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August 12, 2004


GENEVA, IL - Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn saluted the Kane County Board Executive Committee which is preparing to launch the $175,000 “Kane County Energy Project” to evaluate long-term energy demand, explore strategies for energy efficiency, manage growth and produce economic and environmental benefits for Kane County.


            “Kane County is doing exactly what our Energy Task Force report recommended – planning responsibly for future energy consumption,” said Quinn.  “As our population increases, energy use increases and I applaud Kane County for looking into ways to save energy and help avert a devastating blackout such as the Northeast Blackout one year ago

which affected more than 50 million people.”


            The “Kane County Energy Project” is funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Energy Program and will be directed by the Community Energy Cooperative, a division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.


            Joining Quinn at the event were Kathy Tholin, General Manager, Community Energy Cooperative division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.


            The Community Energy Cooperative, a division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, is a non-profit membership organization helping consumers and communities obtain the information and services they need to control energy costs.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Energy Program aims to help

communities improve their local economies through increased energy efficiency.


            “Kane County has been given the opportunity to showcase the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy and I hope that the success of this project will make Kane County a model for the rest of the state,” said Quinn.


            After the worst blackout in North American history in August, 2003, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich convened the “Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure”.  The Special Task Force, chaired by Lt. Gov. Quinn, was charged with examining Illinois’ electric grid, nuclear safety procedures, and personnel levels at power generating and distribution facilities.  It was asked to develop ways to promote efficiency and

foster renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and biomass.  It examined emergency preparedness and back-up communications systems at key state agencies and energy efficiency standards in other states.


Last month, the Task Force released a comprehensive report and 32 recommendations on ways to avoid widespread power outages in Illinois.  The report and recommendations are available at www.BlackoutSolutions.org.  Among the 32 recommendations presented in the report were: more homegrown renewable energy, enhanced investment in utility employees, and stronger cyber security. 


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