternative-energy resources -- roughly 8% from Tier I technologies and 10% from Tier II technologies -- by 2021. The standard also contains a solar set-aside requiring obligated entities to procure a small percentage of their electricity sales from photovoltaic (PV) systems as part of the Tier I requirement. As with the other components of Pennsylvania's AEPS, the percentage requirement ramps up slowly over time. The obligation was set at 0.0120% for the compliance year running from June 2009 - May 2010, accelerating to an ultimate target of 0.5% in compliance year 2020-2021.

Under Pennsylvania law, a solar alternative energy credit (SAEC) represents proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated by a qualifying PV facility. In many other states the term "solar renewable energy certificate" or "SREC" is used to represent the functional equivalent (i.e., a means of compliance with a solar energy standard) of an SAEC in Pennsylvania. Electricity suppliers must purchase SAECs in order to meet their compliance obligations under the law, or pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SAEC purchases.

In Pennsylvania the SACP varies from year to year based largely on the market price of SAECs traded during the prior compliance year, thus it is only known after the end of a compliance year. The SACP is for a given year is calculated as 200% times the sum of (1) the market value of SAECs for the reporting period and (2) the levelized value of up-front rebates received by sellers of SAECs (see PUC order listed above for a more detailed description). For the 2011-2012 compliance year the SACP was $360.79, the largest part of which is attributable to the weighted average SAEC market price of $180.39 per SAEC for the period. The average market price for Pennsylvania-sourced credits for the year 2014 has ranged from roughly $13 - $60 per SAEC/SREC as tracked at SRECtrade, with significant variations above and below this average for individual transactions.*

Under this system SAECs represent a potentially significant source of revenue for owners of qualifying PV facilities with a value determined by demand in the trading market. Eligible generators in Pennsylvania, including on-site generators, retain ownership of SAECs generated by their system until they voluntarily transfer them to another party. A generator remains eligible to generate SAECs for as long as the facility remains certified as an eligible generator. An SAEC may generally be used for compliance by a utility for the compliance year during which it was generated or the two subsequent compliance years. However, SAECs purchased by a utility during a time period for which the utility is under rate caps -- rate caps for some utilities did not expire until January 1, 2011 -- may be used by the utility in the compliance year the rate caps are lifted or in the subsequent compliance year.

In order to begin producing SAECs that can be used for compliance with Pennsylvania's AEPS, a generator must apply for and be certified as an eligible generator. In order to be considered an eligible generator for the purpose of the AEPS, the generator must generally be located either within the state of Pennsylvania or within the broader PJM region. The exception to this rule is that energy from resources located within the footprint of the Midwest Independent Systems Operator (MISO) -- which also serves a small portion of Pennsylvania -- may be used for compliance in areas served by the MISO. The practical impact of this exception is that out-of-state resources located in the MISO may only be used for compliance by the Pennsylvania Power Co. or energy suppliers operating within its service territory.

Systems must be operational before the owner can apply for a certification number. Once a generator has received a certification number from the program administrator, they may create an account on the PJM-EIS Generation Attributes Tracking System (GATS). The GATS is used to track the generation and transfer of SAECs from an eligible facility. The GATS issues SAECs to correspond with energy generation readings that the system owner uploads to the system. Systems of 15 kilowatts (kW) or less that are not equipped with production meters may elect to use an engineering estimate of expected energy production in lieu of uploading actual meter readings into GATS.

Pennsylvania will only recognize the generation of SAECs by a system after the date of the application for certification. If the facility is located in another state that allows the use of energy production estimates for systems of 10 kW or less, the same estimates will be used in Pennsylvania, provided that the system meets the Pennsylvania requirements for allowing estimates.

The program website contains additional information on Pennsylvania's AEPS, registering a facility, and using credit brokers and aggregators.


*It is important to note that SAECs/SRECs produced by facilities located in Pennsylvania may be eligible for other compliance markets such as that in Ohio. The prices quoted here include transactions where Pennsylvania-sourced SAECs/SRECs have been sold into markets beyond Pennsylvania.
Solar Energy Incentives State Grant Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Grant Program Yes State/Territory Note: The deadline for the most recent solicitation under this program has now passed. The program is currently closed, pending revisions to the program guidelines. Please see the program web site for further details.

