Smethport Scores $50K Grant for Biomass CHP Project

Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller

Following on the heels of a $25K grant from the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Smethport has received a $50K grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, bringing the total to $75K to help fund the feasibility analysis for the Combined Heat Power (CHP) project planned for the Borough.

“We thank the Richard King Mellon Foundation for helping to raise people’s awareness of alternative energy sources and assisting Smethport in taking its first steps toward energy independence,” said Ross Porter, co-chairman of the Smethport Woody Biomass Leadership Team (SWBLT).

The SWBLT’s success in obtaining grant money for the CHP project is not surprising, given the high interest nationwide in developing alternative energy sources and using infrastructure projects for stimulating the economy. Projects that create jobs and achieve energy independence are especially appealing, and more money from public and private sources is likely to find its way to Smethport.

Ross Porter said that when the time comes, the SWBLT will seek out the best engineers to design and build the CHP facility, even hiring expertise from Europe, if necessary. In Europe the use of sustainable biomass technology to power and heat municipalities is far more advanced than in the U.S., having been in continuous operation there for over 15 years.