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Suzlon Energy acquires wind park in Illinois
Posted 4/3/2014 3:14:56 PM

Apr 2 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Malvika Joshi Mint, New Delhi
Suzlon Energy Ltd, India's largest wind turbine maker, has acquired Big Sky wind park from Edison Mission Energy in the US, Suzlon informed the exchanges on Wednesday, ending a dispute over receivables.
The acquisition was made through Suzlon's US subsidiary Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. (SWECO), set up to cater to the growing needs of the wind power market in North America.

While the financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, two people close to transaction said that the deal has been struck at $220 million.

Big Sky, a wind park in Illinois, has 114 S88 wind turbines. The acquisition makes Big Sky the biggest wind park owned by the Suzlon Group in the US.

Edison Mission Energy (EME) is engaged in the business of developing, acquiring, owning or leasing, operating and selling energy and capacity from independent power production facilities. It is a part of the Princeton-based NRG Energy Inc., a Fortune 500 company.

The move to acquire Big Sky comes after Suzlon decided to write-off the receivables from Big Sky in February 2014.

According to a Bloomberg report dated 17 February, Suzlon had been trying to recoup $208 million from Big Sky for machines sold in 2009 and written down the value by Rs.400 crore last year. The Indian firm had also lodged a court case against EME regarding non-payment.

Big Sky was formerly owned by Edison Mission Group, a unit of Edison International. NRG Energy agreed in October to buy most assets of bankrupt Edison Mission.

"Big Sky, however, is now completely debt-free and cash generating asset. All the proceeds from electricity production at Big Sky will now come to Sweco," one of the people cited above said. Both chose to speak on condition of anonymity.

He also said that the firms have now amicably settled the issue out of court.

Commenting on the development, chief executive of Sweco, Duncan Koerbel said, "Our relationship with Edison Mission dates back to the earliest days of Suzlon doing business with the US and we are pleased to be their partner. We look forward to continuing the relationship with NRG Energy Inc."

Suzlon Energy Ltd, India's largest wind turbine maker, has acquired Big Sky wind park from Edison Mission Energy in the US, Suzlon informed the exchanges on Wednesday, ending a dispute over receivables.

Source URL: http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/14/04/suzlon-energy-acquires-wind-park-illinois


County officials protest Ill. Senate bill on wind farms
Posted 4/3/2014 3:13:55 PM

Apr 2 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Jessica Bourque - Morris Daily Herald, Ill.
A proposed Illinois Senate bill aims to make all wind farms state-regulated, and Grundy County officials are not happy about the proposition.
Illinois Senate Bill 3263, sponsored by John Sullivan, D-Quincy, would create the Wind Energy Facilities Construction and Deconstruction Act. The law would transfer all regulatory responsibilities regarding wind farms - which are currently regulated on a county by county basis - to the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Several Illinois counties, including Grundy County, are opposed to the proposed legislation, which passed Monday during a Grundy County Rules Committee meeting an official resolution opposing Senate Bill 3263.

The resolution is set to go before the County Board next week, before it is passed along to state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, who will take the county's concerns to Springfield.

"We are one of several counties against this legislation," county administrator Heidi Miller said Tuesday.

Grundy is home to one wind farm that encompasses 132 wind turbines near the Highland, Verona and Kinsman areas.

"Last time, when we had the Horizon wind farm, we had input through public hearings and there was a lot of cooperation with the municipalities," Miller said. "This bill would take that collaborative process away."

According to the proposed measure, county governments would be relegated as recommending bodies, which means they could suggest windmill regulations but would have no authority to actually write ordinances.

Grundy County Chairman Ron Severson said the county is especially concerned about losing the power to decommission wind towers.

"What happens if, all of the sudden, [the wind farm] goes bankrupt and we need to decommission," Severson said Tuesday. "We wouldn't have that authority to do that and you hate to lose local control with anything."

According to the bill's sponsor, state regulation could bring more uniformity to wind-farm regulation throughout the state. Currently, windmill regulations differ between each county.

"We're not against standardization, necessarily," Grundy County Rules Committee chairman Eric Rasmusson said Tuesday. "We'd just like to keep that control at the county level."

Miller said there is already some consistency among county ordinances, but each is tailored to the specific county's needs and limitations.

For example, Grundy County had to coordinate with road commissioners on pavement projects before building its wind farm.

"Instead of just reviewing the county's and various municipalities' existing wind ordinances, they're going the other tact and asking the Department of Agriculture to evaluate everything," Miller said.

The bill also would make uniform regulations to mitigate each wind farm's agricultural impact and would allocate resources for smaller counties that may not have the resources needed to draft proper wind farm ordinances.

The bill had its first reading in the Senate last month, and as of March 27, was sent to an energy subcommittee on special issues where it awaits further review.

A proposed Illinois Senate bill aims to make all wind farms state-regulated, and Grundy County officials are not happy about the proposition.

Source URL: http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/14/04/county-officials-protest-ill-senate-bill-wind-farms



Algonquin Power closes acquisition of remaining stake in 400-MW wind portfolio
Posted 4/3/2014 3:03:36 PM

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 11:04 AM ET
Algonquin Power closes acquisition of remaining stake in 400-MW wind portfolio

By Nazia Qureshi

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. closed the acquisition of the remaining 40% of a 400-MW wind power portfolio from Gamesa Wind US LLC for approximately $115 million.

The wind portfolio consists of the 200-MW Minonk project in Illinois, the 150-MW Senate project in Texas and the 50-MW Sandy Ridge project in Pennsylvania. Gamesa Wind will continue to provide operations, warranty and maintenance services for the wind turbines and balance of plant facilities under 20-year contracts, according to a March 31 news release.

Substantially all of the power from the projects is sold under fixed-price contracts including long-term hedge agreements with a remaining weighted average life of 11 years; ancillary services including capacity and renewable energy credits are contracted into the energy markets in which the facilities are located.

Gamesa Wind is a subsidiary of Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica SA.


Copyright © 2014, SNL Financial LC


Senator wants state of Illinois to start regulating wind farms
Posted 3/12/2014 11:06:42 AM

Mon, 03/10/2014 - 6:27pm | Will Brumleve [1]
Published on Paxton Record (http://www.paxtonrecord.net)

QUINCY — Some Illinois counties are objecting to a state senator's proposal to give the Illinois Department of Agriculture, rather than each county, the sole authority to regulate the siting, construction and removal of commercial wind turbines.

Senate Bill 3263, sponsored by John Sullivan, R-Quincy, would create the Wind Energy Facilities Construction and Deconstruction Act, which would invalidate counties' existing wind ordinances and transfer such regulatory responsibilities to the state.

Sullivan said he is aware that his proposed law, which is an initiative of the Illinois Farm Bureau, is not looked upon favorably by some counties, specifically those that want to retain local control over wind farms. Wind-energy advocates are also not supportive of the measure.

However, Sullivan thinks the change would help bring consistency to Illinois' wind-farm rules, which vary greatly by county. It would also provide legal resources and expertise to smaller counties that otherwise may be short-handed when drafting their own wind ordinances.

"The legislation is really trying to address what some people believe is an inconsistency from county to county with regard to the regulations for wind farms," Sullivan said. "The concern is that some of the larger counties, especially, have more resources available to their county boards to draw up their ordinances that regulate wind farms, while some smaller counties simply do not have the resources or expertise to draw up those ordinances."

Sullivan said his legislation, which was assigned Feb. 25 to the Senate's energy committee, would allow the Department of Agriculture to create a "statewide standard" for a wind farm's siting, construction and removal, while also requiring each wind-farm operator to enter into an "agricultural impact mitigation agreement" with the agriculture department, stating how the land impacted by a wind farm's construction and removal will be restored to its productive capability.

The law would apply only to wind farms not yet built or permitted by a county board.

The "most controversial" part of the legislation, Sullivan said, is that siting authority would be transferred to the state's control. That would include setting a statewide standard for the setback, or distance, required between wind turbines and homes.

Sullivan said counties would not be able to require more or less restrictive setbacks than those required by the state, but developers could voluntarily use larger setbacks than required. He also stressed that although his legislation does not specify what the statewide turbine setback would be, counties would be able to give their input whenever the Department of Agriculture sets its standards.

"There would be an opportunity for input from anybody in the state interested in the discussion," Sullivan said. "The department would do its own research, as well, looking at what we've done here in Illinois and looking at other states."

Differences of opinion
Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen and Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas both said they do not support the proposal because it would take away their respective county's authority.

Kevin Borgia, public policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a regional wind-energy advocacy group, mimicked their concerns, saying the legislation would "relegate the counties to an advisory role."

"We believe in local control, and we believe that local control should continue," said Borgia. "It shouldn't be a decision made by bureaucrats in Springfield or Chicago. The system currently in place is working better than any statewide system could."

Borgia noted that the state's wind farms have been built "safely and effectively without statewide regulations," and county regulations "are generally working well."

"There's variances between them, but the system generally works well in allowing the people closest to the project to have the final authority on whether the project is to be built," Borgia said. "It allows the community itself to decide if the community wants to welcome that wind farm into town. So if it's working, why change it?"

Borgia also questioned whether the Department of Agriculture actually possesses the resources and expertise needed.

"The state department of agriculture, which would have the authority to site a wind project, doesn't know anything about wind energy, and they don't really need that authority either," Borgia said. "They've never permitted wind projects, so we don't think they should be burdened with the authority to grant permits for wind projects, especially when the state is so broke."

Borgia also disputed the claim that some counties do not have adequate resources to draft effective wind ordinances. Borgia noted that Western Illinois University and Illinois State University regularly hold seminars "to educate county boards to understand the issues so they can effectively handle wind projects." Also, if a county does not have the resources to hire an attorney, the developer of a wind farm often will offer to pay for an attorney who is chosen by the county, Borgia said.

Even opponents of the wind-energy industry object to the Sullivan's legislation.

"Mr. Sullivan apparently thinks local county officials are not smart enough to know how to regulate their own zoning," said rural Paxton resident Rich Porter, a member of Energize Illinois, a grass-roots organization that has protested the wind industry. "It's a power grab. It's unfair."

Bill Bodine, associate director of state legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said the legislation was prompted by Illinois Farm Bureau policy. Bodine said his organization's membership has developed a policy statement seeking legislation that establishes statewide standards for the construction and deconstruction of commercial wind-energy facilities.

"By moving to a statewide process, it would provide for a state agency with the resources and expertise to review these projects," Bodine said. "Sometimes in a county situation, counties may not have the resources or expertise, especially if they haven't dealt with wind farms previously. The Department of Ag has resources to provide consistency for landowners around the state when it comes to siting issues."

Similar bills were introduced in the Legislature in the past by Sullivan and Sen. Mike Frerichs, but neither made it out of both chambers.

Some specifics of the bill
If the proposed law is adopted, Sullivan said, the state, rather than counties, would issue permits for wind farms. Siting approval would require the construction plan to be compliant with the Illinois Pollution Control Board noise standards and that each wind turbine's location would minimize shadow flicker at a residence or occupied building "to the extent reasonably practicable," the legislation reads.

The agriculture department would be required to notify the county where the wind farm would be built. The county board could then request that the department conduct a public "informational meeting" about the project, and then the county could submit a non-binding recommendation to the department about the project's compliance with the state regulations. Based on the recommendation, the department could later give the developer notice that its siting is approved.

The legislation would require a wind-farm operator to fully deconstruct the wind farm at its own cost, within 18 months of the end of the useful life of the wind farm. The company would be required, prior to construction, to file a report that spells out the estimated deconstruction cost per turbine and how the company plans to pay for it. The company would also need to file a reclamation bond to cover the anticipated costs. If the company fails to complete deconstruction, the department would be able to draw upon the financial assurance provided, the legislation says.

Each developer would also need to have an agricultural impact mitigation agreement in place with the Department of Agriculture, which would "address such items as access roads, construction staging and storage areas, excavation and backfill, protection of agricultural drainage tiles, wind turbine foundations, wind turbine erection, restoration of agricultural land affected by all construction and deconstruction, indemnification of landowners, monitoring, and remediation," the legislation says.

http://www.paxtonrecord.net/news/agriculture/2014-03-10/senator-wants-state-illinois-start-regulating-wind-farms.html


Edison Mission seeks FERC approval to sell 240-MW Ill. wind facility
Posted 2/21/2014 3:01:38 PM

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 1:02 PM ET
Edison Mission seeks FERC approval to sell 240-MW Ill. wind facility

By Waqas Azeem

Edison Mission Energy and other parties have recently applied with FERC for approval of a two-part transaction relating to the sale of the 240-MW Big Sky wind power plant in Bureau and Lee counties, Ill.

In the first part, Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. will acquire the wind facility from EME subsidiary, Edison Mission Midwest II, as well as the related interconnection facilities, contracts, books and records associated with the plant, according to the filing.

The transaction is scheduled to close on or about March 5. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the second part of the transaction, Suzlon will sell the wind facility to Trireme Energy Investments Inc. subsidiary EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. The sale will include the related interconnection facilities, contracts, books and records associated with the wind facility.

EverPower will assume ownership as soon as practicable but not more than 120 days after ownership transfers to Suzlon, according to the filing. The applicants requested expedited action on the application and that the commission issue an order approving the transaction on or before March 5.

In the application, the Edison International subsidiary said the transaction is consistent with its proposed plan of reorganization and the asset purchase agreement with NRG Energy Inc. subsidiary NRG Energy Holdings Inc. The agreement allows EME to sell substantially all of its assets to NRG Energy.

The agreement also allows EME to sell certain of its noncore assets, including the Big Sky wind facility, prior to closing of the transactions associated with the agreement. (EC14-000)

Retrieved from http://www.snl.com/Interactivex/article.aspx?CdId=A-26968297-9003


Company backs Boone County wind farm plans despite international report
Posted 1/30/2014 10:28:25 AM

By Jennifer Wheeler
Rockford Register Star

January 23. 2014 9:00AM

Company backs Boone County wind farm plans despite international report

BELVIDERE - A company interested in developing a wind farm in Boone County says its leaders are still fundraising for a project, despite an international news report that indicated the business would be dropping its North America ties.

An Irish Times article from 2013 cited a document sent to Mainstream Renewable Power stakeholders stating that the development of new wind production facilities in North America was "unviable" for the company because of a lack of support and undesirable market conditions.

Vince Green, development project manager for the Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power, said although the development is dependent on the economy, it would be ideal for the company to see a project through to construction.

"(The article) makes it sound like we're cutting and running but that's not the case," Green said. "If we're pursuing additional funds or fundraising, that would suggest that we are not anticipating leaving the North America market."

A Boone County Board vote last week kept local rules governing the minimum distance that turbines must be located from primary structures, such as homes, the same. If leaders had increased those minimum distances, the project could have been hindered because it would shrink the potential locations for wind turbines.

The vote gave Mainstream leaders comfort as they continue to invest additional cash in the region to create a wind farm, which could include as many as 100 turbines on 12,000 acres in Manchester and LeRoy townships. Green said the company has invested more than $1 million in the Boone County initiative so far and other projects have cost upward of $5 million to $6 million.

Still, the article in the Irish news outlet has caused some concern in the community.

Marshall Newhouse, resident and former county Planning, Zoning and Building Committee chairman, said if residents view long-term relationships as something that stabilize a community, then Mainstream's intentions as stated in the article are opposite. He fears the company will sell to another developer who will then sell to an operator.

"All the promises given carry no weight with a new company. You don't know who the new company is and it gives me great concern," Newhouse said.

Jennifer Wheeler: 815-987-1354; jwheeler@rrstar.com; @jenmwheeler
http://www.rrstar.com/article/20140123/NEWS/140129778


Geronimo Acquires Mainstream's Green River Wind Farm In Illinois
Posted 1/30/2014 10:27:00 AM


Geronimo Acquires Mainstream's Green River Wind Farm In Illinois

NA Windpower, Thursday 23 January 2014 - 13:12:34

Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy has announced the acquisition of the up-to-225 MW Green River wind farm from Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power. Located in Illinois, the project is adjacent to Geronimo's 210 MW Walnut Ridge wind farm, which the company says is at the advanced stages of development.

Immediately following the acquisition, Geronimo says it took steps to qualify Green River under the production tax credit (PTC), which expired Dec. 31, 2013. Although the PTC was allowed to expire at the end of 2013, Green River will still be eligible to receive tax credits under the PTC for upwards of 10 years. Geronimo took the same steps for Green River's sister farm, Walnut Ridge.

Mainstream began working on Green River in 2009, with the acquisition of two transmission queue positions from FPC Services Inc. It encompasses 13,500 acres of land located approximately two hours southwest of Chicago. Geronimo says the area is primarily flat agriculture land that boasts tremendously competitive wind speeds for the Illinois PJM market.

"This acquisition benefits all interested parties," says Blake Nixon, president of Geronimo Energy. "It gives Geronimo flexibility and scalability when speaking with power purchasers - and it means the local communities have one point of contact, which keeps communication very simple. We feel that having two projects side by side in such a desirable market as Illinois strengthens the prospects for both developments."




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Wind farm is on fast track
Posted 11/18/2013 10:54:41 AM

Nov 15 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Wayne Heilman The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
An Illinois company is seeking approval from El Paso County to build a $400 million wind farm between Calhan and Ramah that would generate as much electricity as the Martin Drake Power Plant for utility giant Xcel Energy Inc.
Golden West Power Partners LLC of Moline, Ill., plans for the wind farm to have 147 turbines atop 425-foot towers on nearly 25,000 acres south of U.S. 24. Construction would start in April or May, and electricity generation would begin in mid-2015, said Matthew Cumberworth Sr., Golden West's director of wind energy services.

Golden West bought rights in February for the El Paso County project and four others in Iowa, New York and Oklahoma from Clipper Windpower Development Co. Inc., which had been trying to develop the project since 2007.

"This project is a unique opportunity because the wind resource is good, it is in the right location, the legislation is right and the wind blows at the right time," Cumberworth said. "The site has good consistent wind - about 18 mph to the south southwest at 262 feet."

The project is on a fast track with the county. Golden West's initial application was filed Nov. 6 and the county Planning Commission is scheduled to consider zoning changes and other required approvals Nov. 26. The El Paso County Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing Dec. 19.

Cumberworth expects the project to breeze through.

"Public acceptance of the project has been excellent. We have not run into much opposition, and everyone has been supportive," he said.

But at least one person is against it. Gail Hahn, who lives near the site of the wind farm, said she opposes the project because it will ruin the panoramic view from her home, and she believes it will reduce the value of her property.

El Paso County Planning Department staff have recommended approval of the project with 37 conditions, including mitigating interference with a transmitter for radio station KKCS-FM in Calhan and a nearby Doppler radar installation.

In an agreement that spans 25 years, Xcel will buy all 250 megawatts the El Paso County wind farm will produce, beginning in June 2015. The purchase is part of a plan that Excel proposed in September to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to add 450 megawatts of wind power, 170 megawatts of solar power and 317 megawatts generated from natural gas. Xcel also plans to close a 109-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Denver.

The plan adds "significant amounts of wind and solar energy to the system at the right price, and it makes good sense for our customers and the environment," said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel subsidiary based in Denver.

Cumberworth estimated the agreement between Golden West and Xcel would save the utility's customers $100 million from the cost they would have shouldered to fuel and operate the coal plant, as well as meet new emissions requirements for coal-burning facilities.

He said construction of the wind farm is expected to create 260 jobs during the time the facility is built, and 10 to 12 permanent jobs once it begins operation.

Cumberworth said Golden West has leased land from 121 property owners for the project.

Electricity generated from the wind farm will be carried over a 25-mile transmission line with 100-foot towers between a Golden West-operated substation near Calhan and another substation in northeastern Colorado Springs.

Clipper began selling off its wind farm projects after it was sold last year to Platinum Equity LLC.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

An Illinois company is seeking approval from El Paso County to build a $400 million wind farm between Calhan and Ramah that would generate as much electricity as the Martin Drake Power Plant for utility giant Xcel Energy Inc.
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Retrieved from RenewablesBiz.com: http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/13/11/wind-farm-fast-track?utm_source=2013_11_18&utm_medium=eNL&utm_content=&utm_campaign=RB_DAILY&utm_term=B



Wind turbine to power I-80 rest area near Hampton
Posted 11/12/2013 11:21:48 AM

Wind turbine to power I-80 rest area near Hampton
NOVEMBER 08, 2013 4:15 AM • BY THOMAS GEYER

The Mississippi Rapids Rest Area on Interstate 80 near Hampton will become the first in the
state of Illinois to have a wind turbine providing its electricity.
"Almost all of the power needed to run the rest area will come from the turbine," said Dave
Blanchette, a spokesman at the Illinois Governor's Press Office, said Thursday.

"The reason we chose that location is that it is ideally situated on a bluff and can take full
advantage of the wind," Blanchette said. "Assuming that this works as we think it will, we'll put
more wind turbines at other rest areas in the state."

The Hampton site was chosen after studies showed there should be enough wind throughout
the year to power the turbine, he said. When the wind is down, the rest area will be able to draw
from batteries charged by the turbine. If the batteries are not enough, the rest area can draw
from the power grid.

The turbine will produce 40,000 kilowatts per year, which should provide all of the energy
needed for the rest area's 2,700 square-foot two-story building.

Laverdiere Construction Inc. of Macomb has been awarded the $195,682 project. The turbine
should be operational in the spring.
"As chairman of the Senate Energy Commission, I am proud that we are able to manufacture
wind turbines and also put them to use on a local project where they will provide self-sustaining
power to a Rock Island County rest area," Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, said in a news
release.

The project is part of the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program. The goal of the program is to
support 439,000 jobs in the state over the next six years, and is the largest capital construction
program in the state's history

www.qctimes.com


Wind farm plans still moving forward
Posted 11/1/2013 3:17:49 PM

By John Reynolds (john.reynolds@sj-r.com)
The State Journal-Register
Posted Oct 30, 2013 @ 10:17 PM

Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x450315145/Wind-farm-plans-still-moving-forward#ixzz2jQXfxid7



Plans are still in the works for a wind farm in western Sangamon County.

Chris Nickell, vice president of site establishment for Springfield Project Development, said Wednesday that plans for the wind farm had to be redrawn after the Sangamon County Board changed the zoning rules last year and required that large wind turbines had to be farther from property lines and houses.

"Based on those changes, we had to redesign the layout," Nickell said. "The most dramatic change is that the first phase of the project will be relatively small, about 30 megawatts. Before, we planned on the first phases being 100 or more megawatts."

The 30-megawatt first phase will result in 13 or 14 wind turbines.

"The reason for the variability is that we still haven't finalized the exact model of the turbine we will use. Different models have different ratings," Nickell said, adding that initial construction is still more than a year off.

The county's old regulations required a large wind turbine to be at least 1, 000 feet, or three times the diameter of the rotors, whichever is greater, from a house. The setback from the property line had to be at least 1, 200 feet.

