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PA Wind Energy: Press Releases and Articles

St. Francis University Announces Director of Renewable Energy Initiatives
St. Francis University Press Release, 9 June 2005

Saint Francis University President Father Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R. has announced that Mr. Erik Foley will be the University’s Director of Renewable Energy Initiatives. As has been announced, Saint Francis is partnering with Gamesa Corporation, the Spain-based wind turbine manufacturer, and McLean Energy Partners, a Virginia-based wind energy development firm, to co-develop community wind farms, create a Wind Energy Career Development Program, and launch a state-wide anemometer loan program. Mr. Foley will oversee the development of these initiatives linking them internally to academic programs and student life and externally to economic development, environmental and job training agencies and organizations throughout the state.

“The creation of this position enables us to think more creatively about our environment,” explains Father Zeis in a statement, “and it allows us to encourage the development of knowledge and skills in our students that will make an impact upon our future and the well-being of our planet.”

Mr. Foley is the former Assistant Director of Marketing and Public Affairs at Saint Francis University. Prior to Saint Francis, Mr. Foley worked for 8 years as an environmental project manager, marketer, naturalist, and freelance writer—including two years as an Environmental Education Specialist in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, South America. Mr. Foley received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies/Sociology (1996) from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and an MBA degree in marketing (2004) from Saint Francis University.

“I am honored and energized by this opportunity,” Foley said in a statement. “Because wind energy and other renewable energy sources offer cutting edge educational opportunities, sound investment potential, sustainable economic development, and cleaner air, water, and soil, the University’s Renewable Energy Initiative is a win-win for the University, the region and the state. I look forward to working with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, University supporters, and our wind industry friends to provide unique learning experiences for traditional and non-traditional students and environmentally innovative economic development opportunities for our state which will serve as a model for sustainable development.”

The focus on renewable energy, and not simply wind energy, points to the University’s broader vision for environmental leadership.

“Our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, was a lover of nature and preached unceasingly of our total dependence on the earth,” explains Mr. Foley. “It is the foundation of our economy and our culture. The University already utilizes geothermal technology on campus in Christian Hall and will be exploring energy efficiency, solar and biofuel technologies in the years to come via collaborative efforts with other University centers such as CERMUSA (Center for Excellence for Remote and Medically-Underserved Areas) and the Small Business Development Center.”

”The University recognizes and celebrates the generous support of the many people and organizations that have assisted us in making the dream of clean energy a reality for this institution and for western Pennsylvania, “ said Father Zeis in a statement. Funders and supporters include: for feasibility studies, McLean Energy Partners, L. Robert Kimball and Associates, the DeGol Organization, and L.S. Fiore Inc; for the Wind Energy Career Development Program, Congressman Bill Shuster for securing funding in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2005; and for the anemometer loan program, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund of the Berks County Community Foundation, Pennsylvania Green Business Initiative of the Heinz Endowments managed by the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.


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