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation providing $650 million to support a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $80 million grant and loan program for solar energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were first issued in April 2009 although they have been revised since that time. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for solar technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Eligible facilities are defined as those that generate, distribute, or store solar energy; manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or other solar equipment; and solar technology R&D facilities. This definition includes both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. All systems must have a lifetime of at least four years. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture solar components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of solar systems
  • Purchase, installation and construction of facilities to produce, distribute, and store solar energy or produce hot water using solar energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program. Energy generation projects must undergo a solar shade analysis which shows annual energy production of at least 80% of optimal. In addition, all PV energy systems must be new and UL-listed and solar thermal systems must be new and SRCC OG-100 rated (or comparable rating approved by the DEP). All systems must be installed in accordance with the applicable construction codes and standards.

Loans Loans are available at a fixed interest rate -- 5% as of August 2011 -- for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for energy production projects are generally limited to $5 million although larger loans of greater than may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Loans for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt.

Grants Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for energy production facilities are generally limited to $1 million, although larger grants may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. The guidelines state that the CFA prefers to support generation projects through loans rather than grants; however, it will consider grant requests from projects for which there is not a long-term contract (10 years or more) in place for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) produced by the project.

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $30 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
Solar Energy Incentives Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Loan Program No State/Territory Note: The deadline for the most recent solicitation under this program has now passed. The program is currently closed, pending revisions to the program guidelines. Please see the program web site for further details.


In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation providing $650 million to support a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $80 million grant and loan program for solar energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were first issued in April 2009 although they have been revised since that time. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for solar technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Eligible facilities are defined as those that generate, distribute, or store solar energy; manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or other solar equipment; and solar technology R&D facilities. This definition includes both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. All systems must have a lifetime of at least four years. Funds may be used for the following project costs:


  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture solar components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of solar systems
  • Purchase, installation and construction of facilities to produce, distribute, and store solar energy or produce hot water using solar energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program. Energy generation projects must undergo a solar shade analysis which shows annual energy production of at least 80% of optimal. In addition, all PV energy systems must be new and UL-listed and solar thermal systems must be new and SRCC OG-100 rated (or comparable rating approved by the DEP). All systems must be installed in accordance with the applicable construction codes and standards.

Loans
Loans are available at a fixed interest rate -- 5% as of August 2011 -- for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for energy production projects are generally limited to $5 million although larger loans of greater than may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Loans for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt.

Grants
Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for energy production facilities are generally limited to $1 million, although larger grants may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. The guidelines state that the CFA prefers to support generation projects through loans rather than grants; however, it will consider grant requests from projects for which there is not a long-term contract (10 years or more) in place for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) produced by the project.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $30 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
Solar Energy Incentives Industry Recruitment and Support Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory Note: The deadline for the most recent solicitation under this program has now passed. The program is currently closed, pending revisions to the program guidelines. Please see the program web site for further details.

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation providing $650 million to support a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $80 million grant and loan program for solar energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were first issued in April 2009 although they have been revised since that time. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for solar technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). Eligible facilities are defined as those that generate, distribute, or store solar energy; manufacturing or assembly facilities for solar panels or other solar equipment; and solar technology R&D facilities. This definition includes both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. All systems must have a lifetime of at least four years. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture solar components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of solar systems
  • Purchase, installation and construction of facilities to produce, distribute, and store solar energy or produce hot water using solar energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program. Energy generation projects must undergo a solar shade analysis which shows annual energy production of at least 80% of optimal. In addition, all PV energy systems must be new and UL-listed and solar thermal systems must be new and SRCC OG-100 rated (or comparable rating approved by the DEP). All systems must be installed in accordance with the applicable construction codes and standards.

Loans Loans are available at a fixed interest rate -- 5% as of August 2011 -- for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for energy production projects are generally limited to $5 million although larger loans of greater than may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Loans for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt.

Grants Grants for manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for energy production facilities are generally limited to $1 million, although larger grants may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants for PV energy production projects are also limited to $2.25 per watt. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. The guidelines state that the CFA prefers to support generation projects through loans rather than grants; however, it will consider grant requests from projects for which there is not a long-term contract (10 years or more) in place for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) produced by the project.

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $30 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
Solid Waste Management Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act provides for the planning and regulation of solid waste storage, collection, transportation, processing, treatment, and disposal. It requires that municipalities submit plans for municipal waste management systems in their jurisdictions to the Department of Environmental Protection. It provides for the Department to regulate the management of municipal, residual and hazardous waste, and requires permits for operating hazardous waste and solid waste storage, processing, treatment, and disposal facilities. Licenses are also required for transportation of hazardous waste.
Stormwater Management Act (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The policy and purpose of this act is to encourage planning and management of storm water runoff in each watershed consistent with sound water and land use practices.