The new regulations, approved in November 2012, keeps the same distance restrictions for turbines up to 400 feet high. For turbines taller than that, the new rules require that the distances between houses and property lines be increased in proportion to the height of the turbines.

Contact John Reynolds: 788-1524, john.reynolds@sj-r.com, twitter.com/JohnReynoldsSJR.

Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x450315145/Wind-farm-plans-still-moving-forward#ixzz2jQXSjoXc



Macon County expecting wind turbines to sprout up near Maroa
Posted 10/31/2013 11:12:40 AM


Oct 30 - Herald & Review (Decatur, IL)
A once hot topic in Macon County could find itself back on the table after a respite of a few years.

County Board Chairman Jay Dunn said Tuesday he recently received word that E.ON, the American unit of Germany's largest utility company, intends to build around 115 wind turbines as early as next year on the west side of U.S. 51 near Maroa; years after E.ON and another energy company came to an agreement to build two wind farms in the county.

While he could not give a dollar amount, Dunn said the expected revenue to the county for the turbines would be substantial.

"Each one could bring in quite a bit of revenue and jobs," he said.

It's been a long time since the idea of the northern skyline being lined with wind turbines seemed imminent.

North Carolina-based Duke Energy and E.ON signed contracts in 2009 to build separate wind farms, while the Macon County Board unanimously approved changes to the county's wind energy ordinance in 2010. The board specifically reduced the minimum distance a large energy conversion system that could be placed from nonparticipating property to 1.1 times the tower height measured from the center of the base to the property line. The board made the changes in hopes it would bring in additional income for farmers, tax revenue for governments and for good-paying jobs the wind farms could bring.

That extra money never blew into the county though.

Dunn said E.ON was the lone company he knew of that had plans to build turbines in the area now, and he had no explanation for why there has not been progress on the turbines. However, some past and more recent concerns suggest the continued recession and erection of turbines in neighboring counties as a reason for the inaction.

The turbines will not just rise overnight, though. They will be erected under special-use permits which require a public hearing process. Dunn told the county's Environmental, Education, Health & Welfare Committee earlier this month he hoped to put a few thousand additional dollars in the upcoming fiscal year budget to cover zoning board hearings. A building permit is also required before the turbines can be built.

The placement of the wind turbines would have to be agreed upon by the company and the owners of the farm land. The energy generated by the turbines is not expected to go back into the county, but rather be sent to Chicago.

While Dunn said it is more than likely to see the turbines go up before the end of next year, it may not be a clear path toward construction, as previous efforts to build the turbines were met with concerns about noise pollution as well as whether the region produces enough wind to make the turbines feasible.

rvoyles@herald-review.com|(217) 421-7985

___

(c)2013 the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.)

Visit the Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill.) at www.herald-review.com [1]


Broadwind Energy gets $87M in new tower orders
Posted 7/17/2013 10:14:37 AM

Broadwind Energy gets $87M in new tower orders
Published in: Business National News
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CICERO, Ill. Alternative energy company Broadwind Energy Inc. has received $87 million in new tower orders from an unnamed U.S. wind turbine maker as the domestic wind energy industry continues to recover.

President and CEO Peter Duprey said in a statement that the industry is rebounding thanks to a production tax credit extension — which is a wind power subsidy — and the ongoing drop in the cost of electricity from wind energy.

Broadwind said Monday that the towers will be made at its plants in Manitowoc, Wis., and Abilene, Texas.

The company also announced that a $34 million order from 2010 was canceled by mutual agreement because the unnamed company's U.S. requirements were reduced.

Year to date, Broadwind has $200 million in new tower orders.

The company's stock added 12 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $5.11 in morning trading. The shares have traded between $1.66 and $6 over the past year.



Kansas State Study: Wind Turbines Show Little Impact On Greater Prairie Chickens
Posted 7/17/2013 9:56:44 AM

Kansas State Study: Wind Turbines Show Little Impact On Greater Prairie Chickens

NAW Staff, Friday 12 July 2013 - 13:14:33

Wind energy development does not ruffle the feathers of greater prairie chicken populations, according to the results of a seven-year study from a Kansas State University ecologist and his team.

The researchers - led by Brett Sandercock, professor of biology - discovered that wind turbines have little effect on greater prairie chickens, and that the grassland birds are more affected by rangeland management practices and the availability of native prairie and vegetation cover at nest sites. Unexpectedly, the scientists also found that female survival rates increased after wind turbines were installed.

With the arrival of wind projects in Kansas and throughout the Plains, Sandercock and his team were part of a consortium of stakeholders - including conservationists, wildlife agencies and wind energy companies - who studied how these wind projects influence grassland birds.

According to the study, the greater prairie chicken was once abundant across the central Plains, but populations have declined because of habitat loss and human development. The chickens now are primarily found in the Great Plains in Kansas - particularly the Smoky Hills and the Flint Hills - where the largest tracts of prairie remain.

Sandercock and his team started their study in 2006 with three field sites that were chosen for wind development: a site in the Smoky Hills in north-central Kansas, a site in the northern Flint Hills in northeastern Kansas and a site in the southern Flint Hills in southern Kansas. The Smoky Hills site - the Meridian Way Wind Power Facility near Concordia - was developed into a wind energy site, which gave researchers the opportunity to observe greater prairie chickens before, during and after wind turbine construction. The researchers cooperated and collaborated with private landowners at each site.

The researchers studied the birds for seven breeding seasons and captured nearly 1,000 total male and female birds around sites, which are communal areas where males gather and make calls to attract females. Females mate with the males and then hide nests in tall prairie grass.

The scientists researched several features of prairie chickens and their biology: patterns of nest site selection; reproductive components, such as clutch size, timing of laying eggs and hatchability of eggs; survival rates and population viability.

The Grassland Community Collaborative Oversight Committee of the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative oversaw the research project. The project received funding from a variety of sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy.


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XZERES Acquires Southwest Windpower’s Skystream Product Line
Posted 7/10/2013 12:14:44 PM

POSTED 07/09/13

Acquisition Includes Next-Generation Skystream Designs, IP Portfolio and Manufacturing Assets

WILSONVILLE, ORE., July 9, 2013 ─; XZERES Corp. (PINKSHEETS: XPWR), designer, manufacturer and marketer of small (2.5 - 10kW) wind powered, distributed energy turbines and other renewable energy products, has acquired the assets of Southwest Windpower. The acquisition complements and solidifies XZERES' global offering of small wind turbines with best in class, advanced engineering designed to address the growing distributed power marketplace.

The assets include Southwest Windpower's award-winning Skystream product line and next-generation Skystream product designs, related IP portfolio, manufacturing assets, and inventory.

Southwest Windpower is widely known in the wind power industry for its leading-edge design, performance, manufacturing and global distribution of small wind systems. Since Southwest Windpower introduced the Skystream product line in 2008, more than 8,000 units have been installed worldwide, making Skystream the world's highest volume small wind turbine to date.

Skystream addresses residential and rural markets, including off-grid applications such as remote cell phone towers and remote micro-grid applications. Skystream has been trademarked and certified in key global markets, with a strong installation presence in the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia. It is the first turbine to be certified with the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) 6142 Standard for Small Turbines, which indicates the product complies with safety standards required by certain states.

The manufacturing assets acquired by XZERES include tooling and fixtures, production line and testing equipment. The IP portfolio includes five issued patents, plus five patents pending in the U.S. and internationally, including those covering the next-generation design of a larger Skystream wind turbine. While XZERES will not be extending warranty coverage to existing Skystream customers, the company plans to provide support and maintenance services along with preferred customer upgrade options.


"Southwest Windpower had been a dominant industry leader for sub-five kilowatt turbines, particularly with its iconic Skystream brand," said Frank Greco, CEO of XZERES. "The acquisition of these assets and supporting IP perfectly complements our existing world-class 10kW system, as we continue to build XZERES into a global renewable energy company."

"Southwest Windpower's significant investment of years and dollars perfecting Skystream and certifying the product in major global markets provides for an acquisition that places XZERES well ahead in terms of what we can now offer our expanding customer base," continued Greco. "We have a high appreciation for the loyal Skystream customers who have made Skystream the world's most popular small wind turbine. So, we're pleased to be able to finally provide them long-overdue support and maintenance services, as well as special upgrade options."


Transaction funding support was provided by Renewable Power Resources. According to Greco: "Our ability to capitalize on this opportunity further demonstrates the significant commitment of our financing partner, Renewable Power Resources. Their dedication and vision toward building XZERES into a major global renewable energy company is impressive and a significant benefit to all stakeholders."


About Southwest Windpower
Southwest Windpower had been designing and distributing small wind turbines since 1987, and is a recognized global leader in the design, manufacturing and distribution of small wind systems. A pioneer in wind power technology, the company built and shipped more than 180,000 wind turbines to more than 120 countries worldwide, making it once the largest manufacturer of small wind turbines in the United States. For more information, visit www.windenergy.com.


About XZERES Corp.
XZERES Corp. is a renewable energy and clean energy technology company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets distributed generation wind power systems as well as power management and power efficiency solutions for the commercial, light industrial and residential markets. The company's grid-connected and off-grid wind turbine systems, which consist of its 2.5kW and 10kW devices and related equipment, are utilized for electrical power generation for applications and markets including residential, micro-grid based rural and island electrification, agricultural, small business and rural electric utility systems, as well as other private, corporate infrastructure and government applications.


The company's wind power systems are focused on distributed energy, where a specific machine's energy output is largely or entirely used on-site where the equipment is installed, as well as grid-connected applications. While many of its customers take advantage of local net-metering rules within the United States and Feed-In Tariffs (to sell power back to the grid) that are available in Europe and internationally, the company's wind power systems are not dependent on transmission needs to carry the energy produced to another location and are therefore well suited for remote electrification, available with or without a battery-coupled solution. XZERES power management and power efficiency solutions are deployed primarily for commercial and light industrial applications, and secondarily for residential usage and target both urban and rural customers. For more information, visit www.xzeres.com, www.xzeresenergy.com or www.xzeres.co.uk.


Board OKs wind farm
Posted 5/24/2013 12:08:20 PM

May 22 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - David Giuliani Daily Gazette, Sterling, Ill.


The Lee County Board on Tuesday voted 12-9 to allow a controversial wind farm, overruling a decision last month by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The board approved the project, along with a number of conditions dealing with issues such as noise.

In April, the zoning board voted 3-2 against the proposal from Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power.

At Tuesday's Lee County Board meeting, the audience was almost evenly divided between the wind farm's supporters and opponents, taking their own sides of the audience gallery.

On Friday, an attorney for the opponents contended the County Board needed a three-fourths majority to allow the wind farm. Hamilton Township had filed a written objection, which, the attorney said, triggered the supermajority requirement.

However, Matt Klahn, an assistant state's attorney for Lee County, said he researched the issue and found the three-fourths rule didn't apply to special-use permits, which Mainstream was seeking.

Mainstream plans 53 turbines for the county's southwestern corner.

Its proposal is part of a three-county wind farm, which includes Whiteside and Bureau counties. Last year, Whiteside County approved nine turbines, while Bureau County's zoning panel recommended against Mainstream's plan for 19 turbines, saying it didn't meet the county's requirements.

Mainstream withdrew its proposal in Bureau County, saying it would submit a new plan.

'The most intrusive special use we provide'

After the wind farm proposal came up at Tuesday's meeting, member Greg Witzleb, R-Dixon, moved to approve the petition with a number of conditions. He received the written conditions from board Chairman Rick Ketchum, D-Amboy, who drafted them.

They call for a new study on the wind turbines' noise and shadow flicker effects and an engineer's certification on the towers' design. They also required Mainstream to put aside $40,000 over 15 years for each turbine, to pay for taking them down if the project ends.

During the Lee County Board's debate Tuesday, member Marilyn Shippert, R-Dixon, said it would be an insult to the zoning board to overrule its decision.

Others agreed, noting the panel had 27 sessions as part of the hearing on the project.

Member Tim Deem, R-Dixon, noted the project would bring jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax revenue for school districts and other entities.

He also said he had gone by wind turbines and found noise and shadow flicker weren't the problems critics say they are.

Allyn Buhrow, R-Ashton, said it was inappropriate to bring up money in making a zoning decision. Rather, he said, the purpose should be to protect the public's health and safety.

Buhrow called wind turbines "the most intrusive special use we provide."

Dick Binder, R-Compton, counted 23 landowners who have agreed to have Mainstream's wind turbines on their properties and 196 non-participating landowners in the project's footprint.

"Many of the 23 are absentee landowners who will not suffer the effects," Binder said. "For those who are looking at dollar signs, are those dollars a wise trade-off for 196 residents of this area who will be adversely affected for years to come?"

'This is good news for us'

After the roll call was taken, the audience's reaction was subdued. During the public comment period, a number of people criticized the board.

Rick Porter, the attorney representing opponents, said he was disappointed in the decision, but called for a moratorium on new wind farms.

He said the county's ordinance on wind farms was "antiquated," urging the board to update it.

Bob Logan of Franklin Grove said the non-participating residents are the victims who have to come up with the money to fight wind farms.

"From the beginning, you have been in bed with wind companies," he told the board.

Matt Boss, Mainstream's vice president of development and operations, said outside the meeting that his company would reflect on the county's decision and determine its next step.

"This is good news for us," he said.

How they voted

Here's how Lee County Board members voted on the proposed Mainstream wind farm:

Yes

Kasey Considine, D-Amboy

Tim Deem, R-Dixon

Steve Kitzman, R-Dixon

Isaac Mercer, D-Dixon

Wes Morrissey, D-Amboy

John Nicholson, R-Franklin Grove

Bill Palen, R-Dixon

Ann Taylor, R-Amboy

Jim Wentling, R-Dixon

Marvin Williams, R-Dixon

Greg Witzleb, R-Dixon

Rick Ketchum, D-Amboy

No

Bob Gibler, R-Dixon

David Gusse, R-Dixon

Dick Binder, R-Dixon

Allyn Buhrow, R-Ashton

Judy Truckenbrod, R-West Brooklyn

Jerry Leffelman, R-Sublette

Marilyn Shippert, R-Dixon

Vern Gottel, R-rural Sterling

Bernie Buckley, R-Dixon

Absent

Tom Kitson, R-Dixon

Arlan McClain, R-Dixon

Note: The 24-member board has one vacancy, with the recent resignation of David Chandler, R-Dixon.


USDA REAP Extended to May 31
Posted 5/2/2013 12:58:21 PM

Via www.farmenergy.org

April 30, 2013 - There is more good news for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). When Congress passed the 2013 appropriations bill, they removed previous limits on REAP funding. As a result, an additional $38 million has been released for farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Due to the late notice of these funds, the USDA has extended the deadline for grants, including feasibility studies, to May 31, 2013.

Total funding will be approximately $60 million, for some mix of grants and loan guarantees. We understand the overall cap on feasibility study funding will be raised to $350,000. The USDA previously announced total funding of only $20.8 million, a record low in program funding history. You can download the official funding notice for 2013 here.

Over the last decade, the REAP program projects has created thousands of working examples in rural America of energy efficiency, biogas, wind power, solar and bioenergy technologies. REAP improves local economies through new jobs for system development, installation, operation and maintenance.
REAP benefits the entire nation by leveraging private investment for job creation, developing clean low carbon energy, and energy security with diverse local production.




Panel: Wind farm rules fine as is
Posted 4/26/2013 9:14:41 AM

Panel: Wind farm rules fine as is
Thu, 04/25/2013 - 7:00am | Tracy Moss [1]
News-Gazette.com

Kim Cambron of rural Rankin discusses her disappointment with the decision of a Vermilion County advisory panel not to make a recommendation for changes to the county's ordinance governing wind farms.

Despite complaints about noise and other issues with wind turbines, an advisory panel has decided not to recommend any changes to Vermilion County's wind farm ordinance.

Official: No proof changing setbacks would fix issues

DANVILLE — Despite complaints about noise and other issues with wind turbines, an advisory panel has decided not to recommend any changes to Vermilion County's wind farm ordinance.

Meeting for third time, the ad hoc committee of the Vermilion County Board on Wednesday considered whether the county's ordinance regulating wind turbines, including the distance they must be from primary structures like houses, should be changed. Residents in favor of changes and those opposed attended Wednesday's meeting, but there was no public comment period.

Kim Cambron of Rankin — who has worked alongside her husband, Darrell Cambron, for more than a year, trying to convince the county board to revisit its wind turbine ordinance — said she was very disappointed by the panel's decision. She said the panel didn't give "any weight" to testimony from residents who live within the existing California Ridge wind farm in Vermilion and Champaign counties and are experiencing noise and other issues that affect their quality of life.

But the members of the nine-member panel agreed that the county has little legal authority to regulate the wind turbines any more than it already does through its existing ordinance. That ordinance requires each turbine to go through a permitting process that requires several things, including a setback of 1,200 feet from primary structures like houses.

At the request of the county, attorney Michael W. Condon with Hervas, Condon and Bersani in Itasca offered a legal opinion, stating in a letter to county officials that the county does not have statutory authority to further restrict wind turbines.

John Alexander, chairman of the panel, said that setbacks are really the one area where the county has some authority.

"The setback issue is the elephant in the room," he said. "But I don't see any evidence where we can set them back far enough to appease all of the issues that have been addressed."

Alexander said residents who live as far as 1,600 feet or more from turbines have testified that they are affected by the noise.

But the panel also discussed that if the setbacks are increased more than the existing 1,200 feet, it could eliminate any further development for wind energy.

Invenergy LLC of Chicago has plans for a phase two of its California Ridge wind farm, but company officials have told the county that it would abandon those plans if setbacks were increased.

Alexander will make a report of the panel's work and submit it to the county board for final consideration.

Source URL: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-04-25/panel-wind-farm-rules-fine.html


Panel blows off wind farm
Posted 4/26/2013 9:12:10 AM

BY DAVID GIULIANI dgiuliani@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Panel blows off wind farm
County Board has the final say

DIXON - Lee County's zoning board rejected a proposed wind farm Wednesday, reversing its traditional support for such projects.

By a 3-2 vote, the Zoning Board of Appeals recommended denial of Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power's proposed 53 turbines. The County Board, which meets May 21, has the final say.

The decision ended a decade in which the wind energy industry largely drove the county's approval process. The industry's foes viewed the board's longtime members as rubber stampers of wind projects - in a county that saw the state's first wind farm.

The board approved previous wind projects after just one meeting. That changed for Mainstream's petition. The board met 32 times on the proposal, totaling 80 hours.

Members Tom Fassler, Craig Buhrow and Mike Pratt voted against the wind farm. Bruce Forester and Gene Bothe supported it.

Reading a statement before the vote, Pratt said he based his decision on the highest and best use of the land in question, rather than the profits and tax revenue the project would bring.

He also expressed concern about the negative impact on neighboring property values.

"The character of the neighborhoods in the project will change," Pratt said.

Fassler said the evidence against the project was overwhelming.

"We can talk about the taxes we get out of this, but the first thing is the health and well-being of the people of the county," he said. "There are a lot of negatives to this project. I think the petition is incomplete."

Members also noted the lack of a plan to handle the possible abandonment of the turbines. Such a plan would seek to avoid the prospect of old, inoperable turbines marring the landscape.

Forester, however, said the county's zoning ordinance doesn't require a decommissioning plan. That issue, he said, could be handled when the county issued the special-use permits.

"Mainstream offered to put together some type of decommissioning proposal," he said.

Buhrow said he saw why Hamilton and East Grove townships appealed to Mainstream for the wind farm - their low population densities and access to power lines. But other projects have been built on higher ground, he said, referring to the fact that much of Hamilton is a flood plain.

Buhrow also said he wasn't "enthralled" with the engineering aspects of the project. And he said he worried about the lack of a decommissioning plan.

The usually silent Bothe made no statements before the vote.

After Wednesday's meeting, Vince Green, Mainstream's project manager, said his company always intended to produce a decommissioning plan. Such issues, he said, could have been addressed in the approval of the project's special-use permit.

Green said it's fair that wind projects should be scrutinized and debated.

Mainstream's proposal was part of a three-county wind farm, which includes Whiteside and Bureau counties. Last year, Whiteside County approved nine turbines, while Bureau County's zoning panel recommended against Mainstream's plan for 19 turbines, saying it didn't meet the county's requirements.

Mainstream withdrew its proposal in Bureau County, saying it planned to submit a new one.

Over the last decade, Lee County's zoning board was known to approve findings of fact for wind farms that came word for word from wind energy companies. Its decade-old wind ordinance came largely from one of the firms, wind industry foes said.

Last year, the zoning board recommended a more stringent wind energy ordinance after more than a year of hearings, but the County Board rejected it.

Mainstream, which took part in that process, said its wind farm proposal largely followed the outlines of the rejected regulations.

The zoning board will meet again tonight to approve minutes and other documents from the wind farm meetings, members said.

Public invited

The Lee County Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. today in the County Board meeting room on the third floor of the Old County Courthouse, 112 E. Second St.

The board is expected to consider approving minutes from previous meetings on the proposed Mainstream Renewable Power wind farm.


Copyright © 2013 Sauk Valley Media. All rights reserved.


Developers not entirely surprised by lack of comments at wind-farm hearing
Posted 4/4/2013 2:09:32 PM

Published on Paxton Record (http://www.paxtonrecord.net)

Home > News > Business > Agriculture > Developers not entirely surprised by lack of comments at wind-farm hearing
Developers not entirely surprised by lack of comments at wind-farm hearing
Wed, 04/03/2013 - 5:10pm | Will Brumleve [1]

PAXTON — The two companies jointly developing the proposed Dogtown Wind Farm east of Paxton were not entirely surprised by the lack of public comments at Tuesday night's public hearing, which lasted just 30 minutes.

"It happens," said Matt Kauffman, president of Stewardship Energy LLC, when asked if he had ever seen a shorter, less-eventful public hearing for a wind farm's special-use permit application.

"It depends on the location and the project. I think our generous setbacks, in particular, and some of the design criteria we used, makes (our wind farm) more neighborly friendly."

The Dogtown Wind Farm is being jointly developed by Stewardship Energy LLC, based in Bureau County, and Akuo Energy USA, a subsidiary of France-based Akuo Energy that is headquartered in Chicago.

The proposed 100-megawatt wind farm would feature between 40 and 49 turbines and comprise 6,136 acres of farmland east of Paxton and south of Illinois 9. The wind farm would be immediately south of the 150-megawatt, 94-turbine Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, built in fall 2011.

Immediately following Tuesday's public hearing, the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-0 to recommend the Ford County Board approve the special-use permit application for the Dogtown Wind Farm at the county board's next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8.

"I think it's a good thing for Ford County," Robert Link, chairman of the zoning board, said.

