About Institute for Energy

at Saint Francis University

  •  REC Success Stories Collage - Biomass, Geothermal, Solar, Wind Tours, Assessments, and Education

    Our History

    Recognizing the diverse and abundant energy resources present across Pennsylvania, the University established the Institute for Energy in 2014.  The Institute incorporates the Renewable Energy Center, established in 2005 to reflect the university's commitment to improving the environment and serving our communities.  The organization seeks to identify the barriers to sustainable energy use and sets up programs to overcome them through research and outreach.

    Our Impact

    • 2005 Green Power Award Winner
    • PA's first and only state-based wind assessment program, the Wind Resource Assessment Program
    • The university's wind analysis has led to over 200 MW of installed wind energy capacity in Pennsylvania
    • PA's first Renewable Energy Business Directory with 75+ companies listed 
    • We educate around 2,000 people, schools, municipalities, and businesses a year
    • We've sponsored research by faculty from business, sociology, biology, computer science, and math
    • Over 30 Saint Francis students have gotten real-life work and research experience

    Those We've helped

    Phil Jones - EMS Environmental

    "St. Francis University's meteorological tower and performance data helped Blue Mountain Ski Area turn a nice idea into a defendable business proposition. Without their program, the project might still be just a nice idea."

    Patton Landowners - Patton Wind Farm

    Patton Wind FarmThe Patton Wind Farm in Cambria County (pictured) came online in December 2012  following data collection from the center's Anemometer Loan Program that indicated a reliable resource.  Fifteen 2.0 MW turbines now stand in agricultural farmland north and west of Patton, PA, producing clean power for 9,000 homes, when operating at full capacity. The project has brought new jobs, new revenue to townships and landowners, and an alternative energy source to the area.

    Lynn Falatko - Freeland Municipal Authority

    "Through your program we were able to identify our resources and maximize the potential for previously unutilized land."

    Northern Bedford County School DistrictNorthern Bedford County School District Biomass Boiler

    The Northern Bedford County School District installed a biomass boiler system (pictured) in late 2012 after learning about the technology at Rick Handley's Biomass Bootcamp hosted by the center in 2011.  The system uses locally sourced wood chips as the fuel source.  During the first year of operation the district saw a great reduction in fuel costs over the oil system that was replaced.   

    Tony Caputo - Greater Johnstown Water Authority

    "As a board member interested in the possible construction of a wind turbine, we do not have the expertise in this area to make an educated decision and we rely on the services of the REC to guide us through this process. Without the funding provided through the REC we would not be able to pursue this venture."

    Our Supporters

    Our success would not be possible without the great support of our funders.  We thank everyone who has made it possible for us to offer renewable energy technical assistance and education services to rural Pennsylvanian businesses and communities. 

    Past and Present Funders include:

    • U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office
    • USDA Rural Development
    • U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program
    • The Reinvestment Fund's Sustainable Development Fund
    • Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation
    • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    • Pennsylvania Green Business Initiative of the Heinz Endowments
    • Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
    • L. Robert Kimball and Associates
    • The DeGol Organization
    • L.S. Fiore Inc.