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 Post subject: Northumberland County's coal to fund future
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Northumberland County's coal to fund future

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

October 02, 2008

— SHAMOKIN — Northumberland County hopes to begin selling its vast reserves of anthracite coal to Brazil and China and use profits to attract companies that create renewable energy.
Returning to its past will help the county fund its future, county planning director Stephen D. Bartos said Wednesday during the unveiling of the FUTURES project at Northumberland County Career and Arts Center.
FUTURES — Fossil Underwriting Technology to Utilize Renewable Energy Sources — aims to create jobs by providing a business-friendly environment for research, development and investment in alternative, renewable energy sources, and high-tech manufacturing.
In the beginning, coal will drive the project.
“Coal,â€

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:21 pm 
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Plans for energy facilities discussed in region

BY MARK GILGER
STAFF WRITER
POTTSVILLE REPUBLICAN & HERALD
Thursday, October 2, 2008

SHAMOKIN — Taking advantage of the area’s vast coal reserves to help develop alternative energies was the theme of Wednesday’s announcement by Northumberland County officials that two renewable energy producers plan to locate in the Mount Carmel Township section of the Coal Township/SEEDCO Industrial Park.

The new facilities are expected to generate much-needed jobs with a broader goal of Northumberland County becoming a global leader in renewable energy sources.

During a press conference at the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center attended by about 200 people, leading executives from IntelliWatt Renewable Energy of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Northeast BioEnergy LLC, Harrisburg, discussed their plans to build a biomass plant and biofuel manufacturing facility, respectively.

While both need to secure financing and finish the state permitting process, they detailed plans to bring their companies to the region.

The announcement of both companies coming to the region kicked off a Northumberland County program known as FUTURES (Fossil Underwriting Technology to Utilize Renewable Energy Sources), which also includes plans to establish an innovative energy incubator program, possibly in downtown Mount Carmel or Shamokin, to attract additional industry and businesses to the area.

The goal of the FUTURES program is to strengthen the economic base of the region by inviting and encouraging alternative and renewable energy producers and manufacturers to establish themselves in the county.

Steve Bartos, who has served as Northumberland County Planning Commission director since February, spearheaded FUTURES and was praised throughout the 90-minute program by county and local government officials for his efforts to once again make the anthracite region a leader in a new industrial revolution.

IntelliWatt’s mission is to develop and provide innovative, sustainable and intelligent renewable energy solutions that are cleaner and more efficient than traditional energy solutions.

Mark Nastasi, president, said his firm plans to convert wood to energy and then sell it to an electrical grid. He said the 10-megawatt biomass plant is expected to create 21 jobs when it opens, and may result in 500 jobs through a related development over the next seven years if funding and other factors fall into place.

Mike F. Coia, chief executive director for Northeast BioEnergy, said his firm’s biodiesel and oil seed processing plants are scheduled to cost $40 million. He said plans are to construct the plants within 12 to 15 months on 20 to 25 acres of property in the industrial park. He said the facilities are scheduled to create 50 to 60 new manufacturing jobs that pay between $35,000 and $40,000 per year.

He said Northeast would generate soil to plant switchgrass on the region’s marginalized coal land. That switchgrass would then be turned into energy by IntelliWatt.

Coia said Northeast’s 5-megawatt plant also will fuel the local trucking, rail line and agricultural businesses by possibly adding 1,500 ancillary jobs.

‘The future ... is here’

Randy S. McKillop, president of McKillop and Associates, Harrisburg, a consulting firm working with Northumberland County on FUTURES, presented an overview of an innovative incubator program he plans to help establish in the coal region.

“The future is now, and it’s here in Northumberland County,â€

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