HARRISBURG, PA – Applications are now available for three programs that are helping Pennsylvania to grow its economy, achieve energy independence, and make it easier for consumers and businesses to develop and use advanced, clean energy resources.


Applications for the Energy Harvest and Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant programs, as well as funding from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority, can be downloaded from http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/.


Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said the funds available through these programs will expand the use of renewable energy technologies in the commonwealth and help citizens and businesses manage increasing energy costs by using alternatives that also boost the state’s economy.


“We’re investing in the future of Pennsylvania’s families and businesses by using our resources to build a new energy economy in the commonwealth — o­ne that encourages clean and renewable resources that are indigenous to our state and are, increasingly, more cost competitive with conventional fuels,” said McGinty.


“The o­ngoing run-up in energy prices is putting a pinch o­n the pocketbooks and budgets of consumers and companies. The investments we’re making through these three programs will help spur the development of energy from things such as solar, wind and biomass — all of which Pennsylvania has in abundance. By supporting these technologies and opening new markets to their use, we’re not o­nly working to create new jobs, but also making these alternatives more cost effective for consumers, which will save them money o­n their energy bills.”


Details o­n the three grant program rounds that opened today are as follows:


— Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA)

This year, up to $12.8 million is available through two PEDA grant opportunities. Up to $11 million will be available statewide for innovative, advanced energy projects and advanced energy businesses interested in locating to the state.


Another $1.8 million is available to municipalities, local government authorities and first responders in Duquesne Light Company’s electric service territory and immediately adjacent areas for energy efficiency and renewable power. The funds are intended to help local governments and first responders cope with rising energy costs and to ensure a secure energy supply for critical operations.


Governor Edward G. Rendell revived PEDA after years of inactivity to help spark innovation and economic development in Pennsylvania’s energy industry. Since 2005, PEDA has approved 81 grants and loans totaling more than $31 million for clean energy projects that are leveraging an estimated $362 million in other investment.


Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants (AFIG)


AFIG grants help support energy security by investing in companies that produce and market homegrown biofuels and consumers that purchase hybrid vehicles. This year, more funding is available to for fleet vehicles, providing incentives for businesses to incorporate the latest fuel and engine technologies.


Approximately $10 million is available this year. AFIG will continue funding to cover the added cost to purchase biofuel blends, as well as continuing the 5 cents per gallon production incentive for biofuels.

Since Governor Rendell expanded the AFIG three years ago, it has provided more than $17.8 million to 54 projects and leveraged $164 million in investments by public and private fleet operators, fuel providers and the federal government. AFIG funding awarded since 2004 has supported the use of more than 6 million gallons of biodiesel-blended fuel, as well as the production of 37 million gallons of biodiesel through 2009.


In addition, over the past three years, AFIG has invested approximately $4.5 million in rebates for the purchase of nearly 9,000 hybrid electric vehicles.


— Energy Harvest

Approximately $5 million will be available through the Energy Harvest grant program, which was established by Governor Rendell in 2003.


Energy Harvest promotes awareness and builds markets for cleaner or renewable energy technologies. Innovative projects that are eligible include renewable energy deployment, including biomass; waste coal reclamation for energy; deployment of innovative efficiency technologies; and distributed generation projects.


Since 2003, Energy Harvest has invested nearly $26 million and leveraged $66 million in private investments.

Applications for all three grant programs must be postmarked or received by June 20. Directions for submitting applications to each of the programs can be found in the respective application guideline.


For more information and to download applications and guidelines, visit http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/, keywords: PEDA, Energy Harvest or Alternative Fuels.



Should you want to learn more about opportunities to invest in alternative energy resources such as solar, wind etc. email george@hbsadvantage.com


Less than seven months from now the current Federal tax incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy are set to expire.

Your help is urgently needed in this final push to obtain an extension of the renewable energy investment tax credits before they expire.

Within the next day or two the U.S. Senate is set to discuss HR 6049, the Energy Tax

Extenders bill. This House bill provides for the most important attributes for renewable energy tax credits to be extended. It extends credits for solar installations, wind farms, energy efficiency buildings, and other technologies.

Three solar items of note are that the:


  • Commercial Solar Investment Tax Credit (Section 48) would be extended to 8 years (more than the 6 years previously suggested)


·         Groups are working now to eliminate the $2000 cap on residential tax credits


  • A final ruling must be made on the relationship of the 30% Federal Energy Tax credit and how it affects the Alternative Minimum Tax. Does the tax override any liability as a result of the Alternative Minimum Tax or is the credit lost once it goes down to the personal tax level.


 We ask that you take a moment to contact your Senators today to urge

them to bring H.R. 6049 to the floor of the Senate for a vote — and to

        support this legislation.

Our friends at SEIA inform us that this is likely to be the last opportunity for an extension this year so the time to act is now. Please call your Senators today. Click here to find their phone numbers.


