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'Net zero energy' building planned for Bethlehem Steel site gets grant

Plans keep moving forward for an office and light manufacturing building on the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna that would be a model for sustainable energy.

The Erie County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday accepted a $56,600 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and agreed to provide $18,500 of its own funds for technical support and analysis work on the “net zero energy” building that the agency plans to build on the northern end of the former steel property.

The idea behind the building is to show how highly energy-efficient facilities work and to act as a catalyst for further development on the former steel mill site. IDA officials also view it as a potential source of recurring revenue for an agency whose revenue stream largely relies on the fees the agency charges on projects receiving tax breaks.

The proposed building would use geothermal energy, solar panels, wind turbines and architectural features to meet goals of a healthy work environment, low-energy use, a sustainable carbon-neutral footprint and little or no waste.

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