The act authorizes a comprehensive program of storm water management designated to preserve and restore the flood carrying capacity of Commonwealth streams. The Department of Environmental Protection is charged with the protection and conservation of ground waters and ground-water recharge areas.

The act also encourages local administration and management of storm water.
Stormwater Management Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Stormwater Management program of the Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Conservation and Restoration administers the rules and regulations for stormwater management for Pennsylvania. Regulations include establishing best management practices for erosion and sediment control, and restoration of sites that have been disturbed, including from utility infrastructure. The program also requires an Erosion and Sediment Control Permit for natural gas activities. The regulations exempt gas and mining activities from setbacks from riparian buffers, as long as a restoration and remediation plan is in place for the site. The program's Comprehensive Stormwater Management Policy provides a framework for the integration of all Department of Environmental Protection stormwater management programs and promotes a comprehensive watershed approach to stormwater management in the Commonwealth. This policy identifies and integrates existing legal requirements and post construction stormwater management planning goals, objectives and recommended procedures to the various Department stormwater management programs.
Sustainable Development Fund Financing Program (PECO Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Loan Program Yes Local The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission created the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) in its final order of the PECO Energy electric utility restructuring proceeding. The Reinvestment Fund, Inc. (TRF), which was formed in 1985 to build wealth and opportunity for low-wealth communities and low- and moderate-income individuals, administers the SDF. The SDF later received additional funding and responsibilities as a result of the PECO Energy/Unicom merger settlement. That settlement added funding for new wind development, for solar photovoltaics and for renewable energy education, as well as a lump-sum payment and an increase in SDF's core fund. In total, the fund has received approximately $31.8 million in income over its lifetime.

The SDF provides financial assistance to eligible projects in the form of commercial loans, subordinated debt, royalty financing, and equity financing. The Sustainable Development Fund provides financial assistance for the following types of ventures:


  • Companies and ventures that generate electricity using renewable energy sources;
  • Manufacturers, distributors and installers of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies; and,
  • Companies and organizations that are end-users of renewable energy, advanced clean energy and energy-conserving products and technologies.

The specific terms of the financial support are flexible and are determined on a case-by-case basis. SDF also has a lease-financing product for large nonprofit institutions (schools and hospitals) and commercial real estate owners for energy conservation improvements.

The SDF Commercial Financing Program provides flexible business loans to:


  • Manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, retailers and service companies who want to finance equipment upgrades or electricity energy savings improvements to their plant/office facilities;
  • End-user companies wishing to purchase advanced clean energy systems; and
  • Start-ups and expansions of companies producing clean energy.
The SDF 2011 Annual Report to the Pennsylvanian Public Utilities Commission (PUC) contains information about past and current program activities. For more information on financing opportunities, visit the program website above.
Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) Loan Program (PPL Territory) (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Loan Program Yes Local NOTE: The program is currently accepting applications for 2% interest loans and leases for municipal and not-for-profit entities located in Pennsylvania for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The applications are due on January 29th, 2015.


The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) promotes and invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and energy education initiatives. Financial incentives are offered as loans to promote clean energy technologies and for projects where energy savings are measurable. Eligible clean technology applications include energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, and clean transportation. Financing terms are customized to the unique requirements of individual projects.The SEF has also developed Energypath, a comprehensive resource intended to assist Pennsylvanians in locating contractors, grants, loans, equipment manufacturers, rebates and technical assistance.