Key messages:

Not extending solar credits is an enormous tax increase that will cost  American jobs.

ASES reports that we can create up to 40 million green-collar jobs by 2030, but Congress must lead for this to happen.

The 8-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit is critical for utilities to get the financing necessary to keep pace with rising demand for energy.

The cap on the residential investment tax credit needs to be removed to provide the incentives needed to properly stimulate the market.

Thanks for your action and your ongoing support — and for letting your Senators know that solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies are

important to you.


For more information about solar opportunities in NJ and PA email george@hbsadvantage.com


Our Edgewater, New Jersey store has introduced solar energy as a power source by installing solar panels made by BP Solar on our facility’s roof. The system will meet more than 20 percent of Edgewater store’s needs. The solar array, composed of BP Solar panels covering 14,000 square feet on the store’s roof, turns the sun’s free energy into usable power. These solar panels are electrically interconnected to Xantrex PV GTI series inverters, which feed high quality AC power to the store’s existing electrical system and the utility grid at large.

The new solar electrical system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. The system will produce and save more than 2.2 million kWhs over 20 years resulting in more than 1,650 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 440 cars from the roadways, and reduce the impact on our country’s power grids.

Solar …. The New Sexy

To learn more about solar opportunities and incentives in NJ email george@hbsadvantage.com


Rise in the New Jersey solar market

The Garden State is living up to its name by having one of the nation’s top solar energy power programs. Since the program’s conception, solar installations have dramatically risen by over 300 percent.


Originating in 2001, through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) designed a model of green-energy plans and incentives that make environmentally friendly energy consumption reachable and affordable for average consumers.


Especially attractive are the incentives for installing solar panels (also know as photovoltaics), which over a number of years can actually bring individual energy costs down to zero. These incentives include high rebates for cost and installation as well as special loans for businesses and schools.


New Jersey is now the fastest growing solar energy market in the U.S. When the program began in 2001, there were only six solar panels running. By 2006 the number of solar panel installations doubled and, according to the BPU, there are now over two thousand statewide. This number is second only to California which, the BPU points out, has four times the population and energy needs of New Jersey.


New Jersey’s solar power programs are even attracting wealthy investors such as Ted Turner. Last year he partnered with Dome-Tech Solar to create DT Solar, a renewable energy company. Turner’s company just finished installing the nation’s largest corporate solar system for Hall’s Warehouse Corp. in South Plainfield.


Success through the Solar Financing Model

Leading the way for affordable solar power is New Jersey’s Solar Financing Model. Through state rebates, government tax credits, net-metering, and renewable energy certificates, the cost-effectiveness of buying and installing solar panels is reduced to 10 years or less. Cost-effectiveness previously had been measured at 25 years.


This model has set a high standard that other states are using to create their own solar power programs. New Jersey currently matches cost and installation of solar panels up to 60 percent. Net-metering allows excess electricity generated to be sold back to utility companies. Renewable energy certificates compensate owners for every 1,000 kilowatt hours (1 MWh) generated by their solar energy installation.


Another incentive for solar panel buyers is a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 provided through the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT). This is the same act signed by President Bush that also gives rebates for hybrid vehicles and energy-efficient appliances, among other things


However, the state’s program will soon be transitioning from rebate-based to market-based, says BPU Public Information Officer Doyal Siddell. This market-based program still under review would phase out the rebates and in turn could refocus buyers’ costs primarily on renewable energy certificates.


New Jersey as an environmental leader

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the net electricity generation for New Jersey was 4,709,000 megawatt hours (MWh) measured in November 2006. Nuclear, natural gas, and coal make up the largest energy sources comprising 4,588,000 MWh. Only 36 MWh are currently generated from solar.


New Jersey also houses the highest-capacity and oldest running nuclear power plants in the nation at Salem Creek and Oyster Creek respectively.


It is also one of the top five particulate air (soot) polluters in the United States.

New Jersey Governor John Corzine recently signed an executive order adopting strict rules and goals to actively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The order mandates limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and electric companies will be fined if found going over. “I’m proud that New Jersey is helping to blaze that trail,” Governor Corzine said in a press release.


The state’s goal is to have 20 percent renewable energy output by 2020, with 1,500 MWhs by solar power alone.


Growing market for solar power

The solar energy market currently makes up less than 0.1 percent of all energy produced across the country. The growing need for alternative sources of energy production could bring solar energy to a more prominent position. And in New Jersey, businesses and homeowners now have the cost-effectiveness and governmental support to utilize the power of the sun.


