The Pennsylvania Department Environmental Protection (DEP) has started accepting applications for $16m funding, which is meant for supporting the development of clean energy projects that will save energy and money for those who develop them, create jobs and improve the environment.

John Hanger, secretary of DEP, said that the state funding was being made available through the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA). The maximum award is $1m per project.

An amount of $2m has been specifically set aside for municipalities, local government authorities, and first responders in Duquesne Light’s electric service territory and immediately adjacent areas to help these entities cope with high energy costs and ensure energy supply for critical operations.

Grants will be announced at the meeting of PEDA board of director on August 27, 2010.

Mr Hanger said: “When we began our effort to make Pennsylvania energy independent, we recognized the need for projects that use advanced technologies to help meet our future energy needs while generating new employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians.”

“Previously, we were far too dependent on foreign oil and far too many of our energy dollars were leaving the state. We needed to look within our borders for innovative ways to conserve and generate energy, and create jobs. PEDA has been a major vehicle in helping us attain those goals.”

PEDA, a competitive grant program that finances innovative, clean energy projects and companies, has invested more than $75m in 147 projects that leveraged an estimated $1.1bn in private investments.

The 25 projects PEDA funded in 2009 will combine to generate and conserve enough energy to power more than 26,000 homes, reducing carbon emissions equivalent to removing more than 17,000 cars from our roadways.