Tuesday's hearing, conducted by the zoning board of appeals, contrasted greatly with the hearing that was held in 2010 for the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, which lasted more than four hours as a result of the amount of testimony provided.

Only two public comments or questions were voiced Tuesday. About 45 people attended.

One question was from the Paxton Record about what setbacks would be used.

The only other comment was from Darrell Cambron of rural Rankin, who submitted testimony and evidence refuting the findings of an Illinois State University study regarding wind farms' affect on property values. The study was cited in the Dogtown Wind Farm's special-use permit application, and Akuo Energy project manager Doug Krause said the study showed "no statistical downside to property values."

Kauffman said the larger setbacks that would be used for turbines in the Dogtown Wind Farm may be one reason for how smoothly Tuesday's hearing went. The Dogtown Wind Farm's special-use permit application lists a setback of 1,640 feet between a turbine and any residence — far exceeding the county's minimum requirement of 1,000 feet.

"The turbines are spaced out farther from houses than normal, and also, there's fewer turbines per square mile," Krause said during the hearing.

Kauffman also said he thinks the project's special-use permit application was well-prepared.

"I think we answered the questions we needed to," he said. "We hired a lot of industry expert consultants to do a lot of these things we put forth, so I think we just had a well-prepared application."

If approved by the Ford County Board next week, the wind farm would be built sometime in "the next year or so," according to Krause.

The wind farm would feature up to 49 2.5-megawatt turbines, bringing the number of turbines along a 10-mile stretch of Illinois 9 to 143.

Stewardship Energy started working with local landowners to organize the project in 2008. Forty-one landowners in Patton and Button townships have signed leases allowing their properties to be used for the next 25 years for the wind farm, Krause said.

The power generated would be connected to the utility electric grid at a substation in Paxton.

The project is expected to involve a $200 million capital investment, the permit application says. The wind farm would produce an estimated $10 million to $20 million over 20 years in local property tax revenue and millions of dollars in payments to landowners leasing their farmground. It would also create eight long-term jobs and provide enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

The name of the Dogtown project was chosen by local landowners participating in the project. It refers to an area east of Paxton that is known as Dogtown.


USDA Seeking Applications For Rural Renewable Energy Projects
Posted 4/4/2013 10:15:30 AM

USDA Seeking Applications For Rural Renewable Energy Projects

in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
by NAW Staff on Tuesday 02 April 2013

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

The USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty, the department notes. REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation's critical energy needs.

The USDA is now accepting the following applications:

- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30;

- Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15; and

- Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30.


BP puts U.S. wind farm arm up for sale
Posted 4/4/2013 9:42:36 AM


BP puts U.S. wind farm arm up for sale
Photo
Wed, Apr 3 2013

LONDON (Reuters) - BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has put its U.S. wind farm operation, one of the largest in the country, up for sale, marking the continued retreat of big oil companies from renewable energy investments while oil and gas projects offer them better returns.

The British oil company has already sold or earmarked for sale some $38 billion worth of assets, partly to raise funds to pay for its 2010 U.S. oil spill liabilities, but also to reposition itself as a smaller, leaner company with an emphasis on high-margin oil production and exploration. Reports said the sale could raise a further $1.5 billion.

BP would not put a value on any sale, but said in a statement it expected "attractive offers" for the assets. They include interests in 16 operating wind farms in nine states with a combined generating capacity of around 2,600 megawatts of renewable power, as well as a portfolio of projects in various stages of development.

Over a decade ago, big oil companies including BP and Shell began to ramp up investment in renewable energy. But the uncertain outlook for government subsidies and prices in solar, wind and other clean energy areas, along with the re-emergence of strong prices for oil and opportunities to develop large gas fields, have since distracted their attention.

BP, which under former chief executive John Browne once named itself "Beyond Petroleum", still has a substantial interest in Brazilian biofuels, but has invested only about $1 billion a year in renewables since 2005 from a total capital spending budget of well over $20 billion annually. It has no specific investment plans for the sector in the years ahead.

(Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by Mark Potter)

© Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved


Planning commission OKs wind farm permit
Posted 3/21/2013 2:05:31 PM

Published on Paxton Record (http://www.paxtonrecord.net)

Home > News > Agriculture > Planning commission OKs wind farm permit
Planning commission OKs wind farm permit
Wed, 03/20/2013 - 11:50am | Will Brumleve [1]

PAXTON — A special-use permit application for the Dogtown Wind Project, a proposed 100-megawatt wind farm east of Paxton, received the go-ahead from the Ford County Planning Commission last week.

The commission voted 7-0 Thursday to send an advisory report to the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals saying that the wind farm's permit application is in compliance with the county's wind ordinance.

The zoning board of appeals will hold a public hearing next month to consider the permit and make its own recommendation on whether the permit should be approved by the Ford County Board. The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in the commons area at the Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School/Junior High complex.

The planning commission met for a little over an hour Thursday to discuss the permit. Part of the discussion were issues such as the noise turbines can make and the "shadow flicker" they can create — "all the usual things," according to Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short.

The commission also discussed setbacks for wind turbines. The Dogtown project calls for a 1,640-foot setback — or 500 meters — between turbines and primary structures, such as homes or garages. That setback far exceeds Ford County's minimum setback of 1,000 feet, Short said.

The Dogtown Wind Project would feature up to 49 turbines and comprise 6,136 acres of farmland. The project would be built along a 10-mile stretch of Illinois 9, immediately south of the 150-megawatt, 94-turbine Pioneer Trail Wind Farm.

The wind farm is being jointly developed by Stewardship Energy LLC, based in Bureau County, and Akuo Energy USA, a subsidiary of France-based Akuo Energy that is headquartered in Chicago.

The earliest the Ford County Board could vote on the permit is at its April 8 meeting.


MISO working to adapt to paradigm generation shift away from coal
Posted 3/18/2013 2:02:13 PM

Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:45 PM ET
MISO working to adapt to paradigm generation shift away from coal

By Christine Cordner

Long reliant on coal-fired generation, the Midwest ISO is seeking to wrap its head around moving away from this resource to a world of more natural gas-fired generation and intermittent wind supply.

During a "Generating Plant Retirements: Beyond Coal" webinar, held by the SNL Knowledge Center, JT Smith, MISO's manager of policy studies for the transmission asset management group, discussed how the grid operator is facing "a paradigm shift" in that resource adequacy is changing from a summer peak issue to an annual peak issue, with the region looking more like New England in terms of gas dominance in the region.

Besides unexpected nuclear retirements due to low power market prices such as Dominion Resources Inc.'s Kewaunee plant decision in Wisconsin, MISO is facing coal-fired generation retirements and refueling decisions by generators in order to comply with the U.S. EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards set to hit in 2015, Smith said.

Noting that it shows many compliance decisions have yet to be made, he pointed to the grid operator's latest EPA compliance update surveying affected coal-fired generators in the region. Covering fourth quarter 2012 and issued in January, the survey shows that of the region's 48 GW, or 239 units, requiring compliance-related action, 36 GW, or 100 units, plan installation of emission controls. Meanwhile, 6 GW, or 76 units, are seen slated for replacement due to weak economics, up from the previous 5 GW seen in the previous quarter's survey.

Looking down the road to 2016, the MISO survey shows that expected unit retirements are not offset by new resources, meaning there could be resource adequacy and reserve margin concerns in the summer and winter periods after MATS goes into effect in 2015. Retirements will remove most, if not all, of the excess reserves on the system, Smith said.

"Because we have enjoyed being long in capacity, we want to make sure our history does not cloud us too much in making sure appropriate planning is done. … We're trying to get [our] hands around the situation to maintain system reliability," Smith said, noting that some new approaches may include enhanced electric and natural gas coordination and review of the resource adequacy construct, including firm fuel requirements, incentives for firm supply and stiffer penalties for nonperformance.

Adding to the grid management issue is the addition of more renewable resources such as wind energy, Smith said, noting that by 2025, if all load-serving entities are to meet renewable requirements, 15% of the MISO footprint covering 11 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba will be served by renewable energy, primarily wind. Coal capacity is currently almost 50% at 66 GW, with wind energy around 12.4 GW of the total MISO mix, he said.

As a sign of the times, MISO in November 2012 reported that for the first time since it began integrating wind into market operations in 2006, actual wind output surpassed 10,000 MW. The new peak hit Nov. 23, 2012, at 10,012 MW, representing more than 25% of the generation output being used at that time.

"All these drivers are pushing for a more balanced production from various energy resources rather than high coal," Smith said.

Also on the webcast, Gordon Howald, senior vice president of Doyle Trading Consultants' Utility Group, discussed the broad issue of coal generation and how it is impacting not only MISO but the national scene. He said he expects 1,947 MW of new generation online in the 2013-2014 period after seeing 3,765 MW come online in 2012. This amount compares to 41,200 MW of announced retirements for the 2012-2020 period, with 87% occurring by 2015 due to MATS, he said. These unit retirements will ripple to the coal mining sector, Howald said, with an expected 70.5 million metric tons of coal lost by 2020 based on 2011 burn data.

On an upside, November 2012 saw the first year-over-year increase in monthly coal consumption since April 2011, Howald said, indicating that coal demand is stabilizing.

Also on the webcast, J. Neil Copeland, Black & Veatch Management Consulting director, said his company is projecting approximately 58,000 MW of coal-based generation to retire in the 2013-2020 period, particularly in 2015 due to MATS with low gas prices contributing long term. The Southeast region will see the highest percentage at 30%, followed by the PJM region at 29% and the MISO region at 20%, he said.

The lost coal generation in the Eastern Interconnection, Copeland said, is expected to be replaced by more wind energy and new efficient combined-cycle gas generation, with nuclear energy essentially remaining almost a quarter of the generation mix through 2020. Retained coal generation as the mix changes will see higher capacity factors driven by increases in power demand and gas prices, with new combined-cycle units pushing older units off the margin, he said.


Copyright © 2013, SNL Financial LC


Two area wind farms move forward
Posted 3/13/2013 11:34:11 AM

Two area wind farms move forward
Wed, 03/13/2013 - 8:00am | Will Brumleve [1]
Published on News-Gazette.com (http://www.news-gazette.com)

KEMPTON — The race to build Ford County's second wind farm is picking up speed.

Three days before the county's planning commission was to meet to consider a special-use permit for a proposed 100-megawatt wind farm east of Paxton, the Ford County Board learned Monday night that it should be prepared in April to approve a road-use agreement for the already-permitted K4 Wind Farm, being developed by Cincinnati-based Vision Energy.

Approval of the road-use agreement represents the last step for the long-delayed K4 project other than paying for building permits for each turbine. The project would involve 94 turbines being built on the far-north end of Ford County near Kempton and Cabery.

Vision Energy was initially planning a 307-turbine wind farm covering portions of northern Ford County, western Iroquois County, eastern Livingston County and southern Kankakee County, with a total generating capacity of around 400 megawatts. Special-use permits for the project were first approved in 2008 in all but Livingston County. The permits were then extended in 2011 for another three years, through Nov. 10, 2014.

Livingston County is no longer involved in the project, according to Greg Perkinson, Ford County's highway engineer. As a result, the number of turbines expected to be involved has been reduced, Perkinson said. The project is now about 350 megawatts, he said.

K4 was the first wind farm to receive a special-use permit in Ford County. Since then, permits have been issued for Houston-based BP Alternative Energy's Ford Ridge Wind Farm, a 67-turbine wind farm near Sibley and Gibson City; and Chicago-based E.On Climate & Renewable North America's 94-turbine Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, built in fall 2011 near Paxton. The BP project received a special-use permit extension in 2011 — through November 2015 — at the same time as Vision Energy did.

Meanwhile, the Ford County Planning Commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to consider a special-use permit application for the Dogtown Wind Project, a proposed wind farm that would feature up to 49 turbines on 6,136 acres of farmland near Paxton.

Vision Energy's road-use agreement has already been approved by the Kankakee County Board and is expected to be up for approval in both Ford and Iroquois counties in April. The agreement is identical for each county, Perkinson said.

All of the townships highway commissioners for the townships involved have already approved the agreement, Perkinson added.

The agreement ensures county and township roads are returned to their original or better condition following construction of the wind farm.

Most the roads in Ford County that are covered by the agreement are township roads, Perkinson said. The only exception is about 8 to 10 miles of county-owned roads.


Berkeley Lab sees wind power as cost-effective, long-term hedge against gas prices
Posted 3/12/2013 9:28:25 AM

Friday, March 08, 2013 4:53 PM ET

Berkeley Lab sees wind power as cost-effective, long-term hedge against gas prices

By Michael Copley

Wind power remains a long-term, cost-effective hedge against rising natural gas prices, despite its current struggle against depressed gas prices driven down by expanded production of U.S. shale gas reserves, according to a report released March 7 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In the near term, the U.S. "dash for gas" is making it harder for wind power and other renewable energy technologies to compete on price alone, according to the report. But a comparison of existing wind power purchase agreements, which lock in rates that utilities pay, against scenarios that contemplate rising natural gas prices reveals that wind power continues to be a strong long-term bet.

"Short-term gas price risk can already be effectively hedged using conventional hedging instruments like futures, options, and bilateral physical supply contracts, but these instruments come up short when one tries to lock in prices over longer durations," Mark Bolinger, the report's author, said in a statement. "It is over these longer durations where inherently stable-priced generation sources like wind power hold a rather unique competitive advantage."

The report, "Revisiting the Long-Term Hedge Value of Wind Power in an Era of Low Natural Gas Prices," was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Power Program.

The study's sample of wind PPAs — consisting of 287 contracts totaling more than 23.5 GW of operating wind capacity in the U.S. — exhibits a high degree of long-term price stability, the Berkeley Lab found. "Newer wind contracts not only provide ample long-term hedge value, but on average are also directly competitive with gas-fired generation in the near term," Bolinger said in the report.

On the other hand, an analyst recently forecast increasing natural gas prices for U.S. consumers as early as 2014. Haynes and Boone LLP Senior Energy Adviser Andy Weissman on March 7 identified several dynamics that could substantially increase U.S. gas demand and prices, including adoption of natural gas-powered vehicles, regulatory approval of LNG export terminals and U.S. EPA regulations on carbon emissions that would increase the shift away from coal-fired power generation.

"If wind power finds it more difficult to compete with gas-fired generation on the basis of near-term cost, it will increasingly need to rely on other attributes, such as its 'portfolio' or 'hedge' value, as justification for inclusion in the power mix," Bolinger concluded.

Bolinger included a quote from a Google official discussing the company's power purchase agreements with NextEra Energy Inc. to buy electricity from wind farms. Google resells the electricity into the wholesale market.

"We see value in getting a long-term embedded hedge. We want to lock in the current electricity price for 20 years," Ken Davies, Google Energy's program manager at the time, said at the Chadbourne Global Energy Conference in 2011. "We are making capital investment decisions on the order of 15 to 20 years. We would like to lock in our costs over the same period. Electricity is our number one operating expense after head count."


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Wind energy lessons from Illinois: Q&A with AWEA’s Rob Gramlich
Posted 3/8/2013 11:15:20 AM


www.midwestenergynews.com

Posted on 03/07/2013 by Kari Lydersen
Gramlich

AWEA's interim CEO Rob Gramlich

Last year, wind power accounted for more new generating capacity than any other energy source in the U.S., which topped the 60,000 MW mark for installed capacity for the first time.

Illinois ranked fifth among states for most new capacity installed in 2012, according to state rankings by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Illinois now has 3,568 MW of wind power in place, powering the equivalent of 1.1 million homes and ranking the state fourth in total capacity behind Texas, California and Iowa.

Meanwhile Illinois is also a leader in wind energy manufacturing. At least 33 businesses statewide manufacture wind turbine components, accounting for about 1,000 manufacturing jobs, according to AWEA. Between 6,000 and 7,000 indirect and direct jobs are attributed to the wind industry in Illinois, and annual lease payments to landowners total more than $8 million.

In Illinois as nationwide, new wind installations will benefit from the extension of the federal production tax credit for another year. The credit can now be applied to any wind farm that begins construction in 2013, but won't be collected until the wind farm starts generating power.

On May 5-8, AWEA will host its annual WINDPOWER conference in Chicago. Midwest Energy News talked with AWEA interim CEO Rob Gramlich on his recent swing through Chicago to prepare for that global wind industry gathering.

Midwest Energy News: Illinois is among the top states in wind turbine installation, even though it is only ranked 14th in quality of wind resources. What does that tell us?

Gramlich: Illinois was competing right up there with states with the best wind resources. Illinois has a great balance of proximity to load, wind resources and developable areas for projects - namely farmland. Farmers love it. And the RPS (state Renewable Portfolio Standard) has been good, though that's facing some challenges now.

You said it's just been in the past few years that wind development really took off here?

Illinois and Indiana are great wind stories. The old wind maps didn't have anything here. But with wind turbines getting larger and towers taller, there's a lot more wind energy available than people thought there was. Illinois's gone from zero to more than 3,500 MW (since its first installation in 2003). Illinois came out of nowhere.

Nationwide transmission is a limiting factor for wind development; is that a serious issue in Illinois or other Midwestern states?

There are limitations getting into Illinois, within Illinois and getting (Illinois wind power) to higher-priced markets on the East Coast. Even within the Midwest there are still a lot of constraints on the grid. Sometimes there's congestion going one way, sometimes another.

But there's been a fair amount of progress, for example with MISO's Multi Value Project. And there's been some progress with DC lines that now are having very good economics. That market started picking up two or three years ago; before people were just looking at AC. (Nationwide) there's been a lot of progress on the transmission front. There's enough being built right now for another 50,000 MW (of wind power). We passed the 50,000 MW mark last year, so the new transmission means we can double that.

How did the uncertainty around the future of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) last year impact wind development?

A lot of the (high 2012 installation) numbers were driven by the deadline for the PTC expiration. With a deadlocked Congress and no assurance anything would get done, utilities who buy power from wind farms wanted to make sure they got a good deal by doing it while the credit was still in place.

How important is the one-year PTC extension?

We got a little breathing room but not a long-term extension. We asked for more predictability. We got a little. We passed something in Washington, D.C. even with all the gridlock. Congress will need to take it up again.

You also got the change in the tax credit where projects are eligible as long as they start construction in 2013; that's a really big deal, right?

Yes, that was a huge improvement. Otherwise companies wouldn't have planned anything. In the past companies would make significant investments before the tax credit was passed, expecting that it would be. That doesn't happen now. They want to make sure Congress renews it before they put any capital at risk. It was one of the only or maybe the only tax credit to be changed (last year).

How are things looking for another extension of the PTC?

We got a great policy accomplished last year and everyone's thankful. The companies who make up our board are focused now on building projects, signing power purchase agreements and contracts with utilities and manufacturers (rather than policy issues).

Especially with all the new wind installed last year, has there been increased pushback or opposition?

There's been disappointing opposition. Exelon was lobbying hard against the PTC extension. And ComEd is lobbying hard in Illinois on the RPS. We got the PTC put to bed for the time being. But there are different issues in every state. The opinion polling November 6 (in the 2012 elections) was favorable to clean energy - if you look at all the candidates who won. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said (Obama's support of the) PTC made a difference in Iowa and Colorado, those were important states. In general if you were a candidate you came out better at the ballot box if you were in favor of clean energy.

Is the fact that Illinois is a hub for wind energy manufacturing closely linked to the number of turbine installations in Illinois, or is it partly a coincidence that the state is a leader in both wind generation and manufacturing?

Wind manufacturing is driven by two main things - proximity to development; and workers and companies experienced in sectors (that relate to wind energy) - gears, towers and other sectors. The Midwest in general is very strong in wind manufacturing - Ohio and Michigan have a lot too. It's driven by the auto industry: the community college training courses and the auto supply companies that can also be wind supply companies.

Does the closing of coal-fired power plants in the Midwest have any impact on wind energy?

Indirectly. Wind, gas and energy efficiency can replace any voids created by retiring coal plants. Some coal plants are low capacity, they don't run much, so there's not always a significant demand for new energy (when they close). And there are still so many ancient plants on the grid; there's a need to modernize both transmission and generation.

Experts say that as things stand now, municipal aggregation in Chicago and other communities can actually hurt wind development unless the RPS is fixed. (See more on that issue here). What do you think?

There are ways to fix the undiagnosed problem of load migration and to (continue to) accomplish the original goals of the RPS…There is a problem with load migration with municipalization. Utilities aren't sure who will be buying from them in the future. If they were sure they would be more willing to make commitments.

Do you expect wind growth to be slower in 2013 than 2012?

It probably will be lower. Because (of the PTC deadline), a lot of what would have been done in 2013 was done in 2012. And there's softer energy demand, low prices, cheap shale gas. We expect 2014 to be better than 2013.

What factors will continue to drive new wind construction?

We're seeing a lot of growth in non-traditional customers. Now 66 utilities are buying wind power - those are the traditional customers. But we're also seeing more industries, municipalities, schools, corporate customers buying wind power (directly from producers).

For example, corporate customers like data centers might have environmental goals they need to meet - they can do wind onsite or buy directly from the project rather than from a utility. They're making sure they get wind instead of getting the vanilla power mix. (According to AWEA, non-traditional wind customers include the city of San Antonio and other municipalities; schools and universities; aggregate and quarry operations and companies including Google, Walmart and SC Johnson.)

Are utilities increasingly willing to sign long-term contracts with wind producers?

There are long-term contracts, but some utilities don't do them as much as we would like. They are great for ratepayers (and they help drive new wind construction). We really want to spread that model everywhere. It's not being used enough now, especially in restructured states, like Illinois and a lot of the Midwest, where you have access to competition.

What can you say about the WINDPOWER conference in Chicago in May?

It's the world's largest wind energy conference. Anyone who wonders whether clean energy is a vibrant industry, all you have to do is walk out on that show floor.

The title is Solutions for Success, and we'll have a variety of perspectives and new innovations from all sectors. We'll be trying to be good international hosts, and we expect we'll have a lot of energy and excitement just like we had the last time we were here in Chicago in 2009.



New chief tapped for Illinois Power Agency
Posted 2/20/2013 8:18:16 AM

Printed from ChicagoBusiness.com

New chief tapped for Illinois Power Agency
By Steve Daniels February 19, 2013

A policy adviser to Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Doug Scott has been hired to become the next director of the Illinois Power Agency, the state office that buys electricity on behalf of utility customers.

Anthony Star, 42, will succeed Arlene Juracek, who notified the state last fall of her desire to leave the post to focus on running for mayor of northwest suburban Mount Prospect. Mr. Star began at the IPA today as chief of staff, Ms. Juracek said, but he will assume leadership of the agency March 15, when she will depart.

Mr. Star joined the ICC, which regulates the state's utilities, in 2010 as a policy adviser to then-Chairman Manny Flores. He stayed on to serve in the same capacity for Mr. Scott.