To learn more about solar opportunities and incentives in NJ email


June 3, 2008

Philadelphia to Host PV AMERICA
Leading Solar Photovoltaics Conference and Trade Show, in 2009

Industry leaders select emerging solar market to showcase technology, business opportunities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The city of Philadelphia will host PV AMERICA, the nation’s premier conference for the solar photovoltaic industry, June 8-10, 2009, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Solar photovoltaics will play a vital role in securing America’s energy independence, and PV America will showcase the fast-growing PV sector in the city of American independence,” said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The conference will bring together leaders from the technology, research, finance and business development communities to share the latest trends for photovoltaics, complementing the annual Solar Power conference that we co-host in October.”

Organizers of the PV America 2009 program include SEIA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Mid-Atlantic chapter of SEIA (MSEIA). IEEE will present its Photovoltaic Specialists Conference June 7 – 11, 2009, to coincide with PV America at the same location.

“We’re building a clean energy economy here in Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. “We’re opening new markets for solar energy and other renewable sources, we’re making strategic investments to attract some of the world’s leading solar developers and create jobs in this rapidly growing field, and we’re pushing to generate even more development in this industry. Hosting PV America 2009 is a great opportunity for us to showcase our accomplishments while also helping to shape the future of this industry and create an energy independent America.”

Many industry observers feel Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland will rival California as the prime U.S. market for solar energy for the coming decade. With strong state policies and incentives in place, the region’s leaders have established a climate to attract PV companies, installations and jobs.

Dr. Tim Anderson, Chairman of IEEE’s Photovoltaic Specialists Conference committee, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming conference.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for the advancement of solar energy,” said Anderson, who is also Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at the University of Florida. “Experts from across industry, academia and government will gather in Philadelphia to explore emerging technologies, reach out to policymakers from the region and across the nation, and educate the public about the enormous potential of solar energy.”

The conference will include a technical review of PV cell design and manufacturing practices, as well as updates and insights on state, regional and national market and policy issues that impact the industry. Unlike other PV conferences, all proceeds go toward advocacy work in advancing policy and business strategies to expand the U.S. solar energy market.

“Next year’s presence of the premier PV America 2009 trade show in Pennsylvania is a strong sign that the solar industry is ready to ramp up,” said Ron Celentano, vice president for Pennsylvania of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA), a supporting organization of PV America. “Solar creates more jobs than any form of electricity generation. And with Pennsylvania’s 860 megawatts of solar requirement to be met over fifteen years, Pennsylvania and other Mid-Atlantic states are positioned to benefit for all solar has to offer.”


To learn more about solar opportunities in NJ and PA email george@hbsadvantage.com

Solar …. The New Sexy

The PA General Assembly saw the value of introducing solar energy to help meet their growing energy demand that they introduced a bill back in 2004. Click on the provided link to learn more. 


To learn more about the growing opportunities available for solar installation you may email george@hbsadvantage.com




 AS reported on SolarPowerRocks.com

This post is a list of where to get information, help, and most importantly, MONEY, for energy efficient improvements for your small business or home if you live in Pennsylvania. Enjoy.


  • EMAP, the Environmental Management Assistance Program was created by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers which have consultants to help you (for free) in anything dealing with Energy Efficiency. Here you can sign up for an energy assessment and someone will come out and see where you would best be benefited by energy efficiency improvements. You can also call 877-ASK-EMAP and get a free consultant to answer any questions about energy efficiency.

    • The Small Business Advantage Program grants money for energy efficiency upgrades like solar power and pollution prevention. That’s free money…. but they’re out of it. Gotta wait till next year.


    • “Growing Greener” is a PA program with a boatload of cash ($600 mil) to dole out for green projects. Here’s how to apply.


    • “Energy Harvest” is another PA grant program where Pennsylvania fights for Federal grant money. Energy harvest is closed for 2007 but go here to be notified when it reopens.


    • “AFIG,” The Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program is a fairly small PA grant program with money for things like bio diesel, so if you want to convert your old diesel benzo you might be able to get some free ducats here for that…. But no money for rims :-(… I checked.


    • Yay, more acronyms… The PPAA, or Pollution Prevention Assistance Account Loan Program has low interest loans for small business taking on projects to reduce waste, pollution, or energy use (yay, that mean solar power!). You can get up to 75% of the cost of the project at a rate of, no kidding, 2%… BAM!


    • SAG, the Site Assessment Grant Program funds up to 80 percent of the cost of a site assessment. It’s closed for the time being… call 717-772-8951 to find out if and when it re-opens. Also, while you’re at it, another program out of money that will reopen is PEDA, the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority from which you can solicit money….. next year.


    • NEWPA offers some low-interest loans for small business complying with some energy efficient practices.


    Hope this helps… this covers the vast majority of ways to get free money or cheap money in Pennsylvania for your solar power projects.


    Governor Rendell is has become a big promoter of Solar Energy in Pennsylvania. Currently the PA statehouse is decussing incentives that will help open the door to more businesses and homeowners to participate in the solar initiative.


    Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.