The SEF was founded in November 1999 as a result of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission electric utility restructuring proceedings. The SEF was a key component of the joint settlement with PPL, Inc. (now PPL Electric Utilities Corporation) and the PUC. The fund has collected slightly more than $25 million since opening through a rate surcharge on PPL ratepayers. The surcharge expired and was not renewed at the end of 2006. See DSIRE's summary of Pennsylvania's Public Benefits Funds for more information.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Guarantee Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Loan Program Yes State/Province The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Guarantee Program provides credit enhancement to improve market access and lower capital costs through loan guarantees to bond issuers to assist in the development and revitalization of Brownfield and Greenfield sites. Private developers must create a certain number of permanent FT jobs within the financing district. TIF projects will be guaranteed up to $5 million per project.
The Clean Streams Law (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The statute seeks to preserve and improve the purity of the waters of the Commonwealth, providing protection of water supply and water quality, imposing certain penalties, regulating discharges of sewage and industrial wastes and regulating the impact of mining on water quality. All fines, penalties and permit fees collected under the provision of this act will be paid to a special fund called "The Clean Water Fund," which will be used for the elimination of pollution. No municipality or person is permitted to discharge sewage into water unless authorized to do so. All plans for the construction of any new sewer system or for the extension of an existing system have to be approved before construction can begin.
Water Use Permitting (Wisconsin) Wisconsin Siting and Permitting Yes Local Withdrawers in the Great Lakes Basin who withdraw water in quantities that average 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period are required to get a water use permit. Two types of water use permits exist: a general permit is required for withdrawals that average 100,000 gallons per day or more in any 30-day period but do not equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days. An individual permit is required for withdrawals that equal at least 1,000,000 gallons per day for 30 consecutive days. There are no permit application fees.
Water Use Registration and Reporting (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Chapter 110 applies to public water supply agencies (defined as community water systems) and hydropower facilities, irrespective of the amount of withdrawal, and any person whose total withdrawal from one or more points of withdrawal within a watershed operated as a system either concurrently or sequentially exceeds an average rate of 10,000 gallons per day of water in any 30-day period. Those persons who obtain their water through an interconnection with another person in an amount that exceeds an average rate of 100,000 gpd in any 30-day period also must register. Registrants must annually report their water usage and other information and retain records for at least 5 years.
West Penn Power SEF Commercial Loan Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Local Loan Program Yes Local NOTE: The program is currently accepting Request for Proposals (RFP) for Sustainable Energy Financing Projects. The applications are due by January 29, 2015.


The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) promotes the use of renewable energy and clean energy among commercial, industrial, institutional and residential customers in the West Penn market region. Eligible technologies include solar, wind, low-impact hydro, sustainable biomass such as closed-loop biomass and biomass gasification, and innovative natural gas technologies as well as energy efficiency. Clean energy refers to advanced technologies, including landfill gas and fuel cells, which use fossil fuels but have significantly lower emissions and waste than current commercialized technologies and fuels derived from waste.


The WPPSEF accepts proposals for financing year round. The projects should be aligned with WPPSEF's mission and should benefit the West Penn Power ratepayers. Funding for eligible projects may include commercial loans, equity investment, subordinated debt and royalty financing. Commercial loans are available to manufacturers, distributors, retailers and service companies involved in renewable and advanced clean energy technologies, as well as energy efficiency and conservation products and services to end-user companies and community-based organizations. WPPSEF intends to initiate loan programs in conjunction with other agencies and intermediaries to ensure an adequate flow of financing proposals for consideration.

WPPSEF will seek out loan proposals that may not be currently bankable but are acceptable credit risks. For small business lending, the ability to repay a business loan is based primarily on operating cash flow. Also, commercial lending is based on the management experience, ability and character of the management team. WPPSEF will offer term loans to finance energy-efficient equipment, construction, and provide working capital financing as part of a larger request. WPPSEF would charge a below market rate of interest, and secure the loans with available collateral. Further information on funding opportunities can be found on the program web site listed at the top of this page.
Wild Resource Conservation Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province Established by The Wild Resource Conservation Act of 1982, the Wild Resource Conservation Program is a part of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The program works closely with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to conduct and support research, conservation and education projects focused on preserving Pennsylvania’s biodiversity. The program has developed County Natural Heritage Inventories that locate and identify rare species and special habitats in all 67 Pennsylvania Counties.
Wind and Geothermal Incentives State Grant Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Grant Program Yes State/Territory Note: This program has been temporarily closed pending the development and approval of updated guidelines. The summary below describes the program as it existed prior to the suspension.

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for wind and geothermal energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were initially issued in January 2009 with revisions issued later in June and October 2009. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.).

The program will offer support for wind and geothermal technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). The definition of geothermal includes, but is not limited to, closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems that use the ground, groundwater, or an underground mine as an energy source. Eligible wind energy-related applications include energy production facilities and manufacturing facilities for wind turbines and other system components. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture wind or geothermal components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of wind or geothermal systems
  • Purchase, installation, and construction of facilities to produce and distribute geothermal or wind energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans Loans are generally available at a fixed interest rate for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Interest rates are set at 1% for geothermal projects and determined by market rates (5% as of July 2011) for other projects. Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for geothermal systems may not exceed $3 per square foot of space to be served by the system, up to $5 million. Loans for wind energy generation or distribution projects are limited to $5 million.