Before that, he was policy director at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, where he worked for 13 years. The Chicago-based center promotes sustainable urban neighborhoods and champions energy efficiency.

Mr. Star, whose appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation, declined to comment, saying he wanted to wait to speak publicly until he was formally director. Ms. Juracek said Mr. Star's experience with energy efficiency and programs to reduce power usage during high-demand periods would help him at the IPA.

The IPA, established six years ago as state lawmakers wrestled with electric utilities over how the purchase of power for residential and small business customers should be handled, is overseen by the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission. Ms. Juracek ran the agency for about 18 months.

Initially, her selection by Gov. Pat Quinn was controversial because of her background as a former executive of Commonwealth Edison Co. But fears that she would favor power generators like ComEd parent Exelon Corp. in the state's procurement of electricity proved overblown. There was little if any criticism of how she managed that part of the job.

Mr. Juracek said she felt like she helped make the IPA more transparent and added staff help to institutionalize the agency's workings.

Mr. Star's challenge, she said, will be to manage increasing risk. The power demand met by the utilities has shrunk dramatically as most municipalities, including the city of Chicago, have moved to buy cheaper electricity on behalf of their households and lower their constituents' power bills.

As a result, the IPA isn't even conducting a power procurement this year, the first time that's happened since the agency's inception.

In the future, though, if prices go up, municipalities may decide no longer to act on their residents' behalf, sending those customers back to the utility.

"I think the biggest challenge is going to be dealing with the uncertainty in the default service obligation," she said. "Will (demand) come flooding back to the utilities?"


###



49-turbine wind farm proposed for east of Paxton
Posted 2/15/2013 9:47:38 AM

49-turbine wind farm proposed for east of Paxton
Fri, 02/15/2013 - 8:00am | Will Brumleve [1] www.news-gazette.com

PAXTON — Up to 49 more wind turbines could be built east of Paxton within the next year, bringing to 143 the number of turbines along a 10-mile stretch of Illinois 9.

The Ford County zoning office received a special-use permit application last month for the Dogtown Wind Project, a proposed 100-megawatt wind farm that would comprise 6,136 acres of farmland immediately south of the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm.

Along with the application, the zoning office received permit fees totaling $4,900 — $100 for each turbine that could be built.

The Dogtown Wind Project is being jointly developed by Stewardship Energy LLC, based in Bureau County, and Akuo Energy USA, a subsidiary of France-based Akuo Energy that is headquartered in Chicago.

In 2010, the two companies partnered to form a limited liability company, Dogtown Wind LLC, that would own and operate the proposed wind farm. Stewardship Energy started working with local landowners to organize the project in 2008.

"I would say that we're definitely excited" that the permitting process is finally under way, said Doug Krause, project manager for Akuo Energy. "We would like to start construction the day after we get the permit."

All the turbines would be in Ford County, in Patton and Button townships. About 35 landowners have signed leases.

Ford County Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short said she is working to set up a meeting of the county's planning commission for March 14 to review the special-use permit application and decide whether the project meets the county's ordinance requirements. By law, the commission is required to meet on or before that date if it intends to review the application.

The Ford County Board of Appeals would then hold a public hearing to consider the permit. The hearing is tentatively scheduled for April 2, Short said.

If the special-use permit is approved, Dogtown Wind LLC would then need to apply for building permits — along with paying a $5,000 building-permit fee for each turbine — prior to construction starting. The building permit process, however, does not involve the planning commission or zoning board.

The project is expected to involve a $200 million capital investment, the permit application says. The wind farm would produce an estimated $10 million to $20 million over 20 years in local property tax revenue and millions of dollars in payments to landowners leasing their farmground. It would also create eight long-term jobs and provide enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

Krause said his company wants to build its wind farm this year in order to take advantage of a production tax credit that gives developers 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of electricity production from large-scale wind turbines. The tax credit, which was recently extended through the end of 2013, only applies to wind farms that are built or have construction under way by the end of the year.

"2013 would be a great opportunity to build," Krause said. "There's turbine availability, equipment availability — everyone rushed last year, in 2012, so it's a perfect time.

Akuo currently has 150 megawatts of wind power in production. Stewardship Energy has two Illinois wind farms, of 8.4 megawatts and 75 megawatts.

The Dogtown Wind Project would be next to E.On Climate & Renewables' 150-megawatt Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, which was built in fall 2011 and was the first in Ford County.

The name of the project was chosen by local landowners participating in the project. It refers to an area east of Paxton that is known as Dogtown.


Juwi changes wind turbine setbacks
Posted 2/13/2013 1:41:29 PM

Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana
February 12, 2013
Juwi changes wind turbine setbacks
Buffer zone created around Sharpsville

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor

— TIPTON — Less than two weeks before the Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals rules on a requested permit for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm, developer juwi Wind is proposing a buffer zone around residential developments.

Juwi plans to construct a 150-megawatt wind farm of up to 94 turbines in Prairie and Liberty townships. The cost is estimated at $300 million.

The Tipton County wind ordinance requires a 1,000-foot setback between a building and the nearest wind turbine. The company had previously agreed to a 1,250-foot setback, as was used in the development of the Wildcat Wind Farm in eastern Tipton County by E.ON Climate & Renewables.

Matt Heck, project manager of the Prairie Breeze development, said juwi is responding to concerns brought by residents of the area.

The nearest wind turbine to the Prairie Acres subdivision along U.S. 31 and 550 North will be 3,720 feet to the west, with two others more than 4,000 feet away.

Four wind turbines to the west of Sharpsville will range from 4,761 to 6,290 feet from the town limits. There also will be a quarter-mile buffer zone around the Kelley Farm Museum.

Heck said the county's wind ordinance requires the wind turbines to be 1.1 times the height of the tower (approximately 400 feet) from U.S. 31. He said the company won't place any turbines within 1,000 feet of the highway.

"That's almost double what the county requires," he said. "County officials wanted the additional setback for future development along the highway.

"These are significantly beyond the county's required setbacks," Heck said.

Heck said company officials are going door-to-door in Prairie Acres and Sharpsville to show residents the proposed buffer zone.

"It is being very well received," he said. "They are happy to see we voluntarily extended the setbacks."

Juwi Wind is hosting two public meetings this week to explain the benefits of the wind farm development. The meetings are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Both meetings are at the Tipton County Foundation.

Members of Tipton County Citizens for Responsible Development, which is attempting to halt the Prairie Breeze development, were not receptive to the buffer zones.

"Our goal is to rewrite the [wind] ordinance to have no wind farms in Tipton County," Jeff Hoover said. "There are five wind farms planned for Tipton County. Right now, E.ON is signing up property owners in Jefferson and Cicero townships."

Jim Ashley, a member of the Tipton County Plan Commission, said it is not just a battle in Prairie and Liberty townships, but a Tipton County battle.

"If juwi is stopped, maybe E.ON will change their plans," he said. "If juwi wins, it will be a cakewalk for E.ON. Tipton County will be covered by wind farms."

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition.


DACC Wind Instructor Job Post
Posted 2/6/2013 1:34:25 PM

Danville Area Community College is an accredited public two-year college that serves more than 9,000 students annually. Danville Area Community College strongly supports teaching, learning, and classroom innovation. An example of this support is the College Foundation's unique Faculty Endowed Chair professional development incentives. The College is located in Danville, in east central Illinois, 125 miles south of Chicago and 90 miles west of Indianapolis and enjoys a campus of 75 beautiful acres. The College is integrally linked with the local community of 34,000, a district of 88,000, and a strong network of area businesses, universities and other colleges. For additional community information, please refer to: http://www.vermilionadvantage.com/



Alternative Energy (Wind) Instructor: (Business/Technology): Minimum qualifications: 2000 hours documented work experience in Wind Industry; evidence of experience in training; teaching experience in curriculum design, recruitment and obtaining certifications. Desired qualifications include a Bachelor's Degree in alternative energy or related field; community college teaching experience.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

For full consideration applicants should submit a college employment application, a letter of application which highlights qualifications for the position, transcripts, and 3 letters of reference from individuals who are knowledgeable of the applicant's background and experience. Address applications to Ms. Jill Cranmore, Director of Human Resources, Danville Area Community College, 2000 E. Main St., Danville, IL 61832-5199. An application can be downloaded from our web site at www.dacc.edu/hr or call (217) 443-8757. Applications submitted by March 1, 2013 will be given maximum consideration and positions will remain open until filled.



The College reserves the right to extend searches or to retract positions advertised.



Danville Area Community College is an equal opportunity employer.




Illinois 5th in wind power installations in 2012
Posted 1/31/2013 9:25:25 AM

www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-illinois-5th-in-wind-power-installations-in-2012-20130130,0,7451827.story
chicagotribune.com
Illinois 5th in wind power installations in 2012

By Julie Wernau

Tribune reporter

3:32 PM CST, January 30, 2013
Advertisement

In what shaped up to be a record wind for American wind, Illinois was fifth in the nation for new wind installations in 2012, the American Wind Energy Association said Wednesday.

The state installed 491 turbines, or about 820 MW of capacity, and is fourth in the nation for wind power installed.

In the U.S. overall, nearly two-thirds of the more than 13,000 MW of new wind power in 2012 came online in the fourth quarter to take advantage of a wind production tax credit tht expired at the end of 2012. Ultimately, the 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour tax credit was extended for one year as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal signed in the New Year. While the tax credit generally is reserved for wind farms that are generating electricity, the extender package allows wind farms under construction in 2013 to take advantage of the tax credit.

Still, industry watchers expect 2013 to be a difficult year for wind. In 2012, in light of the tax credit's looming expiration, developers stopped placing orders for wind-related machinery for projects that were to come online in 2013 . AWEA said its members are receiving orders and calls now for equipment that will take six to nine months to deliver. The lobbying group would not provide its projections for installations in 2013. Some experts have forecasted a drop of as much as 75 percent, along with massive layoffs.

AWEA said 85 percent of the projects that came online in 2012 relied on long-term power purchase agreements from utilities and others who agreed to purchase the wind power the turbines would produce. In Illinois only one wind farm developer started selling into the merchant power market. The rest are selling power to large energy users such as Heartland Community College or to utilities Commonwealth Edison, Tennessee Valley Authority and Ameren Illinois.

jwernau@tribune.com | Twitter @littlewern

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC


US DOE Webinar: An Energy Literate Citizenry from K-to-Gray
Posted 1/17/2013 4:20:34 PM

February 6, 2013: An Energy Literate Citizenry from K-to-Gray: A Live Webcast on the Department of Energy's Energy Literacy Initiative

Webinar Sponsor: EERE Education and Workforce Development

The Department of Energy will present a live webcast, titled "An Energy Literate Citizenry from K-to-Gray" on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education document provides a framework of seven essential principles every citizen should know to be energy literate. The framework is designed to empower energy educators to apply an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach to teaching the physical, natural, and social sciences necessary for a comprehensive understanding of energy. This webinar will detail the Energy Literacy Framework, its conception through multiple partners, current activities (including its translation into Spanish), and highlight other available energy education resources.

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=829



Company kills wind farm proposal
Posted 1/14/2013 2:57:08 PM

Other firms withdraw energy project bids

BY DAVID GIULIANI dgiuliani@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Created: Friday, January 11, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST


OREGON - It's no longer just a whisper: A Spain-based company is withdrawing its plans for a wind farm in Ogle County.

Gamesa USA had planned the Whispering Prairie wind farm for Ogle, Winnebago and Stephenson counties.

But in November, the company informed landowners that it was terminating the lease options for wind turbines.

The company said it found the wind project wasn't commercially viable.

It's one of a number of proposed projects in Ogle County that have fallen by the wayside.

The company had planned about 100 turbines - 40 of them in Ogle County, between Byron and Leaf River.

Ogle County Zoning Administrator Michael Reibel said he wasn't surprised to hear that Gamesa was pulling out.

"We never had any detailed information from Gamesa about the project," he said. "About all we knew was that they were planning to secure lease agreements. We knew they were working hard in Winnebago County. They really didn't do that much in Ogle County."

Other companies have withdrawn plans for turbines near Kings and west of Mount Morris, and another firm planning a project near Forreston hasn't done much in recent times, Reibel said.

The proposed Baileyville wind farm, between Forreston and Leaf River, appears most likely to happen, but it has been mired in litigation, he said.

Meanwhile, Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power plans an 81-turbine farm in Lee, Whiteside and Bureau counties. Whiteside County approved its plan, while Lee County is still holding public hearings. The company withdrew its proposal for Bureau County after the zoning panel rejected it. Mainstream says it will resubmit a plan.

David Loomis, director of Illinois State University's Center for Renewable Energy, said the renewable energy industry isn't planning many more wind farms now. He said the windiest sites have been built or are under leases.


Invenergy Begins Operating 200-Megawatt Illinois Wind Farm
Posted 1/8/2013 3:29:23 PM

By Andrew Herndon on December 26, 2012
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-12-26/invenergy-begins-operating-200-megawatt-illinois-wind-farm

Invenergy LLC, a closely held renewable-energy,developer, said its California Ridge wind farm in Illinois has begun commercial operation.

U.S. government-owned utility Tennessee Valley Authority buys power from the project, which generates enough electricity for about 65,000 homes a year. Chicago-based Invenergy said today in an e-mailed statement. The wind farm is located on private land in Champaign and Vermilion counties and consists of 134 General Electric Co. wind turbines.

Invenergy operates wind farms in Illinois totaling 600 megawatts of capacity, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jasmina Kelemen at jkelemen2@bloomberg.net



Muscarello v. Winnebago County Board
Posted 1/8/2013 1:46:09 PM

Retrieved 1-8-13 from the Illinois Municipal League http://www.iml.org/page.cfm?key=9782


Muscarello v. Winnebago County Board, Nos. 11-2332, 11-3258 (7th Cir. December 7, 2012)

Zoning

Federal Circuit Courts

Muscarello v. Winnebago County Board, Nos. 11-2332, 11-3258 (7th Cir. December 7, 2012).

Overview
Plaintiff's complaint of the potential nuisances of wind farms adjacent to her property was properly dismissed because she failed to state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. The county's zoning ordinance allowing for wind farms on agricultural property does not violate federal or state constitutional principles.

Summary
The plaintiff owns three tracts of land zoned agricultural in Winnebago County, Illinois. Her suit attacks on a variety of grounds, both federal and state, a 2009 amendment to the county's zoning ordinance that makes it easier than it was before the amendment for an owner of such property to obtain permission to build a wind farm on it. She worries that a wind farm on land adjacent to property of hers would damage the property in a rather frightening variety of ways. She also claimed that the 2009 amendment itself significantly reduced the value of her property. She claimed that the amendment, therefore, violates the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The district court dismissed the case on the basis that the complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The amendment does not violate either the federal or state takings clauses. The 2009 amendment does not transfer possession of any of the plaintiff's land or limit her use of it. Plus, no wind farm has yet been built, there has been no direct, or for that matter indirect, physical disturbance of the plaintiff's property.

She further contended, however, that by making it easier for her neighbors to build wind farms, the amended ordinance has deprived her of property without due process of law, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and the corresponding provision in the Illinois constitution. But all she's challenging is a change in the procedure by which the owner of adjacent property can get permission to build a wind farm. The harm caused to her by a change in the procedural rights of other landowners - a change that imposes no restriction on her use of her land - is too remote to count as a deprivation of property. At worst, it raises the spectre of some future deprivation; and the due process clause does not protect against spectres.

Furthermore, she is attacking legislation, and adjudicative procedures would not be workable in a case like this. For a court to allow a hypothetical harm to one person's property from a yet to be built (or even permitted to be built) wind farm to upend a county-wide ordinance would be an absurd judicial intrusion into the public regulation of land uses.

The Seventh Circuit then noted that the plaintiff's basic argument is that a wind farm adjacent to her property would constitute a nuisance. However, the ordinance does not prohibit her from a filing a lawsuit against a wind farm built adjacent to her property that may be causing a nuisance.


© 1996-2013 Illinois Municipal League. All Rights Reserved.


Congress extends wind energy tax credits for projects that start in 2013
Posted 1/2/2013 10:32:49 AM

"Fiscal cliff" deal preserves America's leading source of new electric generation

Retrieved from www.awea.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 1, 2013 - Congress has included the long-sought extension of wind energy tax credits in final passage of a bill to avert the "fiscal cliff" that now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.


America's 75,000 workers in wind energy are celebrating tonight over the continuation of policies expected to save up to 37,000 jobs and create far more over time, and to revive business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the country. The extension of the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects, will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, with factories or wind farms in all 50 states.


The version included in tonight's deal would cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013. Companies that manufacture wind turbines and install them sought that definition to allow for the 18-24 months it takes to develop a new wind farm.


Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee included that version in a "tax extenders" package they assembled in August, which made it into the overall fiscal cliff deal that passed the Senate early this morning and the House tonight. The bill is expected to be swiftly signed into law by President Obama, who consistently supported the wind energy tax credits throughout the process.


Wind set a new record in 2012 by installing 44 percent of all new electrical generating capacity in America, according to the Energy Information Administration, leading the electric sector compared with 30 percent for natural gas, and lesser amounts for coal and other sources.


However, America's wind energy workers have been living under threat of the PTC's expiration for over a year and layoffs had already begun, as companies idled factories because of a lack of orders for 2013. Uncertain federal policies have caused a "boom-bust" cycle in U.S. wind energy development for over a decade.


Half the American jobs in wind energy - 37,000 out of 75,000 - and hundreds of U.S. factories in the supply chain would have been at stake had the PTC been allowed to expire, according to a study by Navigant Consulting.



In the closing days of this year's "lame duck" session of Congress, America's wind energy workers have been posting videos to tell their stories of working in the new industry. The 2,000 companies that belong to AWEA have sent delegations to Capitol Hill repeatedly, invited Members of Congress on tours of wind farms and factories, and delivered hundreds of thousands of letters from constituents.



"On behalf of all the people working in wind energy manufacturing facilities, their families, and all the communities that benefit, we thank President Obama and all the Members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014," said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA for the past four years.



"Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, homegrown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that's now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.," said Rob Gramlich, who becomes AWEA's interim CEO on January 2 with Bode's return to private practice as a tax attorney, as previously announced.



For further information, quotes from industry leaders or comments on the outcome of the fiscal cliff negotiations, please call Ellen Carey at 202.249.7357 or Peter Kelley at 202.270.8831.



About wind energy

Wind energy has strengthened the economic fabric of communities across America, becoming one of the fastest growing U.S. manufacturing sectors. At least 472 U.S. factories currently supply the industry, up from as few as 30 in 2004, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service recently found.
U.S. Department of Energy has projected that wind energy can supply 20 percent of America's electricity by 2030.

That would support roughly 500,000 good quality jobs in the U.S., with an annual average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry. And, it would result in energy-related cost savings to the nation ranging from $100 billion to $250 billion through 2030 - savings which have already begun.




AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with 2,000 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show, the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Chicago, May 5-8, 2013. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.



IREC Turbine Web Cam
Posted 12/31/2012 11:14:06 AM

The Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative has a web cam available to view their Pike County wind turbine. Visit the web page at http://pikewindcam.e-co-op.com/ to view the turbine. The IREC website is http://www.e-co-op.com/ which contains more background information on their wind project.


NACo and DWEA Release County Wind Ordinance Best Practices Guide
Posted 12/19/2012 2:07:42 PM


The National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) have released a guide that details best practices to assist counties in developing effective county wind ordinances.

The report, County Strategies for Successfully Managing and Promoting Wind Power, is the result of a NACo and DWEA partnership to assist county leaders and the wind industry in working collaboratively to develop affordable and safe wind energy projects that respect property rights and promote economic growth.

The guide serves as a tool for county elected officials and planners to learn about local wind ordinance development, explore key ordinance criteria, and consider best practices from other counties. For example, the permitting process is often a daunting obstacle for counties, wind developers, and would-be consumers to develop. Few counties have added allowances for wind systems -even small-scale- to their zoning codes. In some places, unfamiliarity with wind technologies has resulted in complete restriction of wind development to avoid setting a controversial precedent.

The guide explains key differences in wind system technologies and cites best practices for distributed wind in areas, such as rotor turbine height, lighting, and safety.

Download the guide at: www.naco.org/greencounties. Hard copies are available upon request.




WIU Student Obtains First Degree in Renewable Energy
Posted 12/17/2012 1:52:44 PM


December 17, 2012


MACOMB, IL - When Alex Steele, a Western Illinois University senior from Milan (IL), walked across the stage at graduation Dec. 15, he had the distinction of being the first WIU student to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Renewable Energy and Wind Technology.

When Steele transferred to Western a few years ago, he chose construction management as a major, which seemed to be a natural progression after working for his father's construction company for many years. But he became more intrigued with focusing on renewable energy when he had the opportunity to work on the pre-stages of a wind farm in Kansas with his father's company.

"When I was in Kansas I had the experience of putting up nine met towers for wind samples for the wind farm. Ever since, I had an interest in wind technology and thought it would be a great degree," he said.

As part of his degree program, Steele completed an internship with WIU's Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' Wind Energy Program. Jolene Willis, IIRA wind energy program coordinator, served as Steele's site supervisor for the two-credit hour (80 clock hour) internship.

"I have gained such a wide variety of experience in the renewable energy program at Western," he explained. "I was able to study a broad range of topics that included economics, cartography, agriculture, sciences, and logistics. The turning point from learning in the classroom compared to real world, day-to-day operations happened when I completed my internship with the IIRA.

"The experience I had with the IIRA's renewable energy program was incredible. I learned a tremendous amount about legal aspects, codes, and regulations that go into building and developing wind towers," Steele added.

As part of the internship, Steele received hands-on experience preparing for a small wind turbine installation on the WIU campus, which occurred Dec. 6 when a 70 foot, 2.4 kW (kilowatt) turbine and tower was erected just west of Western's Harry Mussatto Golf Course. The turbine, which will offset a fraction of the WIU golf course's electrical load, is part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' Illinois Wind for Schools project. The turbine will serve as an on-site classroom for high school and junior high school students from around the state. Willis added that it will also provide additional hands-on learning experiences for other WIU students from a variety of degree programs.

Steele will return to his family's construction business, where he intends to move the business forward into even more renewable energy contracts.

According to Michele Aurand, Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP) academic adviser and program coordinator, the ISP offers three renewable energy concentrations: biofuel technology, wind technology and policy, planning and management. Five years ago, due to the growing interest in renewable energy, Aurand's predecessor, Rita Creger, established a committee to review the possibility of creating renewable energy concentrations.

"When the committee first met to review these concentrations, they looked at programs that other schools were offering and also spoke with experts in the field. Armed with this information, they began looking at courses that were offered on our campus that would be a good fit for these concentrations," Aurand explained.

The concentrations were first offered in Fall 2009. There are currently 15 students enrolled in the renewable energy concentrations.