    To learn more about Solar opportunities in PA email george@hbsadvantage.com




    As reported in Reuters:


    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned on Tuesday the U.S. economy was on the brink of a recession, with the chances of that happening at more than 50 percent.


    The U.S. economy has been hit by a credit crisis, which began in the sub-prime mortgage market, prompting a series of interest rate cuts to help boost the economy. But price pressures are growing, making more rate cuts unlikely.


    Asked if the U.S. economy was in recession, Greenspan said: “We are on the brink.”

    A quick recovery was unlikely, he said via video link to a conference in Johannesburg. “A rebound at this stage is not something I think is in the immediate outlook,” he said.

    “There are still very considerable structural problems remaining in the financial system. They will remain for a while. It’s going to be very difficult. There are a lot of unexpected adverse events out in front of us,” Greenspan said.


    Greenspan said he did not believe arguments that the housing problems in the U.S. were due to interest rates being too low during his tenure. “As far as I’m concerned, the data do not support it (that argument). The housing bubble is clearly an international phenomenon.”


    Our Perspective:


    Pressure continues to grow in the business sector. Everyday you read a headline that another corporation is having massive layoffs. Fuel prices continue to rise, this leads to a rise in food prices. It becomes a spiraling effect. Our lack of commitment to address these issues in the past has come full circle.


    What do we do?


    Instant gratification has been the calling card but look where it has gotten us. We must focus on the long-term solutions that will increase the quality of life as we go forward.


    Energy alternatives (solar, wind, geothermal), new ways to power our automobiles ( electric, water, I even heard of cooking grease). We must think outside the box to introduce new solutions that work and are a benefit to all. Just not a few.


    Hutchinson Business Solutions, that is what we do. Introducing new ideas, creating opportunities that define a better tomorrow.


    Let us know your thoughts? You can email george@hbsadvantage.com


    Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

    Merck wants to go solar

    June 23, 2008


    As reported in NJ.com


    Thursday, June 12, 2008


    By Veronica Slaght


    READINGTON TWP. — By the end of this year, Merck & Co. could start growing an unusual crop — clean energy — from a seven-acre field of solar panels. The drug corporation hopes to install the solar panels out of sight of the road on the north end of its 1,003-acre headquarters off Route 523, pending approval by the township Planning Board.


    The board responded favorably to their concept proposal Monday night, and unanimously decided that a variance isn’t needed for the project, at the recommendation of board attorney Valerie Kimson. SunPower Corp., which would install the system for Merck, said they will return to the board with a formal site plan in the coming weeks.


    According to Igor Saulsky, senior project development manager for SunPower, the panels would generate from 6 to 10% of the electricity used by Merck. None of the power would be exported off the property. The system will be installed near the existing electric substations.


    Mr. Saulsky, a Tewksbury resident, said the panels would harness about two million kilowatt hours of energy a year. The average American household consumes around 10,000 kilowatt hours a year, according to the federal Department of Energy, so these panels could run about 200 homes per year.


    They would be attached to long axles and set up in rows, with a small motor rotating them so that they’re always facing the sun. They’d be stored in a tilted position at night, so any rainwater could run off. According to Mr. Saulsky, the panels won’t prevent rainwater from getting to the soil. They’re installed by drilling very small holes in the ground. Grass will be able to grow around and underneath the installation. He’s even seen sheep grazing between the panels of a similar system they set up in Europe. The panels aren’t very reflective because they’re designed to absorb light, “like a roach motel for photons,” said Mr. Saulsky.


    Township Committeewoman Julia Allen, a board member, when this technology will become obsolete. Mr. Saulsky said solar panels are “very mature” — they’ve been around since 1954 — so the technology doesn’t change that much, and the life projection for this system is 30 years or more. Board member Cheryl Filler wanted to know whether any trees would be cut down. Some other board concerns are whether the system will increase impervious coverage and whether it will meet setback requirements.

    Merck would like to put in the panels by the end of the year because the company wants to make use of federal tax credits that will expire.


    The field of panels would be constructed by SunPower, under contract with Merck, but United Technologies would finance, own and maintain the system. SunPower is a 3,000-employee company that’s built 450 large-scale solar installations like this one all over the world.




    Although our company is not providing the solar installation, we wanted to keep you informed of the growing interest in solar energy. NJ has taken the lead nationally to provide incentives to raise the level of interest in alternative energy.


    Would you like to know more about the solar evolution? Email george@hbsadvantage.com  


    PA is taking the necessary steps to provide incentive to businesses and homeowners to invest in alternative energy sources ie. Solar, Wind etc


    Aggressive goals of producing 850 MW of solar capacity by the year 2020. To learn more click on the link provided below.




    To learn more about solar opportunities in PA email george@hbsadvantage.com


    Hutchinson Business Solutions visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com


    Creating Opportunities Today … Defining Savings for Tomorrow