Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn delivered welcoming remarks at the opening plenary session of the 8th National Green Power Marketing Conference, and attended a press conference immediately following in Grant Park to recognize and commend Illinois energy purchasers on using All-American energy.
“By harnessing homegrown renewable energy sources, Illinois will be less subject to the whims of oil-producing countries or foreign potentates who can turn off the flow of oil,” said Quinn. “It’s time to declare energy independence and embrace the power of wind, solar, and other “green” forms of energy.”
Quinn was joined at the opening plenary session by Marcia Jimenez, Commissioner of Chicago Department of Environment; Steve Zwolinski, President of GE Wind Energy; Roger Duncan, Vice President of Austin Energy; and Phyllis Reha, Commissioner of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
“Diversifying our state’s portfolio of energy is good for the consumer, the farmer, the environment and the economy,” said Quinn, explaining that clean alternative sources of energy such as wind, sun, ethanol and soy biodiesel will provide businesses and consumers with increased savings on skyrocketing electric and gas bills.
In addition to presenting awards to energy purchasers for their dedication to using “green” forms of energy at the subsequent press conference, Quinn saluted the soon-to-be opened 51-megawatt Crescent Ridge wind farm in Bureau County, Illinois. To celebrate the wind energy facility, the press conference featured a 115-foot state-of-the-art fiberglass wind turbine blade.
“According to the US Department of Energy, several Illinois areas – in addition to Bureau County – are particularly good for wind power production,” said Quinn. “I’m pleased to applaud these award-winning companies for being so forward-thinking and for being advocates of All-American energy.”
Wind energy provides economic benefits to Illinois’ economy and can be a stimulus for rural economic development, Quinn explained. Additionally, Illinois farmers benefit with a new income stream if they lease sites on their land or construct their own wind turbines.
Quinn is an advocate of adopting a vigorous renewable energy standard, similar to standards in 13 other states, so that a certain percentage of power used by electric utilities come from alternative energy sources.
The Green Power Marketing Conference, the premier annual meeting of the green power industry, is being held in Chicago November 3 – 5. The conference is sponsored by the US Department of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Center for Resource Solutions.