For more information on the ISP renewable energy concentrations, contact Aurand at (309) 298-2586 or MJ-Aurand@wiu.edu. For more information on the IIRA's wind energy program, contact Willis at (309) 298-2835 or JS-Willis@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606





WIU Installs Small Wind Turbine
Posted 12/13/2012 1:42:07 PM


December 12, 2012


MACOMB, IL - A small wind turbine was installed Dec. 6 at Western Illinois University to serve as a curriculum resource, while addressing sustainability goals of the University as part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' (IIRA) Illinois Wind for Schools project.

Installation of the 70 foot, 2.4 kW (kilowatt) turbine and tower has been completed just west of Western's Harry Mussatto Golf Course. According to Fred Iutzi, IIRA renewable energy program manager, the turbine will serve as an on-site classroom for high school and junior high school students from around the state.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase not only this renewable form of energy and to teach students new skills, but the turbine will also allow us the opportunity to showcase what the WIU campus has to offer," Iutzi said.

The project is primarily funded by a $28,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and is part of the Illinois Wind for Schools program. A joint effort of IIRA at WIU and the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, the Illinois Wind for Schools program helps Illinois high schools and middle schools integrate wind energy into their curricula, and provides service and learning opportunities for WIU faculty and students.

WIU Physical Plant Director Scott Coker noted that, in addition to its teaching impact, the wind turbine will offset a fraction of the WIU golf course's electrical load, approximately 200 kWh (kilowatt hours) per month.

"The turbine, which was installed by Sky Yield Renewable Energy (of Kankakee), on the Macomb campus is another step in WIU's ongoing commitment to sustainability," Coker explained. "The golf course location was chosen after an IIRA-funded wind study determined it to have the greatest wind resource among possible sites on campus."

In addition to the wind turbine on WIU's property, IIRA wind energy program staff collaborated with ISU to provide on-site workshops and demonstrations at high schools throughout the region. Recently, teachers at Astoria High School, which is one of six Illinois schools selected for the 2012-13 Wind for Schools program, learned to use KidWind model wind turbines, and were also presented with a weather station, customized lab activities and a wind energy curriculum.

"Along with the curriculum and professional development components, we want to expose the students to the vast array of education and training programs offered throughout Illinois to help prepare them for renewable energy careers," Jolene Willis, IIRA wind energy program coordinator, added. "We hope to engage the private sector within each of these schools with a professional from the industry to explore career readiness and post-secondary education opportunities."

According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind energy produced worldwide has enough power for six million homes (1.6 million in the U.S. alone), and the potential wind energy in America by 2020 is expected to produce enough power for 25 million homes each year.

"The WIU turbine will be a great instructional and curriculum tool for WIU and for the general public," Willis said. "It sets the course for schools to incorporate this next generation of energy education into their classroom curriculum, as well as provides the opportunity for school districts to demonstrate sustainability by utilizing wind energy as a power source."



Posted By: WIU News, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606



Buffett's MidAmerican Energy boosts wind capacity to 3.71GW
Posted 12/11/2012 3:38:51 PM

The energy business of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate headed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, has raised its ownership of wind capacity to 3.71GW after bringing the 81MW Bishop Hill II project into commercial operation.

MidAmerican Wind, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables, completed construction of the wind farm in Illinois that it acquired earlier this year from developer Invenergy. The facility utilizes 50 General Electric 1.62MW wind turbines.

Ameren Illinois, a utility based in Peoria, is purchasing all power from the project under a 20-year agreement.

Berkshire's energy arm, MidAmerican Energy Holdings , has seven primary businesses that generated $11.2bn revenue in 2011. Electric utilities MidAmerican Energy and PacifiCorp own 2.3GW and 1.03GW of wind, respectively. MidAmerican Renewables owns another 381MW including the 168MW and 132MW Pinyon Pines Wind I and II projects near Tehachapi, California.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings media relations director Ann Thelen tells Recharge that its subsidiaries do not have any other wind project under construction. The holding company is based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Richard A. Kessler (richard.kessler@rechargenews.com)

Published: Monday, December 10 2012 | Last updated: Tuesday, December 11 2012


IL Wind for Schools Accepting Applications for 2013-14 Program
Posted 12/11/2012 9:17:48 AM


December 5, 2012


MACOMB, IL - Now in its second year, the Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS) program is accepting applications from highly motivated middle school and high school teachers in Illinois public school districts. Three to five middle and/or high schools are selected each academic year as ILWFS partner schools for intensive support through on-site teacher training and classroom resources. Those who are sincerely interested in incorporating wind energy into their curriculum and providing outreach to their community are encouraged to apply by March 1, 2013.

Illinois Wind for Schools applications to participate during the 2013-14 school year are available at www.ilwfs.org. Eligible disciplines include math, science, agriculture, industrial technology, engineering and related subject disciplines. An open-enrollment generalized workshop will be available to all schools who wish to incorporate wind energy into their curriculum. Schools selected for the program will be notified by April 2, 2013.

According to Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs Wind Energy Program Coordinator Jolene Willis, the program offers curriculum development resources, professional development, on-site technical assistance and instructional equipment.

"In addition, there are numerous education and training programs offered throughout Illinois. We want to raise awareness and interest among the students to prepare them for renewable energy careers," Willis explained. "We hope to arrange for at least one guest speaker at each school every year, to explore career readiness and post-secondary education opportunities. That aspect of the program was very well received this past year."

Matt Aldeman, senior energy analyst for the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, noted the wind energy curriculum includes lesson plans in energy and electricity; wind and weather; turbines and engineering; environmental considerations; and economics.

"The ILWFS program addresses the specific Illinois Learning Standards goals in mathematics, including estimation and measurement, as well as data analysis and probability. It also encompasses specific science goals which include inquiry and design; concepts and principles; and science, technology and society."

The ILWFS program timeline will begin with an early summer 2013 teacher workshop held on site at each partner school, offering the fundamentals of wind energy, principles of wind turbine operation and ideas for integrating wind energy into the existing curriculum. All participating schools will receive a classroom set of KidWind model wind turbines, a weather station, customized lab activities and a comprehensive wind energy curriculum to integrate wind energy materials and energy literacy terms designed to supplement teachers' academic goals. Continuing professional development units (CPDUs) will also be offered for all teacher training sessions required to participate in this program. All training, curriculum and equipment will be offered at no charge to schools selected for the program.

In the fall 2013, the ILWFS staff will install scientific weather instrumentation on the school grounds at each partner school. Teachers and students will then be able to easily access data collected by the weather instrumentation using any Internet connection. Wind energy lessons will be integrated into the existing curriculum at teachers' discretion throughout the school year and the program will conclude in spring 2014. Participating teachers will be required to attend the on-site workshop and maintain communication with Illinois Wind for Schools staff, providing evaluation and feedback of the lab activities, curriculum, and equipment throughout the 2013-14 academic year.

This initiative, made possible through Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) grant funding, is sponsored through a partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, the College of Business and Technology at Western Illinois University, the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University and the College of Education at Illinois State University.

For more information regarding the Illinois Wind for Schools program, contact Willis at (309) 298-2835 or Aldeman at (309) 438-1440, or visit www.ilwfs.org to download the application.

Posted By: WIU News, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606


PBL expects $1 million boost from wind farm
Posted 11/26/2012 9:54:30 AM


Tue, 11/20/2012 - 8:00am | Will Brumleve [1]

PAXTON — The school district should see a $1 million spike in revenue next year, while homeowners in the district should see a savings on their property tax bills next summer, thanks to the construction of a wind farm near Paxton.

The district's proposed 2012 tax levy calls for an increase of more than $1 million in taxes to be collected in 2013 — exclusively due to the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm being assessed for the first time this year, Superintendent Cliff McClure said.

All 94 of the wind farm's turbines are within the PBL school district's boundaries. Assessed through a standard formula at $215,000 each, the turbines have pushed the estimated equalized assessed valuation of the school district to $158.46 million, up from $133.83 million in 2011, McClure said.

Meanwhile, the anticipated increase in taxable property is expected to allow the district's tax rate to be reduced by more than 16 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, McClure said. The projected rate reduction is up from last month's estimate of 13 cents.

The savings for the owner of a typical $100,000 home is expected to be about $54, McClure said.

The rate projected by the school district — $5.18 per $100 of assessed valuation — would be the lowest for PBL taxpayers since 2003, when the rate was $5.07.


Gifford school board raises levy by almost 10 percent
Posted 11/26/2012 9:53:49 AM


Tue, 11/20/2012 - 8:00am | Dave Hinton [1]

GIFFORD — The grade school district will seek a 9.78 percent higher tax levy.

The increase is expected to bring in $84,900 in new money.

Superintendent Rod Grimsley said the district received $32,000 more tax money from last year's levy when the consumer price index was 1.5 percent. This year's CPI is 3 percent.

"If we asked for an increase of less than 5 percent, then we would only be entitled to an increase in money of $42,000," Grimsley said at last week's meeting.

He said the district needs "to make sure we have ballooned the levy high enough to account for" a substantial amount of new-growth money that will go on this year's tax roll that does not count against the tax cap. Otherwise, the district would lose a portion of that new money every year.

More money will also come in as a result of the community being reassessed during the summer and due to the construction of wind turbines in the southeast part of the district.

Grimsley estimated the 22 new turbines in the district will increase the district's equalized assessed valuation by about $4.2 million.

Because the levy is higher than 5 percent, it will be necessary for the board to conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing. The hearing is set at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 10 at the school, just before the regular monthly meeting.


ILDCEO Rebate Program Closed Today
Posted 11/26/2012 9:31:27 AM

From ILDCEO:

NOTICE: the Solar and Wind Rebate program has now closed. Thank you to those who applied.


Schools Experience Benefits of Wind Energy Firsthand
Posted 11/20/2012 1:27:18 PM

U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Schools Experience Benefits of Wind Energy Firsthand

Date: 11/7/2012

Source: Seanica Reineke, National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.

Audio with Ruth Douglas Miller, Kansas State University Wind Applications Center director and Darin Headrick, Greensburg, Kansas schools superintendent. (MP3 2.8 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:03:01.

The Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University oversees school wind projects across Kansas. The school district in Greensburg, Kansas is one of those with a wind turbine. Superintendent Darin Headrick says the district looked at every aspect of the project to see how it might benefit the district.

"For us, it would be a good situation even if all it produced is exactly what its cost was. We still aren't out anything. We still have produced as much power by dollars as what it cost us to put it up. In case of our 50-kilowatt tower we have, we think we're going to do a little bit better than twice our investment. So our $300,000 investment for wind, we should see a revenue of about $700,000 of production of power. So it's really just a matter of having some cash on hand and knowing it's a good business decision, and then putting it in place. In fact, it's such a good decision for us, we're considering adding a second tower because it does provide some savings for us."

Wind Applications Center director Ruth Douglas Miller says there are nearly 25 projects now and those projects are typically funded by various entities, but the school usually covers the cost of the actual turbine and the tower. In recent years, USDA even has provided some grants for school wind projects. Miller says having a school wind turbine is very valuable in many ways. For one thing, she says it helps the entire community understand more about wind energy.

"We really were hoping to inspire students, to say 'This is really cool. We've got this turbine. I know a little bit about it. I would like to pursue a career in the wind industry.' I can't say we've had gobs of students end up going in that direction, but we've had a few, and it's really exciting to talk to a student who when he was in 8th grade helped write the proposal to me to put the turbine up. And then I see him again in the summer and he says 'I really want to go into wind. I want to be an engineer.' He just needed that motivation to push him through some of those tougher classes."

Headrick says wind turbines have become a staple in the community.

"It's something that's always on our landscape. It's something that we see. It's something that I think we sometimes take for granted. But I do know that we understand that it's a way for us to produce power, to produce power efficiently, and more importantly, to produce power that's green and renewable and responsible to our environment. But when you ask about students and the parents and how they see it, I think it's something they appreciate. I also think it's something that we've become accustomed to living here."

Headrick says he believes the school district has become an advocate of recognizing the obligation to be responsible with taxpayer dollars. The initial, additional cost upfront, Headrick says, saves a lot of money in the end and the school is seeing that firsthand. He says the school's investment in sustainable, green, renewable energy is not just responsible because it uses taxpayer dollars more efficiently but also because it's an additional educational aspect for the students.

This information was last updated on November 07, 2012


Wind tax credit could expire: What impact will it have?
Posted 10/9/2012 11:01:55 AM

Wind tax credit could expire: What impact will it have?
10/03/2012, 8:33 pm
Comment on this story
Derek Barichello, derekb@mywebtimes.com, 815-673-6372



Construction of wind farms could be in jeopardy, and that could mean a loss for Streator.

The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, a subsidy from the federal government, is set to expire Monday, Dec. 31, for wind energy, but politicians and wind companies are optimistic it will be renewed.

Tax credits for already constructed wind projects will not be affected.

The Streator Deer Run project, which is slated 10 miles southeast of Streator near Manville and Blackstone, permitted Iberdrola Renewables to construct 164 wind turbines in Livingston County, but it has not started construction.

The benefit to Streator is $500,000 in up-front payments, and an estimated $1,500 per turbine or an estimated $225,000 in annual payments.

But the uncertainty of the federal subsidy combined with the inability to find a long-term power purchase agreement is holding up construction, said Paul Copleman, communications manager for Iberdrola.

That $500,000 loss was the difference between Streator finishing in the black in 2012, instead of with a $51,000 deficit.

"There's a variety of factors, but the uncertainty of the tax credit has stalled construction and caused layoffs industrywide for an industry that was really growing," said Copleman, whose company has laid off 50 employees nationwide.

Michael Polsky, chief executive officer, president and founder of Invenergy, which operates the Grand Ridge wind farms, told The Times the expiration of a federal tax credit would have no effect on existing projects, including the recently constructed solar farm northeast of Streator. Tax credits for solar energy do not expire until the end of 2016.

Kevin Borgia, manager of public policy for Wind on the Wires, an advocate of wind energy, is confident the federal tax credits will continue.

He said wind energy has created 814 permanent jobs in Illinois, added 19,047 jobs during construction, generated $13 million to local landowners and $28.5 million in property tax value, citing a Center for Renewable Energy study at Illinois State University.

He also said an Illinois Power Agency study showed power prices were reduced $177 million due to wind energy output.

"If the federal government were to stop these tax credits, it would be detrimental to communities like those in La Salle and Livingston counties that could have benefited," Borgia said. "A lot of economic development in the last decade has been created by wind energy and the tax credits foster that economic development."

Both of Illinois' senators, Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk, are in favor of extending the federal tax credit, as well as Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon.

"We need a diverse energy portfolio that includes renewable power sources, such as wind," said Erik Rayman, a spokesman for Kinzinger. "Wind power has benefited from a production tax credit that has provided the growth we've seen in Illinois. Wind is more economical today than it was five years ago, but there should be a sunset date where it stands on its own, just as we saw with ethanol."

Rayman said talks on the issue could go until the end of the year.

A coalition of 64 organizations led by Americans for Prosperity, sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to end the credit.

"The (production tax credit) was created in 1992 to get the wind industry off the ground," the letter stated. "Yet 20 years later, we have little to show for it. We're still providing a $5 billion special tax break each year for an industry that supplies just over 2 percent of our power.

"If a new technology truly has worthwhile benefits for American consumers such as lower cost, higher efficiency, or environmental benefits, then that technology will demonstrate its value by competing in the open market for consumers' dollars — not by living off of special provisions in the tax code. American consumers — not Washington lawmakers — should decide the future of American energy."

Borgia argues it is not fair to expect wind energy to compete in an open market without subsidies when every other energy source is subsidized, including nuclear energy.

"Other energy sources are not required to stand on their own," Borgia said. "The United States has had several decades of energy sources receiving favorable tax treatments."

###
10.09.12. Retrieved from http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottawa/display.php?id=463411








The State of Wind Power: Innovations in Technology & Financing
Posted 9/24/2012 9:54:38 AM

Hosted by Environmental Law and Policy Center and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 7:30 - 9:30 AM
ELPC Conference Center, 35 E Wacker Dr, Ste 1600, Chicago, IL
http://www.ELPC.org/StateofWind2012

Speakers will discuss innovations and financing mechanisms that are on the horizon, growing the industry in the tri-state area, life without a Production Tax Credit (PTC), and other matters affecting the state of the wind industry. Space is limited. Advance registration at ELPC.org/StateofWind2012 is strongly suggested, or RSVP to fgaines@ELPC.org or 312-795-3729.



The FY13 Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program will open on September 24th
Posted 9/5/2012 2:18:22 PM

On September 24, 2012, the Illinois Energy Office will release the guidelines for the FY13 Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program. It is anticipated that these guidelines will be available by 10:00 am on that day. All applications for the FY13 program must be submitted, without exception, on the forms that will be released on September 24, 2012. These forms need to be completely filled out and signed and dated by both the applicant and the installer/project manager prior to submission to the Illinois Energy Office. Any applications received under previous application forms will be rejected. Applications will be considered on a first come first serve basis.



Beginning on September 24, 2012, completed applications may be submitted via email or regular mail, but please do not submit both ways. The Illinois Energy Office only needs one copy of the completed, signed application. Email submissions will need to be sent to the address listed in the guidelines. Please note: this address is different than previous years. You will receive a confirmation that your application has been received.



Program Highlights:

Maximum rebate for all solar and wind energy projects is $10,000.00.
Solar Photovoltaic projects will be capped as follows:
For residential and commercial applications: $1.50/watt or 25% of project costs
For not-for-profits and public applications: $2.60/watt or 40% of project costs
Solar Thermal projects will be capped at 30% of project costs
Wind Energy projects will be capped as follows:
For residential and commercial applications: $1.70/watt or 30% of project costs
For not-for-profits and public applications: $2.60/watt or 40% of project costs
The Illinois Energy Office has allocated a budget of $1.5 million to this program. This budget is the same as the last few years.





Solar and Wind Rebate Program contact:



Wayne Hartel
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
217/785-3420
Wayne.hartel@illinois.gov


Logan County wind farm construction delayed 2 years
Posted 7/25/2012 10:16:39 AM

Logan County wind farm construction delayed 2 years
County must find new avenue to cover trial costs

By Nathan Woodside
The Courier
Posted Jul 23, 2012 @ 08:17 PM

http://www.lincolncourier.com/news/x1073621480/Logan-County-wind-farm-construction-delayed-2-years?zc_p=0


LINCOLN —

The $1.5 million Logan County was expecting to collect this year in permit fees from the construction of a planned wind farm won't materialize. Work on the wind farm has been delayed at least two years.

It's frustrating news for the county. The permit fees from Sugar Creek Wind Farm One construction have been seen as the salve to cover painful trial costs for Christopher and Jason Harris, brothers accused to killing a Beason family in 2009.

Stan Komperda, project manager for Sugar Creek Wind Farm One, said Friday that declining electricity demand and the overall outlook of the economy have slowed the project's progress.

"We are moving forward, but it is at a slower pace than what we had originally hoped for," Komperda said. "Really, the economy is what's driving it. If we have a quick economic turnaround, and unemployment goes down and the factories get up and running again, that's a much higher power demand and that's going to change things fast."

The Logan County Board had expected to start seeing revenue from construction permit fees come trickling in this year, and construction to begin at the site next summer.

Komperda said that, as of now, construction isn't expected to begin until sometime in 2014.
When asked what can be done to help offset the lost projected funds, Logan County Board finance chairman Chuck Ruben grinned optimistically and threw his arms out to his sides.
In the dark
"I don't really know at this point," he said. "We're still looking into it."
Ruben has said in the past that he hopes the county would be able to borrow money and repay the loan over an extended period of time, dulling the stress dealt to future budgets.

However, the legalities regarding the county seeking a loan haven't been fully researched. The Logan County Board is awaiting a finding on the subject from the state's attorney's office.
Logan County received a positive audit report earlier this year, indicating the local economy was on the rebound. In fact, the county came out $615,000 ahead of projections in FY2011 budget. But major trial costs could erase that optimism in a blink.

Gov. Pat Quinn's abolition of the death penalty last year led to the elimination of the capital litigation fund at the beginning of this year, a program to help counties pay for high-dollar murder trials.

The means the county must foot the bill for the Harris trials, set to move forward until then.
Legal fees paid
Meanwhile, the county has been writing monthly checks of $16,666.67 to Christopher Harris' defense team alone, according to court documents. The total amount of both trials is expected to exceed $1 million.
Additionally, the wind farm's delay means landowners expecting to earn monthly lease payments for hosting the 116 turbines also will have to wait.
"The thing I want to emphasize to our landowners now is that it looks bad, but these things really can turn around quickly," Komperda said.
Also not helping Sugar Creek Wind Farm One is Congress' waiver on the extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which would amount to a 30 percent reimbursement of the total construction bill.
"There's a couple things out there that are kind of weighing the industry down right now," Komperda said.
He added, however, that the reduction in coal use could be a positive for wind energy companies.
"We have some new regulations that have already closed some coal plants in Illinois and other coal plants in other states," he said. "Over the next two or three years, those regulations are going to continue to shut down a lot of these dinosaur coal plants that are 50 or 60 years old. They can't continue to meet pollution objectives."

Still moving forward
Despite the two-year setback at Logan County's Sugar Creek Wind Farm One, Komperda said planning is still moving forward, and the project is still hitting milestones.
Recently, his company completed a generator interconnection agreement with Ameren and Midwest Integrated System Operator to run wind farm electricity through local power lines.
In addition, Komperda plans to address the Logan County Board in the next month or two to request zoning permits for a switchyard that would heighten security for area electricity customers when the wind farm goes online.
"If an ice storm were to take down a bunch of power lines, the way it's configured right now, the area of electrical loss would be much larger than what it would be when we hook up," Komperda said. "The switchyard will make us be able to reroute power."
Overall, Komperda said the project is still moving forward, just at a slower pace than expected.

And if the economy begins to turn around, Logan County's financial boon could be back on track.
"The way we see it with our project, we are well positioned to take advantage of any kind of a turnaround that would happen, and to do that pretty quickly," Komperda said.


Report: Wind farms add billions of dollars to local economies
Posted 7/23/2012 10:10:50 AM

July 17, 2012 5:10 pm • By Mary Ann Ford | mford@pantagraph.com

NORMAL — Illinois' 23 largest wind farms — several of which are in Central Illinois — will add $5.8 billion to local economies over the life of the projects, according to an Illinois State University study released Tuesday.

The construction of wind farms — including Twin Groves and White Oak wind farms in McLean County, Streator Cayuga Ridge South Wind Farm in Livingston County, Pioneer Trail in Iroquois and Ford counties and Rail Splitter Wind Farm in Tazewell and Logan counties — generated 19,047 construction jobs and 814 local, long-term jobs, said David Loomis, director of ISU's Center for Renewable Energy and co-author of the study.

