A Schuylkill County wind turbine project is in line for a $5 million federal stimulus grant. The money will enable the Broad Mountain Wind Energy Center to install eight turbines near Frackville for a project that will create 43 jobs, according to a statement released Friday by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The money is part of $22.8 million in grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act create a total of 307 jobs at three large-scale wind farms, including he one at Frackville. In addition, $7.8 million of the stimulus money went to Gamesa Wind USA to install 19 two-megawatt wind turbines at the Chestnut Flats Wind Farm in Cambria and Blair counties. The project is expected to create 85 jobs. Another $10 million went to Iberdrola Renewables' South Chestnut wind project to install 23 two-megawatt turbines in Fayette County that will create 129 jobs."A year ago this week, President Obama after only 28 days in office and Congress took action to move the United States out of its darkest days since the 1930s by passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said Governor Ed Rendell. "While some naysayers – often, critics who have little personally at stake have questioned whether it was the right thing to do, the reality is that the Recovery Act kept our nation from sinking deeper into economic quicksand."
Rendell spoke during a visit to the Cambria County wind turbine project. Rendell noted that "2 million Americans today have good jobs because of the federal stimulus. In Pennsylvania, the act helped avoid massive layoffs, provided relief to families in need, made higher education more affordable for students, and enabled employers to hire and retain workers doing jobs that are vital to the state's future, such as developing renewable energy resources," according to the news release.
"Since the Recovery Act was passed, Pennsylvania companies and communities have received more than $800 million for green energy projects. Those funds are in addition to the nearly $1 billion in state funds spent to help grow this sector in the last seven years. As result, according to the Pew Center, Pennsylvania ranks third for the growth of green jobs just behind the powerhouse energy states of Texas and California.
"The $22.8 million that Governor Rendell announced today through the Recovery-funded Green Energy Works! Wind grant program will create or retain 387 jobs, leverage more than $200 million in private investments, and reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 450 million pounds annually the equivalent of removing 39,000 passenger vehicles from the road," the release said. "It's clear that the stimulus is working: it's providing a lifeline to families, slowing job losses, and helping our economy rebound. In January 2009, America lost 750,000 jobs. One year later, that rate had slowed to only 20,000 jobs and the nation's GDP grew at its fastest pace in six years during the fourth quarter of 2009."