Monday, September 27, 2010 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NAVY YARD ENERGY PROJECT RECEIVES ADDITIONAL FUNDING, PHILADELPHIA REGION TO BECOME A NATIONAL HUB OF CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
$129 Million Project will be led by Penn State University and more than 22 Other Partners from the Public and Private Sectors and Academia
Philadelphia, September 27, 2010 – Today Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) Steven Chu, Governor Edward G. Rendell, Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and Vice President Henry Foley of Penn State University heralded the $129 million in federal funds awarded to the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficiency Buildings (GPIC), housed at The Navy Yard. The new center will be led by Penn State University in partnership with the City of Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, the Wharton Small Business Development Center, and numerous other public, private, and academic partners.
The past weeks have seen a steady stream of good news for the Navy Yard and GPIC, starting with the announcement of up to $122 million from the DOE to fund the core research and development activities of the Energy Efficiency Hub. Since that announcement, the several federal agencies that have been working in partnership with DOE to establish and fully leverage a federal energy efficiency research lab have directed almost $7 million in additional funding to the project, including:
- $5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA);
- $1.5 million from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST);
- $160,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
In addition to these federal funds, in April, Governor Rendell wrote to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to express the commonwealth’s strong support for the project, noting that the state has authorized $30 million for capital facilities at the Navy Yard.
These additional funds will be used to leverage the core research activities of the hub to seed the commercialization and manufacture of new energy efficiency technologies and train a highly skilled new workforce to build and install them. Taken together, these grants are intended to turn the GPIC hub into not just a groundbreaking center for research, but a true economic engine for the Greater Philadelphia region.
“This investment will position Philadelphia as a world leader in energy efficiency,” said Secretary Steven Chu. “By bringing together the brightest minds in industry, government, and academia, we can learn to design and operate buildings that use dramatically less energy than today’s buildings through technologies that pay for themselves.”
“Congratulations to the entire team being led by The Pennsylvania State University,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. “This investment is the outcome of the kind of interagency collaboration that is advancing President Obama’s national innovation strategy to build critical innovative infrastructure and spur economic growth.”
“This funding is great news for the Commonwealth and is a crucial step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly America,” said Senator Casey. “With this support, the consortium can focus on energy efficiency and innovation and assist communities in reducing their energy use and creating good jobs for Pennsylvanians.”
“All of the recent announcements tied to the Navy Yard’s clean energy campus are positive news for the region and the state, but more importantly, they hold tremendous promise for the environment, for workers and for anyone who pays for energy,” said Governor Rendell. “About 40 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions are tied to the energy our buildings use, and that accounts for half of all the energy America consumes. If we can make buildings greener, we can combat climate change, cut energy bills for consumers, and create jobs in the process. That’s the purpose of this innovation cluster and the reason it’s such a great thing for our country.”
“This award cements Philadelphia’s place as a leader in the emerging clean energy economy,” said Mayor Nutter. Combined with our $25 million award from the Department of Energy earlier this fall to expand our building retrofit market and the other activities that have been taking place under our GreenWorks strategy, Philadelphia is positioned to grow good jobs for its citizens for a long time to come by inventing, manufacturing, and installing the latest energy efficiency technologies.”
“Penn State is honored to lead this team of distinguished academic institutions, national laboratories, and global industrial partners headquartered here at the Navy Yard. We are inspired by both opportunity and responsibility now before us to help our nation achieve energy independence, and create thousands of new quality jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and beyond in energy efficiency and alternative energy markets,” said GPIC Directory Henry Foley of Penn State University.
“Mayor Nutter challenged all of us with his GreenWorks plan to develop and implement innovative initiatives that leverage our existing assets and that will grow our city and region as a sustainable center,” said PIDC President Peter Longstreth. “The Navy Yard Clean Energy Campus, the GPIC alliance and the award of these important federal investments are a direct result of the Mayor’s challenge. As a result, these federal R&D investments now establish The Navy Yard, Philadelphia and the region as a national hub for the research, education and commercialization of clean and efficient energy technologies that will drive investment and job growth for years to come.”