During the construction phase of the various wind farms, workers made more than $1.1 billion. The wind farms generate $28.5 million in annual property taxes, and landowners make about $13 million a year by allowing turbines to be placed on their properties, the study reports.

"This is important to know so informed decisions can be made regarding the future of wind projects," Loomis said at a news conference during the sixth annual Advancing Wind Energy in Illinois conference at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal.

Loomis said wind farm production is at a standstill now because a production tax credit that helped offset project costs expires at the end of the year.

Jack Darin, president and director of the Sierra Club's Illinois chapter, said extending that tax credit is "critical for the health of our environment."

"Today's heat is the kind scientists say will be the new normal if something is not changed," Darin said, referring to current "old and dirty" practices of energy production.

Larry Flowers, deputy director of the American Wind Energy Association, said coal and gas producers receive subsidies so wind energy should as well to level the playing field.

Flowers said wind energy projects are important for job creation in the United States.

Mike Matejka, legislative affairs director for the Great Plains Laborers District Council, agreed.

"Wind jobs are very, very important as we bridge the recession," Matejka said.

Wind farms and high speed rail work have been two keys to keeping people employed, he said, adding that those workers in turn are able to pay their mortgage, buy a vehicle and groceries.

McLean County leads the state with wind farm projects. The planned turbines will produce enough electricity to power about 192,000 homes a year.


AWEA 2011 U.S. Small Wind Turbine Market Report
Posted 7/13/2012 11:44:41 AM

The 2011 AWEA U.S. Small Wind Turbine Market Report has been released. The report is available online at http://awea.org/learnabout/smallwind/index.cfm





Invenergy's Bishop Hill Begins Commercial Operations
Posted 7/11/2012 10:19:04 AM



NAW Staff, Sunday 08 July 2012 - 23:00:01

Invenergy has announced the completion of construction and start of full commercial operations for its 200 MW Bishop Hill Wind Energy facility in Henry County, Ill.

The developer says the wind farm features 133 General Electric wind turbines located on 22,000 acres of farm land.

According to Invenergy, Bishop Hill employed 220 workers at the peak of construction. Fourteen full-time Invenergy employees now operate and maintain the project.

Invenergy notes that a second phase of Bishop Hill is currently under construction. The second phase of the project was acquired in March by MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., Invenergy says.

A third phase of Bishop Hill - featuring 83 turbines - is also in development in Henry County, the developer adds.

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Spirit Lake, Iowa, school district honored for wind turbines
Posted 6/22/2012 10:52:22 AM

June 20, 2012 6:00 pm • NATE ROBSON nrobson@siouxcityjournal.com

http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/spirit-lake-iowa-school-district-honored-for-wind-turbines/article_055c6490-cb1f-51f8-b47e-6681825de968.html



SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa | Green energy is more than a mere catchphrase in Spirit Lake, where the school district recently received a national honor for its wind power program.

The district earned a Green Power Partnership Award for the top 20 kindergarten through 12th grade schools from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which recognizes groups that advance the development of green power sources.

Spirit Lake was selected for its two on-campus wind turbines, which supply 46 percent of the school's electrical needs. That equates to $178,700 in savings from Jan. 13, 2011, to Jan. 17.

"That's money we would have paid for utilities that now goes back into the general fund," said district Director of Buildings and Grounds Jim Tirevold. "That's money our district can use."

The windmills are a signature piece of the city's skyline and a source of pride within the community.

The district built the first windmill in 1993 for $239,000. That windmill, which powered the elementary school, stands 140 feet tall and has a 90 foot blade diameter. The district was so impressed with the results that a second windmill was built in 2001 for $780,000. That windmill is 180 feet tall with a blade diameter of 160 feet.

"The public loved the first one so much, we couldn't build the second turbine fast enough," Tirevold said.

A combination of grants and loans paid for both windmills, and the final payment was made last summer, Tirevold said.

The windmills have earned the school an annual appearance on the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Award list since 2004.

"The criteria for this award is their rank among other school districts on the amount of green power that is used," said EPA spokesman David Bryan. "They are one of six school districts in the top 20 that have onsite generation of power."

The district considered building a third turbine, but opted not too after the utility company increased the school's usage rate and decreased the price paid for electricity sold from the turbines, Tirevold said.

The changes meant it would cost almost 20 years to pay off a new windmill, Tirevold said. Those same windmills have a 20- to 25-year life expectancy.

"I would say they are a like a car though. If you take care of them, they will go longer, if you don't, they won't," he said.



This story updates the name of the award given to the school.
Savings from Spirit Lake school turbines

Year Revenue

1993 $12,243

1994 $24,978

1995 $25,007

1996 $25,951

1997 $20,185

1998 $19,853

1999 $23,969

2000 $21,650

2001* $46,123

2002 $137,798

2003 $136,406

2004 $150,420

2005 $156,474

2006 $129,987

2007 $146,018

2008 $132,776

2009 $128,377

2010 $163,515

2011 $178,709

Source: Spirit Lake Community Schools

*The district built a second windmill in 2001



6th Annual Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference, July 17-18, Normal, IL
Posted 6/15/2012 10:49:34 AM

The Illinois Wind Working Group (IWWG) will host their sixth annual Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference, July 17-18, at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal, IL. IWWG consists of over 200 key wind energy stakeholders in Illinois, is administered by Illinois State University's Center for Renewable Energy, and is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America initiative. The conference will feature more than 40 speakers who will share their knowledge and expertise through plenary sessions, breakout seminars, and panel sessions on a variety of important wind energy topics. For complete conference information including online registration, please visit

www.renewableenergy.illinoisstate.edu/wind/conferences/AnnualConference2012.shtml.


Clean energy research facility planned in Charleston
Posted 6/13/2012 8:34:42 AM

June 01, 2012 9:50 pm • BY SAMANTHA BILHARZ JG-TC Staff Writer

http://jg-tc.com/news/clean-energy-research-facility-planned-in-charleston/article_dcbe2c78-ac5d-11e1-a01c-001a4bcf887a.html

CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois University will be breaking ground on its new Center for Clean Energy Research and Education Facility this fall.

Bob Chesnut, director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Eastern, said the Center for Clean Energy Research and Education Facility, or CENCERE, is being built for three main reasons.

The new academic building will supply a place for students and faculty members to conduct renewable energy research and make connections with schools in the Charleston area so other students in the community can learn about renewable energy, he said.

"I think it's a way of bringing Eastern's capabilities in renewable energy to the schools. It gives the schools a single place to visit," Chesnut said.

And lastly, the building is being constructed to serve as a place where start-up businesses specializing in renewable energy can have a home.

"There are some things that you really need to be able to do in order to conduct renewable energy research, and we don't really have a space right now that works well for that kind of project," Chesnut said.

Chesnut also said he hopes the businesses that will be starting up at the Center for Clean Energy Research and Education will help add jobs to the Coles County area.

The new 4,300-square-foot building will be constructed north of the already existing Renewable Energy Center and will take about a year to complete after the groundbreaking takes place in the fall.

Chesnut said the real advance for the new building is that it will house a small space for a gasifier, which will help test blends of different biomass materials.

"There is no really good space for gasifier equipment right now, and the new research building will have a nice space for that experimental equipment," Chesnut said.

For more than a year Eastern faculty and administrators hoped to bring a building of this caliber to Eastern's campus, so they worked together to come up with the idea for the building that will soon be a reality, he said.

"We are hoping to become a leader in renewable energy research. This is a facility that will move us in that direction," Chesnut said.

Two public meetings about the new facility have been set for 6 p.m. Wednesday June 6 and June 13, at the Charleston Public Library, in Rotary Room A. Eastern President Bill Perry will be present at both meetings to talk about the new facility and answer questions.

Contact Bilharz at sbilharz@jg-tc.com or 238-6839.


Wind farm rotation starts Friday; Lieutenant governor touts advantages of area project
Posted 6/1/2012 1:19:21 PM

BY DAVID GIULIANI dgiuliani@saukvalley.com 800-798-4085, ext. 525

Wind farm rotation starts Friday
Lieutenant governor touts advantages of area project

COMPTON - Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon wanted to get a close look at a wind farm. Really close.

On Wednesday, Simon, a wind energy supporter, climbed up the inside of a turbine as part of her tour of the new wind farm in eastern Lee County.

Officials from Goldwind USA, which owns the Shady Oaks wind farm, said its 72 turbines are set to go online Friday, providing power to ComEd.

Before her tour, Simon, wearing tennis shoes, met with a small group of wind energy supporters in a trailer that serves as the wind farm's headquarters just north of Compton.

On hand were school superintendents from the Amboy, Bureau Valley and Ohio school districts. Schools tend to support wind energy projects because they get big boosts in annual property tax revenue.

Amboy Superintendent Jeff Thake said the Shady Oaks wind farm will mean an extra $500,000 for his district next fiscal year.

"My interest is twofold: revenue for the school district and the creation of jobs for young people," he said. "Our graduates are working on wind turbines. It's a win-win."

Thake said the district had no plans for increased spending because of the cash infusion. Rather, it planned to save the money to make up for expected shortfalls in state funding, he said.

All three superintendents told Simon a similar story about wind farms' benefits.

"All that good news without mentioning renewable energy," Simon said.

She noted the state's requirement for a certain amount of renewable energy, which aims to help the environment and the economy.

As in other counties, many of Lee County's rural residents have fought wind farms. They complain about turbines' noise, vibrations and shadow flicker, pushing for longer setbacks between homes and wind farms.

Asked about this opposition, Simon said the discussions at the County Board level have been important.

"We need to know what's going on and discuss the possible negative effects. The positive effects are known," she said.

Her spokeswoman later said Simon had read some of the news coverage on the Lee County Board's dealings with wind energy.

Representatives of Mainstream Renewable Power, which is planning a wind farm for Lee, Whiteside and Bureau counties, were on hand for Simon's visit. Mainstream, the previous owner, planned the project before Goldwind acquired it. Goldwind is a subsidiary of a Chinese company.

Goldwind said the project's beginning of operation was delayed because of requests from bidders who were interested in buying it.

Goldwind still is looking at selling the project, a Goldwind spokesman said.

Copyright © 2012 Sauk Valley Media. All rights reserved.


New Analysis Ranks States' Clean Energy Markets
Posted 6/1/2012 8:42:50 AM

NAW Staff, Wednesday 30 May 2012 - 10:35:34

Research firm Clean Edge has released its annual Clean Energy State Index, which ranks U.S. states based on more than 70 indicators across the clean energy spectrum, including technology, policy and capital.

According to Clean Edge, the top 10 U.S. states for clean energy this year are as follows:

1. California
2. Oregon
3. Massachusetts
4. Washington
5. Colorado
6. New York
7. Illinois
8. New Mexico
9. Vermont
10. Minnesota

Key market indicators tracked by Clean Edge included total electricity produced by clean energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives.

Among the key findings of the analysis was that the 29 states (plus the District of Columbia) with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) account for nearly two-thirds of the nation's total generating capacity.

Six states - twice as many as last year - now generate more than 10% of their utility-scale electricity from wind, solar and/or geothermal.

California - which has the most aggressive RPS in the U.S., at 33% by 2020 - had the overwhelming lead in clean energy venture capital dollars in 2011, exceeding the total of the other 49 states combined, Clean Edge also found.

In addition, clean energy patents granted to U.S. entities in 2011 exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time, with more than half of them distributed across just three states.

The full Clean Edge report can be downloaded here.



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Increasing Number Of Customers Participate In Net-Metering Programs
Posted 5/24/2012 2:48:10 PM

Renew Grid, Monday 21 May 2012 - 23:00:00

State policies and technological developments have led to an increase in residential and business consumers installing small-scale, on-site generators. As a result, electricity consumers are participating in net-metering programs in growing numbers, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In 2003, utilities in 38 states and the District of Columbia reported having a total of 6,813 net-metered customers. Over three-quarters of those were in California, which had 5,242 net-metered customers, followed by Arizona, with 330 customers.

In 2010, every state except for Tennessee reported net-metered customers. The total number of customers increased to 155,841, of which California accounted for 56% (86,495), followed by Colorado (9,776), Arizona (8,559), New Jersey (7,526) and New York (5,638).

Net-metered installations were reported by 655 different investor-owned utilities, municipals and cooperatives across the country - up from 127 in 2003. Residential applications made up 86% of total net-metered customers in 2003 and 91% in 2010.

While consumers see lower bills and increased stability in prices with net metering, utilities can benefit by having units located closer to the end users, potentially requiring less investment in transmission and distribution infrastructure, according to the EIA. Further, on-site generation can remove or defer the need for infrastructure expansion.

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Story Of Wind-Related Transmission Is One That Needs Telling
Posted 5/24/2012 2:40:16 PM

Renew Grid, Wednesday 23 May 2012 - 11:57:01



Installing a substantial amount of wind power, along with upgrading transmission in the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) territory, could have positive consumer benefits at a lower cost than is assumed, according to a report sponsored by the Americans For A Clean Energy Grid (ACEG).

The study, conducted for ACEG by Synapse Energy Economics, examines additional wind-related transmission investments over and above MISO's multi-value projects (MVPs) and concludes that consumer electricity prices would decline under low- or high-transmission scenarios.

Introducing greater levels of wind resources into MISO generally depresses the average annual market price relative to a baseline case of no additional wind generation beyond the existing 10 GW currently in place in MISO, according to the report. Because wind energy "fuel" is free, once they are built, wind power plants displace fossil-fueled generation and lower the price of marginal supply - thus lowering the energy market-clearing price.

"It is not reasonable to presume that infrastructure investment will always translate into higher rates for consumers," Jim Hoecker, counsel for industry group WIRES, said in a press release. "To the contrary, every penny sunk into expanding the transmission system is likely to put downward pressure on wholesale and retail prices by making lower-cost resources available to the market. That is a story that needs telling."

With good system planning, it is likely that large quantities of wind could be integrated with low or moderate transmission investments - though still larger increases than have been seen in the recent past.

If load growth can be kept to a minimum through demand response and energy efficiency, the incremental transmission needed to integrate wind can be lowered (relative to a baseline with greater load growth) because a key determinant of transmission need is peak-load level.

Transmission projects would still be required to connect remote wind resources to the grid, and "backbone" investments would still be needed across key areas of the Midwest. However, continuous investment cycles of extra-high-voltage lines should not be necessary, and the cumulative rate impacts should remain small, according to the study.

Transformation of the supply fleet to much more flexible operation (e.g., by adding gas plants that can ramp up and down quickly), as well as the presence of extensive coordination, control and forecasting improvements in the electric power sector, could also mitigate the need for dramatically expansive levels of transmission.

Lower energy costs

If 3 GW of coal is retired, the market-price reduction in 2020 associated with adding 20 GW of wind resources is roughly $14/MWh. An addition of 40 GW of wind leads to an average energy price decline of more than $21/MWh, according to the study.

These price declines are expected to lead to reduced overall energy costs. Power supply costs for customers in the MISO region could range from $3.9 billion to $7.9 billion per year lower than baseline costs for the 20 GW wind addition, and from $6.1 billion to $12.2 billion per year lower than baseline costs for the 40 GW addition.

These cost savings will exceed the annual costs of transmission improvements needed to integrate this level of additional wind energy. When adding transmission, the net savings ranges from $3 billion to $6.9 billion per year for the 20 GW wind scenario, and $3.3 to $9.4 billion per year for the 40 GW wind scenario.

The analysis suggests that ongoing wind installations across the MISO grid will continually exert downward price pressure on market energy prices. Prices are expected to drop initially by $3/MWh to $10/MWh through 2018, and continue to decline by $10/MWh to $49/MWh through 2031, when approximately 100 GW of wind energy could be online in the Midwest region.

"Of course, beyond the scope of this particular study, there exists a range of other potential benefits to be derived from a more resilient and efficient grid - reduced congestion, support for bulk power market competition, resource diversity, jobs and new technology deployment, heightened reliability, operational flexibility and reduced emissions," Hoecker said.

The report shows that adding wind-enabling increments of transmission above and beyond the MVP portfolio would have a small effect on the average electricity bill in MISO. For example, the rate impact for just MVP projects and MVP projects plus estimated low transmission additions for 2015 is the same, at $1.02/MWh.

In addition, the price savings associated with the wind additions exceed not only the incremental rate effect of the transmission expansion scenarios, but also, in many cases, the total transmission rate associated with each scenario.

The study suggests that adding more wind power to the grid in MISO, above and beyond what will be enabled by the MVP portfolio, would result in the continual decline of energy market prices and lead to lower electric rates for ratepayers - relative to rates in a less windy electrical landscape - even when the cost of additional transmission is considered.

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Waiting on the wind
Posted 5/23/2012 3:08:44 PM

By Patrick Stout
The McDonough County Voice
Posted May 23, 2012 @ 08:38 AM

Macomb, Ill. —

Element Power held two meetings in Macomb on Tuesday to explain why the McDonough County area does not have wind farms yet and still may not have them for a while longer.

A meeting was held in the morning for public officials and members of the Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation. The evening meeting was held for landowners who signed contracts to allow the location of wind turbines on their properties.

Project manager Scott Koziar said there are 24,000 acres committed. He said the company needs a minimum of 16,400 acres to accommodate 116 turbines.

Koziar said the Cardinal Point Wind Energy Project has come a long way since Element Power took it over from EcoEnergy in 2010. But he said major tasks ahead include completion of federally-required environmental studies, selection of the type of turbines to be used, geotechnical testing of each turbine site, and advance sales of wind power.

The project manager said there are challenges on both the national and state levels. Koziar said there is a slow market due to the bad economy, there's been flat or negative growth in electricity loads, and there's now a record low in natural gas prices.

Dave Stoner, senior vice-president for Element Power's projects east of the Mississippi River, said, "The energy market runs in cycles, with boom and bust years."

Koziar said his company has enough faith in Cardinal Point that it has committed funds to cover increased, and in some cases non-refundable, fees for a place on the Midwest Independent System Operator power grid.

"We've paid our fees and I think some other companies may drop out and give us better position," said Koziar. He said it's imperative that the U.S. Congress renew the federal production tax credit that provides incentives for the first 10 years of a wind farm operation.

Kim Pierce, MAEDCO executive director, said her office has been in touch with local governments to get resolutions of support approved. "We may be coming back to you with more specific requests as bills become identified," Stoner responded.

Koziar said a problem at the state level is that the Illinois Power Authority is currently interested in only approving power purchase agreements for one to five years. He said those who might buy wind power are more interested in 20-year agreements.

The project manager said his company may ask local landowners to join it in lobbying for a change in state policy. "Our industry needs to do a better job of breaking down details for legislators on why the 20-year contracts are needed," said Koziar.

"We believe in this project," Stoner said. "We've worked on it for three years already but a long timetable is typical for such projects. We're extremely confident in wind power as an affordable energy source."

Element Power is working on wind farms in 18 states and on solar energy in 17 states. Its national headquarters is in Portland, Ore. Stoner's office is in Virginia, Koziar's office is in Minneapolis, and the company maintains an office in Macomb.

The McDonough County project would provide more than 300 construction jobs and 12 to 16 permanent jobs handling the wind farms. Element Power estimates the finished project would make $1.8 million in local property tax payments, with more than $1 million going to the West Prairie School District.

In terms of power sales, Koziar said Ameren is the largest customer target. But he said several smaller buyers would be contacted and that his company is looking outside the Illinois market for customers.

http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/x1898612715/Waiting-on-the-wind


Channahon eyed for wind energy station
Posted 5/9/2012 2:46:05 PM

By Jeanne Millsap

For The Herald-News

Last Modified: May 8, 2012 02:32PM
CHANNAHON — Wind energy harvested from some blustery western states will be routed through Morris and Channahon substations and converter stations if Houston-based Clean Line Energy Partners' plans go through.

A representative of the firm explained the concept to the Channahon Village Board this week.

The "Rock Island Clean Line" would begin in several wind farms in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa, which are four of the windiest states in the country, and be carried first to a newly constructed converter station in western Channahon. The firm is eyeing an 85-acre site off Bungalow Road.

The electricity would then run to Collins Station in Morris, which would act as a substation. Construction in Channahon could employ a large number of workers, the trustees were told, and could begin as soon as 2014. The system could be up and running by late 2016.

Trustees were asked to issue a letter of recommendation for the project, but no decision was given on the letter at this week's meeting.

The entire project would be privately financed, the board was told, using direct current, which is more efficient than transporting alternating current. DC also leaves a much smaller environmental footprint than AC, the representative said, and has better reliability. The farms would produce as much as 3,500 megawatts of energy.

Trustees were optimistic about the number of labor jobs the construction would generate, albeit The M&E tax taxes heavy industrial machinery and equipment as real property. The state's other 101 counties classify machinery and equipment as personal property, which is not taxed in Illinois.

Also this week, Channahon's Finance Director Bob Guess told the board that Pace Dial-a-Ride will begin doubling its hours of service to try to meet the needs of more Channahon residents. Too many people are being turned down lately, Guess said, because of the limited hours.

The hours will be increased for the months of May and June in order to see if the change meets the needs of more riders.

Copyright © 2012 — Sun-Times Media, LLC


Wind Turbine Installations in Q1 Jump 50% from Q1 in 2011: Report
Posted 5/9/2012 2:11:00 PM

http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/enn.cfm

The U.S. wind power industry posted one of its busiest quarters ever in the first quarter of 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The United States saw 1,695 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity installed in that period, with 788 new turbines producing power in 17 states. No other first quarter has been as strong for the American wind power industry, AWEA reported. The wind energy industry installed 52% more MW in the first quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.

During the first quarter, California (370 MW), Oregon (308 MW) and Texas (254 MW) led all states for adding the most wind power. Rounding out the top five were Washington (127 MW) and Pennsylvania (121 MW). One notable trend, previously highlighted in AWEA's 2011 annual market report, is that with ever-improving technology, wind power is accessing wind resources in geographic areas considered to have inadequate wind resource just a few years ago. Topping that category of states formerly considered to have inadequate wind resources is New Hampshire with 388% growth.


http://www.awea.org/newsroom/pressreleases/Release_02-06-11.cfm


The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC) and American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI)
Posted 5/8/2012 8:56:30 AM

WHAT: The bi-annual Wind Wildlife Research Meeting provides an internationally recognized forum for researchers and wind-wildlife stakeholders to hear contributed papers, view research posters, and listen to panels that synthesize the most recent wind power-related wildlife research. Topics covered include:

Applying the recently-released U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service "Land-based Wind Energy Guidelines" and "Proposed Guidance for Eagle Conservation Plans."

Assessing direct and indirect effects on wildlife and their habitats

Evaluating conceptual, methodological, and technological approaches to avoiding and minimizing effects on wildlife

Testing the efficacy of mitigation/conservation measures, including habitat management programs intended to compensate or offset impacts to species from wind energy development

Considering the effects of wind energy development in the larger context of our energy choices and their wildlife effects

To read about the 2010 meeting, please click here.

