Governor Wolf Announces Nearly $1 Million Approved for DCED Economic Initiative in Coal-Impacted Communities

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today the approval of $960,000 in funding through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the United States Department of Commerce and the EDA’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative to develop a plan that encourages the redevelopment of idled coal-fired power plants throughout the commonwealth.

“Sites that once occupied Pennsylvania’s operational coal-fired power plants are very often in prime locations for redevelopment, boasting access to excellent existing infrastructure assets like rivers, highways, railroads, and utilities,” said Governor Wolf. “In addition to offering developer’s confidence in estimating potential project budgets, this effort is also likely to facilitate negotiations and transactions with plant owners. Efficiently returning these sites to the tax roll benefits surrounding communities and enhances the overall well-being of the commonwealth.”

“Through this funding, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will identify potential redevelopment opportunities for decommissioned plants,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “Ultimately, this effort represents a coordinated and proactive business attraction strategy that will serve as model approach for incentivizing real estate transactions and transformational redevelopment of these properties.”

DCED received approval for $960,000 in funding to address the redevelopment potential of closed coal-fired power plants across the state. The department, in partnership with power companies and regional and local economic development entities, will perform a combination of environmental and economic analyses at shuttered power plants in Pennsylvania to give potential developers an assessment of potential redevelopment costs and accelerate plans for reuse.

Earlier this year, Governor Wolf announced the availability of $65.8 million through the Obama Administration’s POWER Initiative to develop new strategies for economic growth and worker advancement for communities that have historically relied on the coal economy for economic stability.

The POWER Initiative is a multi-agency effort aligning and targeting federal economic and workforce development resources to communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is participating in the initiative with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The Obama administration launched the POWER Initiative in 2015 and awarded nearly $15 million to coal-impacted communities, making investments in seven Appalachian states. Congress expanded the work of POWER for 2016, providing $50 million to ARC to assist communities across Appalachia, along with $15 million to EDA to assist communities nationwide.

For more information on the POWER Initiatives including eligibility requirements and application information, visit www.eda.gov/power.

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