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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.
"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."
The 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.
"Through your program we were able to identify our resources and maximize the potential for previously unutilized land."
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.
"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 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:
Saint Francis University117 Evergreen DriveP.O. Box 600Loretto, PA 15940