WHO: Academics, researchers, conservation scientists, consultants, federal and state officials, NGO representatives, and industry professionals come together for this unique opportunity. This meeting is organized by the NWCC Wildlife Workgroup and presented by the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI). Dr. Taber Allison, AWWI's Director of Research and Evaluation, will be the chair of the meeting. The agenda will be planned by AWWI with support from a Planning Committee.

To receive emails with updates about the meeting, please sign up for our email list here.

Location

Omni Interlocken Hotel
500 Interlocken Blvd
Denver (Broomfield), Colorado 80021
Website

Call for Abstracts

The call for abstracts solicits proposals for oral presentations or posters on site-specific research or research that combines results from existing studies to address broader questions related to the interactions of wind energy and wildlife. The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) will accept the abstracts, which will be reviewed by a panel of experts.

Deadline: The deadline for abstract submissions is June 22, 2012. Submissions will be accepted after the deadline and reviewed based on available space within the meeting agenda.

Intention to Submit: To help with agenda planning, please notify AWWI of your intent to submit by May 30, 2012 by completing this short questionnaire here.

Submission Form: To submit your abstract, please use the form here.

Abstract Review Timeline: The expert review panel and AWWI will review submissions and notify authors of acceptance in August.



Sponsors and Vendors

Meeting sponsors are crucial to the success of this meeting. A prospectus outlining sponsorship and vendor opportunities will be available soon and sent out to the email list. If you have questions about opportunities, please be in touch.

Registration

Registration for the meeting will open in July. Registration rates have not yet been determined. When registration opens, we will send an announcement email to the email list.

c/o RESOLVE, 1255 23rd Street NW, Suite 875, Washington, DC 20037 (888) 764-WIND (202) 965-6398 fax: (202) 338-1264


Invenergy Closes Financing For 200 MW Wind Project
Posted 5/1/2012 5:34:52 PM

NAW Staff, Tuesday 01 May 2012 - 10:45:53

Invenergy Wind LLC says it has closed debt financing for its 200 MW California Ridge wind energy project, which is currently under construction in central Illinois.

The financing included construction, bridge and term loans and a letter of credit facility, and was allocated across a bank tranche and an institutional tranche. Santander/Sovereign Bank acted as lead arranger and global coordinator, and Rabobank was syndication agent and letter-of-credit issuer. Union Bank, RBC Capital Markets and Lloyds were co-documentation agents.

Prudential Capital Group led the institutional tranche of the facility and acted as structuring and documentation adviser. Allstate also participated in the institutional tranche.

The California Ridge project is located northwest of Danville, Ill., in Champaign and Vermilion counties, and will feature 134 GE 1.6 MW wind turbines.

White Construction will be responsible for the turbine erection and other balance-of-plant work, and Henkels & McCoy will perform the construction of the project's transmission line and substation. GE will provide certain construction management services for the substation work, and the project will be operated by Invenergy Services LLC.

The project is scheduled to be completed later this year, and the energy produced by the wind farm will be purchased by the Tennessee Valley Authority under a long-term power purchase agreement.



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ZF Expands Wind Power Service Operations In Illinois
Posted 4/25/2012 9:19:16 AM


ZF Expands Wind Power Service Operations In Illinois

NAW Staff, Monday 16 April 2012 - 10:34:13

ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF) says it has expanded its wind power services by becoming an authorized repair center for all legacy models of Hansen Transmissions gearboxes for wind turbine applications.

To support original equipment manufacturer and owner/operator turbine service across North America, the repair facility - located in Vernon Hills, Ill. - has received approval to expand its wind service operations, including load testing, material handling and manpower. In June 2011, the State of Illinois awarded ZF Services $1.6 million to support the expansion.

"With the addition of Hansen, ZF can now serve all the major global markets in North America, Europe and Asia with a product range that covers the entire megawatt spectrum," notes Scott Gardiner, director of Wind Services NA at ZF.

ZF Services combines both the global customer service activities and ZF Wind Power as an OEM gearbox supplier. The company has more than 76 locations in 36 countries.

ZF completed the acquisition of all remaining shares of Hansen Transmissions International in November 2011.



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EIGHTH ANNUAL SMALL WIND INSTALLERS CONFERENCE IN JUNE
Posted 4/11/2012 12:48:32 PM

EIGHTH ANNUAL SMALL WIND INSTALLERS CONFERENCE IN JUNE
Registration, Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities Now Open


After seven years of continued growth in the Small Wind industry, the eighth annual Small Wind Installers Conference is scheduled to take place June 12 - 13, 2012 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The Small Wind Installers Conference is the premier event for small wind-electric system installers, site assessors, designers, consultants, manufacturers, supply chain vendors, educators and advocates, and for those involved in sales, specification, management, grants and funding, and the permitting of small wind systems. The Conference is organized by Small Wind Conference Coordinating Committee.

Nearly 300 small wind professionals and industry representatives from across the United States and nine countries attended the 2011 conference. While American manufacturers have led the global Small Wind industry, the Conference has been a focal point for manufacturers, distributors and installers from Europe, Asia and Central and South America. The Conference, held just days before the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin, is a forum for cutting edge information on new trends in the industry, emerging technologies and testing, issues in zoning and permitting, workforce development and training, site assessment and funding mechanisms. 2011 saw significant developments in opportunities for small wind installers and manufacturers. Hear first-hand reports from vanguard leaders in the field.

The Small Wind Installer Conference is also the site for an extensive Exhibitor Hall featuring turbine, tower, wind resource assessment, and wind advocate services and products. Sponsorship opportunities are available. The Small Wind Installers Conference will be held at the Stevens Point Holiday Inn and Conference Center, 1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. For more information to keep up to date on the conference activities, see www.smallwindconference.com or contact Samantha Smart Merritt at 612-655-5363 or Samantha@smallwindconference.org.



Interior Announces Onshore Wind Energy Guidelines
Posted 4/9/2012 2:06:57 PM

Interior Announces Onshore Wind Energy Guidelines

Voluntary measures will help wind energy developers minimize impacts on wildlife

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of the Interior today released guidelines designed to
help wind energy project developers avoid and minimize impacts of land-based wind projects on
wildlife and their habitats. The voluntary guidelines will help shape the smart siting, design and
operation of the nation's growing wind energy economy.

"Wind energy is a key part of the Obama Administration's sustained, all-of-the-above approach
to American energy. We're committed to working with developers to ensure that wind energy
projects are built in the right places and operated in the right way," said Secretary of the Interior
Ken Salazar. "These voluntary guidelines have been developed through an intensive public
process with significant help from the wind energy industry, state agencies, and wildlife
conservation groups and are designed to achieve the best outcome for wildlife and wind energy
development."

Using a tiered approach, the guidelines provide a structured, scientific process for developers,
federal and state agencies, and tribes to identify sites with low risk to wildlife, and to help them
assess, mitigate, and monitor any adverse effects of wind energy projects on wildlife and their
habitats. The voluntary guidelines, which take effect today, are designed to be used for all utilityscale, community-scale, and distributed land-based wind energy projects on both private and
public lands. A fact sheet on the guidelines is available here.

"The guidelines outline a consistent and predictable approach to wind energy development while
also providing flexibility to developers in recognition of the unique circumstances of each
project. These guidelines reflect an enormous amount of work and care by the Fish and Wildlife
Service and dozens of experts from all sides of the wind energy issue," said Fish and Wildlife
Service Director Dan Ashe. "We've spent years getting them right, and I believe they will help
guide the responsible development of wind energy in America for decades to come."The voluntary guidelines released today replace voluntary interim guidelines issued by the Fish
and Wildlife Service in 2003. They are the result of a five-year process that included multiple
opportunities for public review and comment.
The guidelines were also informed by the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee,
established in 2007 and comprised of a diversity of stakeholders, including federal and state
agencies, tribes, the wind energy industry and conservation organizations. After two years of
deliberations, the committee submitted their final recommendations to the Secretary in March
2010. The Fish and Wildlife Service used the recommendations as a basis to develop their draft
Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines, announced in February 2011. After receiving more than
30,000 comments on the draft guidelines, the Fish and Wildlife Service decided to reconvene the
advisory committee for additional public meetings in order to develop the most effective final
guidelines.

"We know America needs more renewable energy and wind power is a key player in that mix.
But conservationists can't have it both ways: we can't say we need renewable energy and then
say there's nowhere safe to put the wind farms," said David Yarnold, President & CEO of
Audubon. "By collaborating with conservationists instead of slugging it out, the wind power
industry gains vital support to expand and create jobs, and wildlife gets the protection crucial for
survival. These federal guidelines are a game-changer and big win for both wildlife and clean
energy."

"The country needs more wind energy for its American manufacturing and construction jobs,
environmental benefits, and national energy security. These guidelines set the highest standard,
either voluntary or mandatory, of wildlife protection for any industry," said Denise Bode, CEO
of the American Wind Energy Association. "It is our hope that in conjunction with rapid training
and sensible implementation, the guidelines will promote improved siting practices and increased
wildlife protection that in turn will foster the continued rapid growth of wind energy across the
nation."

The voluntary guidelines will also help developers identify additional steps, review processes
and permits that may be needed to ensure compliance with federal laws such as the Migratory
Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. If
the project may affect one or more species protected by the ESA or their habitat, for example,
developers may need to develop a Habitat Conservation Plan and apply for an Incidental Take
Permit.

To download a copy of the final guidelines and for other background information on the Fish and
Wildlife Service's role in wind energy development, please visit
http://www.fws.gov/windenergy/.

###


Wind turbine to provide half of HCC energy needs
Posted 4/9/2012 1:41:31 PM

Wind turbine to provide half of HCC energy needs

By Lenore Sobota | lsobota@pantagraph.com | Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 5:20 pm www.pantagraph.com

NORMAL — Heartland Community College has a degree program in renewable energy, a Green Institute and a key role in forming the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network.

Now it has its own wind turbine.

It will be about mid-June before the turbine begins delivery of electricity for Heartland to use. But, once it's in full operation, college officials expect it to generate about half of the 9.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity the college uses annually.

That would be a savings of $320,000 a year, based on the college's bill in the last fiscal year.

The project cost has risen from original projection of $4.7 million to $5.2 million, but that was anticipated and no additional borrowing will be needed, according to Rob Widmer, vice president of business services.

The college received $1.46 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The rest of the money is coming from bonds.

Widmer said the borrowing costs will be covered by the savings in reduced utility bills. The expected payoff is 15 years.

Some community colleges have small wind turbines, but Heartland is believed to be the first in Illinois to have a large, commercial-grade turbine.

Calling it "a significant instructional tool," Widmer said the educational role of the turbine "was one of the major considerations of getting a turbine this size."

In addition to generating electricity, the turbine will generate streams of data which classes will have to opportunity to monitor and study.

Chris Miller, professor of industrial technology at Heartland, is looking forward to having his students review the data to see what electricity is being generated under various conditions and times of day and how it matches the college's consumption.

A lot of material on wind energy is already covered in courses taught at Heartland, such as "Renewable Energy Concepts," but Miller said the full-scale turbine will be a "showcase" so students can see how it compares to scaled-down devices they use in labs.

Miller said having a turbine on campus "demonstrates to the community that this is where we're going; this is the future."


Minonk wind farm investors want assurances from county
Posted 4/9/2012 1:39:46 PM

Minonk wind farm investors want assurances from county

By Cheryl Wolfe | cwolfe@mtco.com | Posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 8:00 pm www.pantagraph.com

EUREKA — Construction on the Minonk Wind Farm is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, but there is one more thing developers want done as soon as possible.

Attorneys for the major investors want reassurance that recent changes in the county's zoning ordinance concerning longer setbacks, more restrictions on shadow flicker and other factors will not affect the Minonk project. And they want it in writing, as a text amendment to the county ordinance.

When approached about the guarantee requested by wind farm developer Gamesa, the Woodford County Board was ready to vote on a resolution at its March 22 meeting clarifying the fact that the Minonk Wind Farm would fall under the ordinance in effect prior to Feb. 27 changes. Special use permits for the wind farm were issued prior to those changes.

But the vote never came as Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger said the attorneys for the wind farm investors instead wanted the text ordinance amendment.

But in order to create a text ordinance amendment, the matter had to be sent back to the board's Conservation, Planning and Zoning committee where such changes originate. The CP&Z committee held a special meeting March 28 to address the issue.

Committee Chairman Doug Huser said he would support a resolution, but not a text amendment.

"We're setting a precedent if we do this," Huser said. "No other company is in the zoning ordinance. This whole thing is a mess… I want to know what the other options are."

But Minger warned such inaction could provoke a lawsuit, and wind farm Manager Duane Enger said delays could cause investors to re-think the project.

"We are on a timeline," Enger said, noting construction must be complete by Dec. 31. He said the company is willing to pay for any special meetings held to expedite the process.

Committee member Shannon Rocke supported approval of the text amendment.

"This makes our partner more comfortable," Rocke said.

Committee member Don Cremeens agreed.

"We need to do, for lack of a better term, what we said we were gonna do and keep this project moving," Cremeens said.

Huser remained adamantly opposed to the text amendment, saying it was being pushed through too quickly.

"It's the same rules for everybody," Huser said, "whether it's a dollar a year lemonade stand or a multi-million dollar project."

Huser also said he had other issues with Gamesa complying with the special use permits issued, but he would address them at another meeting after Minger had a chance to review his concerns and offer legal advice.

After a complicated discussion, the committee finally voted on the issue, approving it 3-2, with Rocke, Cremeens and Duane Kingdon voting yes and Huser and Tom Evans voting no.

The text amendment now moves to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review and recommendation to the full county board. The ZBA will likely hold a special meeting to discuss the matter rather than waiting until its regular meeting at the end of April.


Six Schools Selected for IL Wind for Schools Program
Posted 4/6/2012 10:16:45 AM

Six Schools Selected for IL Wind for Schools Program
April 6, 2012

MACOMB/NORMAL, IL - Six middle and senior high schools have been selected from a statewide application process to participate in Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS), a program jointly administered by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University and the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University.

According to IIRA Wind Energy Program Coordinator Jolene Willis, the 2012-2013 ILWFS partner schools include Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, Chicago Public Schools #299, Cook County; Southwestern Middle and High School, Southwestern Community Unit School District (CUSD) #9, Macoupin County; Riverview Grade School, Riverview Community Consolidated School District (CCSD) #2, Woodford County; Galva High School, Galva School District #224, Henry County; Astoria Junior High School, Astoria CUSD #1, Fulton County; and Plano High School, Plano CUSD #88, Kendall County.

Willis noted the ILWFS program incorporates wind energy topics into the classroom through on-site training workshops at each partner school; customized curricula and lesson plans; and lab equipment for hands-on activities. Continuing professional development units (CPDUs) are offered for all required teacher-training sessions, she said. According to Matt Aldeman, senior energy analyst for the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, the program's purpose is to engage Illinois school teachers and students in energy education, specifically targeting wind energy.

"We hope to educate students with the knowledge of wind energy principles, to position the next generation of career and technical professionals to enter the growing U.S. wind industry," Aldeman said. "We will also be able to provide technical assistance to Illinois school administrators on renewable energy integration in school facilities."

Willis added that the ILWFS program addresses specific Illinois Learning Standards goals in mathematics, including estimation and measurement, as well as data analysis and probability. She said it also encompasses specific science goals, which include inquiry and design; concepts and principles; and science, technology and society.

"Participating teachers will be required to attend the on-site workshop and maintain communication with Illinois Wind for Schools staff, providing evaluation and feedback of the lab activities, curriculum and equipment throughout the 2012-2013 school year," she said.

The program will begin with a summer 2012 teacher workshop held on site at each partner school. Topics of the workshop will include fundamentals of wind energy, principles of wind turbine operation and ideas for integrating wind energy into the existing curriculum. During summer 2012, all participating schools will receive a classroom set of experimental model wind turbines; equipment with which to build and test the model wind turbines; a pack of experimental weather balloons; a model wind tunnel and customized lab activities; and a comprehensive wind energy curriculum.

The wind energy curriculum includes lesson plans in five distinct areas: energy and electricity; wind and weather; turbines and engineering; environmental considerations; and economics.

"This fall, the ILWFS staff will install scientific weather instrumentation on the school grounds at each partner school. Teachers and students will then be able to easily access data collected by the weather instrumentation using any Internet connection. Wind energy lessons will be integrated into the existing curriculum throughout the school year and the program will conclude in spring 2013," Willis explained.

In addition to working with the six partner schools, the ILWFS program will hold a workshop Thursday, June 14, for any Illinois middle school or high school educator interested in incorporating wind energy topics into his or her classroom.

During the workshop the ILWFS team will present a background of the energy and wind energy industries, wind energy fundamental principles and curriculum and methods for integrating energy and wind energy materials into the classroom. The workshop will be held on the Illinois State University campus and will be free of charge, Aldeman noted.

Workshop registration information will be available soon through the ILWFS website at www.ilwfs.org.

The ILWFS program is administered through a partnership with the IIRA at Western Illinois University, the Western Illinois University Department of Engineering Technology; the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University; and the College of Education at Illinois State University. All training, curriculum and equipment are offered at no charge to schools selected for the program through grant funding provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

For more information about the Illinois Wind for Schools program, contact Willis at (309) 298-2835 or Aldeman at (309) 438-1440. Visit Illinois Wind for Schools online at ilwfs.org. Learn more about the IIRA's Illinois Wind Project at www.illinoiswind.org.

Posted By: WIU, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606



April 17: PV ValueTM Real Estate Tool
Posted 4/5/2012 11:34:56 AM

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/998533830

U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Instructor Training Network

PV Value™: A Tool to Determine the Market Value of Residential and Commercial Solar PV Systems
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Geoff Klise from Sandia National Laboratories and Jamie Johnson from Solar Power Electric will be discussing the recently released PV Value™ spreadsheet tool (http://pv.sandia.gov/pvalue) developed for the appraisal and real estate industry to aid in making a market value determination for residential and commercial solar PV systems. PV Value™ uses an income capitalization approach to determine the capitalized value, which is the present value of the energy produced during the power production warranty lifetime. This tool has been formally endorsed by the Appraisal Institute and is being used to educate appraisers on how to value a solar PV system as part of a real estate transaction. The Appraisal Institute's residential green energy efficient addendum has a section that was written to incorporate the inputs from the PV Value™ tool, which will make it easier for appraisers to record the necessary information to make an estimate of valuation. Funding for developing PV Value™ initiated with DOE EERE for a Solar America Communities project and is now being funded as a market transformation activity under the SunShot Initiative.

This tool can be useful to others in the solar industry who work with potential customers, especially in cases where the property owner may sell the property before the system is ‘paid back' or in comparing the benefits of ownership or leasing. An issue that will come up as homes with solar PV are sold is tracking down system information so the appraiser can make a determination of value. This underscores the need for ‘permanent documentation' that could be readily available to an appraiser or solar professional in cases where the owner has lost the system paperwork or the installation company is no longer in business. In addition, because appraisers are not going to judge system quality or verify system performance, there is an opportunity for solar professionals to provide a PV system performance analysis, which can help appraisers more accurately provide a determination of value.


IGEN offering FREE Energy Efficiency & Management Training
Posted 4/5/2012 11:26:06 AM

The Illinois Green Economy Network invites you to participate in FREE energy efficiency trainings that we are offering statewide at Illinois community colleges. These FREE workshops are only available in April and May. Please share this information with your education, business and media contacts.

FREE Energy Efficiency & Management Training! Space is limited. Register today.

With generous support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) is pleased to announce several unique educational opportunities to learn about energy efficiency and green business practices. These programs are designed to promote measurable energy demand reduction through education and training.

ALL CLASSES ARE OFFERED FREE OF CHARGE! Registration is required, visit. www.igencc.org/temt.

LEARN FROM NATIONAL EXPERTS TO:
• Produce measurable electricity and gas savings for college campuses and surrounding businesses
• Create a culture of energy awareness by making energy efficiency a top level priority
• Raise the level of energy efficiency literacy for campuses and businesses
• Develop energy-saving demonstration projects

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
• Community college faculty, staff, and students
• Local professionals from business and industry, non-profits, other educational institutions, state agencies and municipalities

TRAININGS INCLUDE
• College Campus Energy Management 101 (2 HR Webinar)
• Creating a Business Case for Sustainability: Financing, Purchasing and Budgets
• Measure What You Manage: How to Communicate Performance vs. Goals
• Energy Management: From Audit to Action
• Facilitating Employee and Student Engagement in Campus Sustainability Initiatives
• Green Event Planning and Management
• How Buildings Use Energy: Where the Savings Opportunities Are
• Implementing Lighting Management Technologies and Practices to Drive Building Efficiency
• Fast-Tracked CEM Prep Course for Energy Managers
• Boiler and Water Heating Efficiency Measurement and Improvement
• Water Heating Fundamentals (2 HR Webinar)
• Higher Efficiency Water Heating (2 HR Webinar)

For full list of trainings, session descriptions and registration information, visit: www.igencc.org/temt.

Questions? Contact: temt.training@igencc.org


Julie Elzanati, Executive Director
Illinois Green Economy Network
Phone: 309-268-8166
www.igencc.org



Privately generated wind energy picking up
Posted 3/12/2012 10:18:32 AM

By Mike Mendenhall NDN Staff Writer

Privately generated wind energy picking up

Newton, IA - On days like Wednesday, with sustained winds and nearly 55 mph gusts, there is a constant subtle hum in the sky over Sherman Swank's one-acre residence four miles west of Newton. Anchored into the ground by concrete footings and supported by steel cables on a 70-foot tower is the retired Newton public works employee's private source of wind power.

"We're green, and we eventually want to get off the grid," Swank said about his and his wife Susan's lifestyle. "Because electricity (prices) will never go down. It will always continue to rise."

The Swanks erected the windmill three years ago, and it now powers an average of 25 to 30 percent of their electrical usage. The Jasper County couple are part of a small but growing group of Iowans who are using residential wind energy generation to become less reliant on the power company, and some people, like Swank, are working toward making their properties self sufficient and go "off the grid."

According to Jasper County Zoning Administrator Larry Ryan, there are at least six private wind turbines powering homes and business throughout the county, including Van Wall Equipment in Colfax and a Grinnell College facility.

"They're starting to spring up," Ryan said. "And because the towers all have pre-engineered components, there is nothing for the county to inspect. It makes it easy for home owners and business to install the units."

The county enforces minimal regulations for erecting turbine towers. Ryan said that they are allowed in all zoning districts, and an inspection determines if there is suitable fall zone to maintain safety of utility lines and surrounding properties if the tower were to come down unexpectedly. The zoning commission requires the site plan and turbine specifications to approve the residential permit.