Grants Grants for renewable energy manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for wind energy production or distribution facilities are limited to $1 million. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. Grants are not available for the installation of geothermal energy systems.

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
Wind and Geothermal Incentives State Loan Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania State Loan Program Yes State/Territory Note: This program has been temporarily closed pending the development and approval of updated guidelines. The summary below describes the program as it existed prior to the suspension.

In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for wind and geothermal energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). Program guidelines were initially issued in January 2009 with revisions issued later in June and October 2009. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, and political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.). In addition, individuals seeking to install a geothermal heating and cooling system in a dwelling they occupy as a primary residence are also eligible for incentives.

The program will offer support for wind and geothermal technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). The definition of geothermal includes, but is not limited to, closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems that use the ground, groundwater, or an underground mine as an energy source. Eligible wind energy-related applications include energy production facilities and manufacturing facilities for wind turbines and other system components. Funds may be used for the following project costs:

  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture wind or geothermal components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of wind or geothermal systems
  • Purchase, installation, and construction of facilities to produce and distribute geothermal or wind energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 3% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans Loans are generally available at a fixed interest rate for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Interest rates are set at 1% for geothermal projects and determined by market rates (5% as of July 2011) for other projects. Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $35,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for geothermal systems may not exceed $3 per square foot of space to be served by the system, up to $5 million in general, and also limited to 50% of eligible costs for residential geothermal systems. Loans for wind energy generation or distribution projects are limited to $5 million.

Grants Grants for renewable energy manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for wind energy production or distribution facilities are limited to $1 million. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. Grants are not available for the installation of geothermal energy systems.

Loan Guarantees Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.
Wind and Geothermal Incentives Program (Pennsylvania) Pennsylvania Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory In July 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a broad $650 million alternative energy bill designed to provide support for a variety of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Included in this legislation was a provision authorizing the creation of a $25 million grant and loan program for wind and geothermal energy technologies. The program is jointly administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the direction of Commonwealth Finance Authority (CFA). The most recent program guidelines were issued in January 2014, available here. Incentives are available to businesses (including non-profits), economic development organizations, political subdivisions (e.g., local governments, schools, etc.), and individuals.

The program will offer support for wind and geothermal technologies in the form of loans, grants and loan guarantees (i.e., grants to be used in the event of a financing default). The definition of geothermal includes, but is not limited to, closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems that use the ground, groundwater, or an underground mine as an energy source. Eligible wind energy-related applications include energy production facilities and manufacturing facilities for wind turbines and other system components. Funds may be used for the following project costs:


  • Acquisition of land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
  • Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
  • Construction or renovation of a building to manufacture wind or geothermal components and systems
  • Equipment purchases for the manufacture of wind or geothermal systems
  • Purchase, installation, and construction of facilities to produce and distribute geothermal or wind energy
  • Project planning and feasibility studies
  • Permit fees
  • Administrative costs associated with an eligible project, not to exceed 2% of funding

The individual support mechanisms are described in more detail below. For all types of support, there is a general requirement that applicants provide matching funds equivalent to the funding offered under the program.

Loans
Loans are generally available at a fixed interest rate for terms of up to 10 years (equipment) or 15 years (real estate). Interest rates are set at 250 basis points above the 10 year Treasury bond (5% as of November 2014). Loans for manufacturing facilities are limited to $40,000 per job created within three years of loan approval. Loans for geothermal systems may not exceed $3 per square foot of space to be served by the system, up to $5 million. Loans for wind energy generation or distribution projects are limited to $5 million.

Grants
Grants for renewable energy manufacturing facilities are available for up to $5,000 per job created within three years of grant approval. Grants for wind energy production or distribution facilities are limited to $1 million. Planning and feasibility studies are also eligible for grants of the lesser of 50% of the cost of the study or $175,000. Grants are not available for the installation of geothermal energy systems.

Loan Guarantees
Loan guarantees will take the form of a grant that may be used in the event of financing default on the part of the applicant. Loan guarantees are limited to 75% of the deficiency up to $5 million. The term of the grant may not exceed five years.

Visit the program web site and review the funding guidelines for additional program details and application procedures.