“GPIC is the culmination of years of regional effort to establish Greater Philadelphia as a national energy hub, with The Navy Yard as its anchor. This win gives momentum to the Power Valley concept. Ben Franklin will be leading the Intellectual Property management and technology commercialization functions among the university and corporate partners in GPIC, including coordinating much of the outreach to companies and entrepreneurs,” said RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, President & CEO of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA.
“The automobile and aircraft industries have made significant improvements in energy efficiency over the past 40 years, and it’s time for the building industry to do the same,” said David Parekh, Vice President, Research, and Director, United Technologies Research Center, a key member in the Energy Innovation Hub. “We expect the breakthroughs in technology and tools borne in Philadelphia through this collaboration to address critical national energy needs and help transform the market by delivering scalable energy solutions.”
The coordinated approach to grant making seen in this project marks a new level of interagency coordination rarely seen from the federal government prior to the Obama administration. These many federal entities will work together to deliver grants, services, and support to GPIC. The hope is that by breaking down barriers between government agencies, public, non-profit, and for-profit entities, true innovation will result.
The GPIC will work to further interdisciplinary research into building energy efficiency technologies; support the commercialization of new energy efficiency technologies to generate new jobs and economic activity; develop new approaches to training and career development in the energy efficiency field; and craft new public policy approaches to reducing energy use. Some of the key activities to take place under the grant include:
- Core research into integrated approaches to building energy efficiency technology and policy, to be led by Penn State University in partnership with the TC Chan Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Purdue University, and a host of other partners.
- The creation of a new home for the GPIC through the renovation of the historic Building 661 at the Navy Yard into a highly energy efficient building that will itself become a test-bed for GPIC technologies – an effort that will be led by the City of Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC).
- Technology commercialization functions, Intellectual Property management, and seed investment for GPIC-developed technologies will be led by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, the Wharton Small Business Development Center, and PIDC.
- Engagement of local and regional networks of Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career centers to ensure that workers reap the maximum benefit from this initiative.
The full list of partners in GPIC, includes: Penn State University (Lead Partner); Bayer Material Science; Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon University; Collegiate Consortium; Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center; Drexel University; IBM Corp.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Morgan State University; New Jersey Institute of Technology’ Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation; PPG Industries; Princeton University; Purdue University; Rutgers University; Turner Construction; United Technologies Corp.; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; Virginia Tech; and Wharton Small Business Development Center.
Through these and many other functions, the GPIC will make a significant contribution to national efforts to bolster energy independence and reduce pollution, while at the same time creating well paid jobs, profitable companies, and a new economic base for the City and region.
“Regional innovation clusters create jobs and increase our global competitiveness. Through working with GPIC leaders in Philadelphia, the SBA will help entrepreneurs and small business owners take the best research and commercialize it to grow the ‘green building’ industry into an economic powerhouse that will put people to work, save consumers money and help our environment,” said U.S. Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to bring energy efficiency technologies to market, and in doing so, create jobs,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The workforce system stands ready to connect workers with jobs that will stem from this project, and ensure that individuals have the skills necessary to meet employer demands.”
The Philadelphia Navy Yard is a thriving and dynamic mixed-use development that encompasses more than 1,000 acres and over 7 miles of waterfront. With access to Philadelphia International Airport, area universities, regional highways and a large labor force, The Navy Yard is a regional economic hub with significant growth potential. Currently, The NavyYard includes over 100 companies, three major Navy activities, more than 8,000 employees, over 5.5 million square feet of occupied space, and $400 million of private investment and campuses for research and development, office and industrial space.
The Navy Yard Clean Energy Campus focuses on engineering sciences and connects key partners in economic development, federal research and development, university research and the private sector. Its purpose has established The Navy Yard as a national center for research, education and the commercialization of energy-related technologies that focus on smart grids, sustainable building design and materials, clean energy storage and distributed energy, energy management and control systems, and IT systems and security.
In addition to the partners mentioned above, GPIC will have the support of literally dozens of additional public, private, and academic partners.