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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2001

Illinois’ Draft Energy Policy Now Online
Governor Announces $1.3 Million in New Grants for Renewable Energy Projects

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the state’s developing energy policy drafted by the Energy Cabinet is now available to the public for comment by logging onto the state’s website at www.state.il.us/gov/energy. Interested citizens can e-mail comments on the policy to ilenergypolicy@state.il.us before December 8, 2001.

“Illinois has already been recognized as a leader in energy policy through initiatives like the creation of the Clean Energy Foundation, funding the largest state contribution to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and creating the largest coal program of any state,” Governor Ryan said. “When our new energy policy is fully implemented after the public has this opportunity for review, Illinois will be the national leader in formulating a statewide, comprehensive, environmentally responsible energy policy.”

The energy policy examines four key energy markets: electricity, natural gas, liquid fuels, and renewable energy.

To highlight the Governor’s strong support of Illinois’ investment in renewable energy, more than $1.3 million in new grants demonstrating the viability of solar power and ethanol fuel cell technology were awarded today.

“Fully utilizing clean, renewable sources of energy is important for our environment and our economy. Investing in renewable energy, and making wise energy choices, will ensure that Illinois consumers have an adequate, safe, and affordable energy supply in the future,” Governor Ryan said.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) is awarding renewable energy grants to the Chicago Historical Society, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Lakefront SRO Holland Apartments, and the City of Chicago Emergency Communications Office. The grants will be used to purchase and install solar photovoltaic systems to make electricity from sunlight.

In addition, Caterpillar Inc. is receiving $550,000 from DCCA to assist with a $2.5 million project to develop and test an ethanol-powered fuel cell. The fuel cell will provide electrical power for the Williams Bio-Energy visitors’ center in Pekin. The U.S. Department of Energy, Williams Bio-Energy, and Nuvera, (the fuel cell manufacturer), are partners in the project.

“Power captured from the sun, wind, water, and biomass is producing more electricity for Illinois consumers than ever before,” said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. “While energy from renewable sources represents a small fraction of the power produced in the state, it’s one of the fastest growing segments of our utility infrastructure.”

Renewable Energy Project Grants

Chicago Historical Society
Total Project Cost: $512,477
Contact: Robert Wauert, 312/799-2220

The Department is awarding $300,000 in grant funds to the Chicago Historical Society to partially fund the purchase and installation of a rooftop, 51.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.

City of Chicago, Office of Emergency Communications
Total Project Cost: $366,843
Contact: William Abolt, 312/746-9256

The City of Chicago will receive a $220,106 grant from the Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund to purchase and install a 38-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the City’s Office of Emergency Communications.

DuSable Museum of African American History
Total Project Cost: $322,462
Contact: Antoinette Wright, 773/947-0600

The Department is awarding $193,477 in grant funds to the DuSable Museum of African American History to purchase and install a rooftop 27-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.

Lakefront SRO Holland Apartments
Total Project Cost: $191,033
Contact: Marge Argyclan, 773/561-0900

The Department is awarding $108,000 in grant funds to the Lakefront SRO Holland Apartments to purchase and construct an 18-kilowatt photovoltaic solar system on the roof of the Holland Home.

Governor Ryan’s Accomplishments in the Energy Field

  • Creation of the $225 million Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the largest state entity of its kind in the nation.
  • Financial assistance to low-income residents through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the expenditures on which surpassed $172 million this past winter. This included $65 million from state funds, the largest contribution of any state in the nation.
  • Coal and energy project support through a $3.5 billion revenue bond authorization, the largest incentive program of its kind in the nation. This funding provided by the Illinois Resource Development and Energy Security Act is in addition to the significant state spending on coal research, development and infrastructure programs.
  • Ban on the use of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), a significant contributor to groundwater contamination, as a fuel additive in Illinois.
  • Illinois is the leading producer of agriculture-based fuels. Mexico’s President Vicente Fox has asked the State for assistance in developing expertise in production of ethanol. Mexico’s use of ethanol as a fuel additive could increase the North American demand for ethanol, and Illinois corn producers could benefit from such increases in demand.
  • Promotion of state and local government energy and environmental partnerships through programs such as Green Illinois. These partnerships are based on the broad principles of restoring critical ecosystems, using energy, land, water and resources efficiently, and emphasizing environmental awareness and education.
  • Investment of millions of dollars in renewable energy resources, including solar, landfill gas and even hydropower projects.
  • Institution of a state renewable energy goal of 5 percent by 2010, and 15 percent by 2020.
  • Oversight and implementation of Illinois’ electric restructuring law, which has provided price stability, increased investment in new electric generation, and allowed customers, such as large manufacturing plants, high rise buildings, dry cleaners and schools, to save money by selecting their power supplier.
  • State and local officials have worked to improve the electric distribution systems, with over $2 billion spent by Illinois utilities.


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