Swank takes pride in his wind generator. Standing underneath the support tower, he points out several small decorative windmills. The three-finned replicas emulating classic designs from Holland sit in the shadow of the their futuristic cousin.

"Yeah, I'm Dutch," he said. "I really enjoy the wind, and I really enjoy the wind generators very much. I'm kind of a green person, and they help the environment too, as far as I'm concerned. It's a good fit for society nowadays."

Cost for the residential generators vary. Swank paid $12,000 for his Skystream 2.0 generator in 2009 and used federal tax incentives to justify the costs. Swank said that he was able to deduct nearly 100 percent of the turbine's cost from taxes, and he also received a renewable energy grant from Iowa State University.

Iowa currently ranks second nationally in commercial wind energy output with 3,670 megawatts installed with 2,534 turbines, according to the Iowa Office of Energy Independence. The government agency's statistics show that utility companies such as Mid-American Energy and Alliant Energy currently are generating $50 million in revenue annually from commercial wind production. But some Iowa residents are not only using residential wind energy to be self-sustainable, companies are paying their customers to contribute to the grid.

Mark Jennings raises corn and soybeans on a 160-acre homestead east of Prairie City. He installed a larger scale wind turbine in 2009 that powers nearly 85 percent of his farming operation. Jennings said that during times of peak wind production, specifically during spring months, his generator creates a surplus which Mid-American energy inputs as a credit to his utility bill.

"Ever since I was a kid, I've hated energy bills," he said. "I've cut wood to heat my home ever since I was old enough to use a chain saw. I thought I'd find a good way to produce the electricity I use."

Jennings said that he does not get a check for the energy he puts back into Mid-American's grid, but his bills are minimal. Before the installation of his turbine, Jennings was paying over $300 for utilities during peak summer months. He now pays the base customer fee of $8.50 per month.

But for the low utility prices, Jennings had higher initial start-up costs than some of the smaller home generators. His windmill which produces 25 kilowatts per hour and stands on a 100-foot tower with 15-foot tall wind blades had an initial price tag of $70,000. The United States Department of Agriculture offers a 20 percent grant for farmers who purchase the renewable energy source, and with an additional 30 percent federal tax credit, Jennings put up his turbine for nearly half the initial price.

Eventually combining his wind generation with other sources of renewable energy, Swank hopes to be completely independent from corporate utilities within five years. He plans to install solar panels on his house and a small motorized array in his yard.

"It depends on how many solar panels we put up," he said. "We have an all electric home now. That will sustain us I hope. It will be very close."

Susan Swank said that for her and her husband, wind generation and living green is a lifestyle.

"There's some of us who survived the 60s who understand composting and recycling," she said. "If you can't give back what can you do?"

Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at 792-3121 ext. 422 or via e-mail at mmendenhall@newtondailynews.com.

Copyright © 2012 Newton Daily News. All rights reserved.


NREL Seeks Leaders for National Executive Academy
Posted 3/8/2012 9:30:00 AM

February 13, 2012
Applications are currently being accepted for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) 2012 Executive Energy Leadership Academy (Energy Execs). Energy Execs is a leadership program focused on educating business, community, and government leaders about clean energy solutions through energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

The two Energy Execs learning opportunities are the Leadership Program and the Leadership Institute. Both programs are designed to provide executive decision-makers with information and tools to guide their organizations and communities in energy-related planning.

"NREL plays an important role in engaging a cross-section of industry and community leaders in transforming our energy systems," NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. "It's a critical time in the United States and globally to accelerate understanding about the opportunities and challenges of market-viable energy solutions for secure, clean electricity, and fuel."

Representatives from 120 industry, government, and non-profit organizations have completed the program since 2007. Participants are selected from a national pool of candidates.

Apply online for the 2012 Leadership Program and Leadership Institute or via fax or mail. The application deadline is March 30, 2012.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

www.nrel.gov


Woodford County approves changes to wind farm ordinance
Posted 2/29/2012 2:48:46 PM

Woodford County approves changes to wind farm ordinance
B\ NICK VLAHOS
of the Journal Star
Posted Feb 27 , 2012 @ 1 1 :39 PM
After one final burst of energy , the wind-farm issue in Woodford County appears to
be settled. For the most part, at least.
During a four-hour meeting Monday night, the Woodford County Board approved most of the
major proposed zoning-ordinance changes that deal with wind-energy conversion sy stems.
By an 8-7 vote, the board approved a change in the distance turbine towers need to be located
from residences that aren¶t part of a wind farm. That distance expands from 7 50 feet to four
times the tower height. A typical wind-turbine tower can be at least 400 feet tall.
"It¶s to protect the residential portion of property for non-participatory households," board
member Shannon Rocke said during the meeting at Eureka College. "That is its intent — not to
run wind farms out of the county ."
Rocke sits on the board¶s conservation, planning and zoning committee, which crafted the
ordinance changes. He joined Russell Cotton, Tom Evans, Board Chairman Stan Glazier, Doug
Huser, Duane Kingdon, Barry Logan and Andrew Martin in the majority . Supporters believe the
new regulations ensure property rights of landowners who live near wind farms.
Voting against the new, so-called setbacks were Don Cremeens, Mike Hinrichsen, Tom Janssen,
Tom Karr, John Krug, Terry Pille and Larry Whitaker. Opponents believe the regulations are too
restrictive.
"This concept of a multiplier for non-participating households is something I¶m intrigued by ,"
Whitaker said. "I just think the number is wrong."
To that end, Whitaker proposed a revision to the revision — increasing the setback to three
times the tower height. It failed, also by an 8-7 vote.
Revisions on shadow flicker — in which rotating wind-turbine blades cast shadows upon
stationary objects — passed 10-5. Hinrichsen, Karr, Krug, Pille and Whitaker voted against the
new language, which limits shadow flicker on a residence to 30 hours per calendar y ear.
Revisions on decommissioning of wind farms were referred back to the zoning committee after
State¶s Attorney Greg Minger questioned their ability to withstand a court challenge.
An hour of public comments followed by at least an hour of board debate preceded the votes in
the north Terrill Room of Cerf Center. About 80 people attended, and more than a dozen spoke
publicly . None of those who addressed the wind-farm issue supported the changes.
"I think some of these people who complain about the inappropriateness of these wind farms aren¶t willing to move on,"
Metamora resident Claudene Schertz said.
Said another Metamora resident, Farrell Lord: "This is insanity ."
The board¶s regular February meeting was held six day s after it was scheduled originally . It was postponed after an agenda
wasn¶t posted at least 48 hours prior to the meeting, at the site where it usually is held. The site was changed because the
wind-farm vote was expected to attract a crowd larger than the board¶s meeting room can hold.
Nick Vlahos can be reached at 686-3285 or nvlahos@pjstar.com.Follow him on Twitter @VlahosNick.

Copyright 2 01 2 pjstar.com . Some rights reserved


A Tale of Two Cities: Greensburg Resurrected as a National Model for Green Communities
Posted 2/29/2012 9:18:17 AM

After a tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kansas, state and local leaders decided to rebuild the town as a model sustainable community. To help achieve that goal, experts from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided technical assistance. This fact sheet describes the town's progress and new green features, including the 12.5-megawatt Greensburg Wind Farm.

Retrieved from http://www1.eere.energy.gov/deployment/greensburg_publications.html


Illinois Residents Invited to Participate in Important Broadband Survey
Posted 2/21/2012 2:41:46 PM

Roxana Ryan
Published: February 15, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, February 15, 2012 - Illinois residents have the opportunity to shape the future of high-speed Internet in the state through a comprehensive survey deployed today by Partnership for a Connected Illinois. The results of the survey will serve as key components in the state's broadband plan that will create jobs, improve medical care and enhance educational opportunities.

The survey reaches out to households, anchor institutions such as colleges and hospitals, and community organizations throughout Illinois to determine how they currently use broadband (high-speed Internet) and what their needs will be in the future. As a result of this outreach, Partnership for a Connected Illinois will be able to develop broadband plans in the following categories: agriculture, energy & the environment, economic development, education, health care, public safety and government performance.

Participants can expect to spend about 20 minutes completing the survey and providing information on everything from their preferred Internet devices to how they use broadband to retain jobs or train for the workforce.

Partnership for a Connected Illinois, also known by its Broadband Illinois website, recently contacted approximately 50 statewide organizations from all sectors, including the Association of Illinois Electrical Cooperatives, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the State Board of Education and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to help spread the word about the importance of this survey to their members.

"A major goal of this survey is to ensure that residents of rural Illinois will have access to better broadband," said Drew Clark, executive director of Partnership for a Connected Illinois. "By developing a statewide strategy for better broadband, we're creating a future that includes enhanced economic opportunities, increased availability of educational tools, and higher-quality health care for Illinois residents."

Lt. Governor Shelia Simon has also shown support for the survey and particularly urges rural residents to participate.

"Rural Illinoisans need affordable, high-speed Internet access to land new employers, expand educational opportunities and improve health care," said Simon, who chairs the Governor's Rural Affairs Council. "I encourage my neighbors in Southern Illinois to participate in this research project to ensure that we are a part of the state's broadband strategy and can compete in the 21st century economy."

Partnership for a Connected Illinois is working with the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs and Strategic Networks Group to conduct the survey and develop the broadband plans. The ultimate goal is to find opportunities for the best available broadband technology and high-speed Internet throughout Illinois. These investments will be a transformative investment for Illinois 21st century competiveness. PCI is conducting this research on behalf of the state in order to position Illinois to be a nationwide leader in job creation, economic growth, and investment in education.

The survey will begin deployment electronically on Feb. 15 with assistance from statewide broadband stakeholders. The survey is open to the general public and can be accessed on the Broadband Illinois website. To participate in the survey, visit www.broadbandillinois.org, click the "Research" tab, and then click the "High Speed Internet Usage Study" link. Contact broadbandoffice@broadbandillinois.org or visit http:broadbandillinois.org/research.html to learn more.

CONTACT: Roxana Ryan, Communications Specialist, roxana.ryan@broadbandillinois.org, 217-690-8006


Invenergy Secures Financing For 200 MW Wind Project
Posted 2/14/2012 9:35:27 AM

NAW Staff, Tuesday 07 February 2012 - 10:44:14

Invenergy Wind LLC and a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp have announced that renewable energy tax-equity financing is in place to support Invenergy's 200 MW Bishop Hill Wind Project, which is currently under construction in Henry County, Ill.

Scheduled for completion around mid-year, Bishop Hill will consist of 133 wind turbines and will sell all of its power and renewable energy attributes to the Tennessee Valley Authority under a long-term contract. The project will produce enough energy to power approximately 120,000 homes, according to Invenergy.



this content item is from North American Windpower
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Second wind farm plan up for vote Tuesday
Posted 2/14/2012 9:23:47 AM

The Commercial-News, Danville, IL
February 11, 2012
Second wind farm plan up for vote Tuesday

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Vermilion County Board members will vote Tuesday whether to approve the county's second wind farm.

The board's structural safety committee voted in January to approve the permit filed by GDF SUEZ Energy North America Inc. for the creation of the Hoopeston Wind Energy Farm in northern Vermilion County. The full board makes the final decision on approval.

The project calls for the construction of 43 wind turbines along a stretch from around 3 miles east of Illinois Route 49 to the area near the Hubbard Trail Country Club north of Rossville. The structural safety committee voted 5-1 to approve the permit application.

Bill Donahue, a county attorney who has worked with the wind farm company, said several "loose ends" noted at the structural safety committee have since been taken care of by the company.

That includes the company's general liability insurance for construction, which committee members at the time noted had expired late last year.

In addition, Donahue said questions over the number of leases taken care of for the project have been answered. In January, the company listed 38 leases of land for the project, but committee member and county Recorder Barbara Young indicated only 30 had been recorded.

Donahue said Friday that a road use agreement has not been reached yet for the project, adding that work on that will begin in the spring.

"There's not a rush on that as of yet," he said.

Development of the project has been ongoing since 2008. The current timetable calls for it to be completed by 2014.

This is the company's second attempt at a wind farm permit in Vermilion County. A scheduled meeting before the structural safety committee in April was canceled.

The structural safety committee issued the first wind farm permit last year when it voted to approve the application submitted by Invenergy LLC in July.

Retrieved from http://commercial-news.com/local/x741513502/Second-wind-farm-plan-up-for-vote-Tuesday


Is Wind Power the Most Under-Exploited Energy Opportunity in the Southern US?
Posted 2/2/2012 10:30:49 AM

Herman K. Trabish: January 31, 2012
Green Tech Media

Retrieved from http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Is-Wind-Power-the-Most-Unexploited-Energy-Opportunity-in-the-U.S/


Is Wind Power the Most Under-Exploited Energy Opportunity in the Southern US?

New technologies make the southern states' wind resources a new frontier for developers.

The U.S. has nearly 45,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity.

There is a total installed capacity of 29 megawatts in the southern block of states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

There is a reason the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is holding its 2012 conference in Atlanta, Georgia this year, according to Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) Renewable Energy Manager Simon Mahan. The combination of newly identified, as-yet-unexploited resources, new technologies that make exploiting them economically feasible and a growing demand for electricity make the region a new frontier for developers.

Southerners are, Mahan said, among the biggest electricity devourers in the nation. The average home in the region, he said, "uses something well north of 14,000 kilowatt-hours a year, primarily because we run our air conditioners a lot."

In electricity consumption, he explained, "after you get past the top five, you find Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina very high on the list. Florida is the third or fourth highest. And Texas is the biggest. On the East Coast, we represent four out of the top five electricity markets, with New York."

Southern utilities are hungry for capacity. Older conventional generation units are going offline and utilities must face the regulatory rigors and prohibitively high costs of building new coal or new nuclear - or consider the energy diversification that new wind capacity offers. Only new natural gas plants are competitively priced.

Mahan described projects that have engaged South Carolina's Santee Cooper, Georgia's Southern Company and North Carolina's Duke Energy (which, when it merges with competitor Progress Energy, will be the biggest utility in the nation).

"If they weren't genuinely interested, they would just put out a white paper saying it's too expensive, it's not viable," Mahan said. Whether their involvement will lead wind development, Mahan said, still isn't clear. "They're taking baby steps, which is a necessary economic caution for them," he noted. But that's "better than not doing anything."

Wind's emerging competitiveness is the result of several factors, Mahan explained.

The South's resources, measured in the 1980s at a height of 50 meters, were once thought inadequate to economic development, but new turbine technology makes it possible to exploit winds at 100-meter heights.

"Let me give you three pieces of information," Mahan said. "The first is anecdotal. Airplanes face headwinds of 120 miles per hour because high up, wind speed is much greater."

"The second," he said, "is the wind-power law that says the higher you go, the better the wind speed. There is an actual equation. That's what the National Renewable Energy Lab [NREL] has done with its most recent wind resource assessment map."

Just published at the DOE website, new NREL data assesses winds across the U.S. at 80-meter heights and allows detailed extrapolations at 100-meter heights. The detailed data shows pockets of potential in many southern states, especially in the mountains and along the coasts. "Potential resources for wind farms are popping up that folks just didn't realize existed," Mahan said, "and they're starting to test them out."

Developers are moving on the South now because the taller turbines are also technologically more advanced. Advanced blades, drivetrains and power electronics all make feasible the harvesting of the South's lower speed winds.

"The third piece of information," Mahan said, "is that private developers are putting up their own anemometers." In pursuit of the one to two years of actual, on the ground day-to-day data required by the loan institutions that back them, developers are verifying the NREL assessments.

Mahan's SACE and Wind Working Groups in several states are laying the ground work to wind public approval. "We pride ourselves on our stakeholder engagement and public outreach," he explained.

Developers like Iberdrola, Invenergy and Wind Capital Group are engaging communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida with proposed projects totaling over 1,400 megawatts. "If a developer comes into a community that is not prepared," Mahan said, "there can be a 'public backlash.'" SACE and its allies, he said, bring "third-party information so communities are primed and ready for when developers show up."

TVA's 1,565 megawatts of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for Midwestern wind and Southern Company subsidiary Alabama Power's recent PPA for Oklahoma wind both underscore the business sense in fledgling HVDC mega-capacity transmission projects planned by Clean Line (seven gigawatts) and Pattern Energy (three gigawatts) that will by mid-decade deliver Texas and Midwestern winds to southern utilities.

Maybe the biggest part of the equation, Mahan said, "is that we've already got businesses here providing goods and services to the wind industry domestically and internationally." Siemens, ZF Gearboxes, ABB and GE are among the many big names building in the South. "We've got turbine and blade manufacturers, nacelle assemblers, ship builders, foundation builders, monopole steel companies and a lot of service companies for avian monitoring, for lighting, for the wires." It is, Mahan said, "a full suite of economic opportunities for us."

The obvious next question, Mahan said, is, "'We build the stuff here; why can't we just go ahead and install it here?'"




Keys to Local Wind Energy Development Success
Posted 2/1/2012 8:42:07 AM

Date: 1/3/2012
Source: Stacia Cudd, National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.

Audio with Rich VanderVeen, Mackinaw Power, LLC president (MP3 2.0 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:02:10

Retrieved from http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=3412

Perhaps you've thought about the environmental, financial, and energy benefits of producing wind energy in the U.S., but Rich VanderVeen says there are big agricultural benefits as well.

VanderVeen, the president of Mackinaw Power, LLC in Michigan, has seen how wind energy development can save farmland for future generations.

"Example, our 35,000 acres under one set of easements with 250 families and 133 wind turbines in Gratiot County, guarantees that that 35,000 acres will not be subject to sprawling America, not subject to forms of degradation of the countryside, but rather kept intact for the next 30 to 50 years. That farmland will still be farmland, for the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of the people who are signing the easements in 2011."

VanderVeen says the Gratiot (grash-it) County wind project did not face much opposition. He says that's because of the way they approached the project. He says his golden rules of development could be utilized by any community across the country to garner support for local wind energy production.

"Earn the trust and confidence of the local community. That takes a lot of engagement of the public, and informing the public, and education, education, education. Involving people, allowing them to make sure that their questions are asked and answered. That's number one. Number two. Of course you have to spend a lot of time and energy and money investing in wind studies. Number three, you must of course have the transmission available to bring the project forward. You must then utilize the trust and confidence of the local community, the state and federal government to secure local, state, and federal permits and approvals. And finally, of course, you have to sell the power."

From there, VanderVeen says it's time to negotiate a wind turbine supply agreement and construction contract. Then he says it's important to assure the project is built safely, on time and on budge, and that it is run efficiently. Finally, he says all promises made to the landowners and community must be kept.

This information was last updated on 1/3/2012


Register now for Lake Land College’s Energy Innovation Conference
Posted 1/31/2012 10:40:42 AM

Registration for Lake Land College's annual Energy Innovation Conference is now open! This day-long event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 and will be held at the West Building on Lake Land College's campus in Mattoon. This event is free and open to the public.


Advanced registration for the conference is underway. To register for the conference, visit www.energyconf.org and select the "Register Now" icon in the upper-right-hand corner. Registration on the day of the conference will open at 8 a.m. with presentations running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conference will host various breakout sessions related to sustainable energy practices including geothermal heating, solar and wind energy, technician and job training, sustainable industry information and projections, bio-mass, sustainability and green businesses. This year's conference will also expand its focus to include non-energy related sustainable practices such as beekeeping, landscaping and paperless marketing.


Additionally, the college will host a grand opening of the two, state-of-the-art, 100 kilowatt wind turbines currently being constructed on campus. These turbines are made possible by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding via the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and a Community-Based Job Training Grant from the U. S. Department of Labor.


The conference is still accepting registration for session presenters and conference vendors. To register as a presenter or demonstrator, at no cost, contact David Turnbull at (217) 234-5419 or register for free by clicking on the "speaker" tab on the conference Web site. If you could like to feature your company or organization as a vendor at the conference, contact Charlie Bovard at (217) 238-8260.

For more information about the conference, visit www.energyconf.org, or for general inquiries regarding vendors and presenters, email eic@lakeland.cc.il.us.






Illinois tops nation in wind energy
Posted 1/27/2012 2:54:32 PM

By Sandra Guy

Business Reporter

sguy@suntimes.com
Last Modified: Jan 27, 2012 12:16PM

Despite skepticism about the viability of solar-component and electric-car battery companies that have gone bankrupt recently, Illinois is proving that firms can create jobs and help the environment with wind turbines and wind farms, alternative-power advocates said Thursday.

In 2011, Illinois topped the nation in the number of new wind turbines installed here — 404 — and ranked No. 2 behind California in the total amount of the turbines' power capacity , according to a report by the American Wind Energy Association.

Winergy Drive Systems Corp. of Elgin, one of 28 companies in Illinois that manufacture components for the wind industry, has grown to more than 200 employees from seven when it started operating 11 years ago, CEO Terry Royer said.

Those 28 companies employ more than 1,000, the report said.

Eighty percent of Winergy's growth has happened in the past four years, largely because of President Barack Obama's stimulus package, which provided $2.3 billion in tax credits for advanced energy manufacturing.

The tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour produced goes to wind energy developers.

The tax credit, along with more sophisticated technology, has boosted wind energy's competitiveness in the marketplace, Royer said.

Winergy, a profitable business whose parent company is based in Germany, makes gearboxes that speed up turbine output.

The Wind Energy Association is lobbying Congress to extend the tax credit beyond the end of this year.

The Chicago area is home to at least 50 wind energy companies, according to environmental advocates.

Meanwhile, skepticism remains about the long-term viability of alternative energy.

Ener1, which makes car batteries, filed for bankruptcy Thursday, and General Motors started an ad campaign to reassure consumers that the Chevrolet Volt electric car is safe after battery fires occurred in test vehicles.

Copyright © 2012 — Sun-Times Media, LLC



Schools drop plans for wind farm on Osceola Road
Posted 1/27/2012 2:48:42 PM

Star Courier
Posted Jan 24, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

Kewanee, Ill. — A consortium formed by three school districts in the Chicago area has dropped plans to build a 13-turbine wind farm in northern Stark County and, instead, buy wind energy produced by Invenergy LLC, at its wind farm near Bishop Hill.

According to an article on the Illinois Wind Energy Association's news site, plans were discontinued last summer when the consortium could not find a way to finance the project without using public funds.

Invenergy proposed a 20-year agreement to add five turbines to its facility currently under construction near Bishop Hill, and sell the energy produced to the consortium. The consortium would pay a fixes rate based on current costs of electricity, then sell the energy produced by the turbines for a profit.

No actual electricity produced by the wind farm will reach the schools, but the alternative revenue source is expected to save the districts about $7 million over the 20 years of the agreement.

The schools involved are Carpentersville Community Unit District 300, Keeneyville Elementary, and Prospect Heights Elementary. The original plan called for a 13-tower wind farm to be built in northern Stark County, along Osceola Road east of Kewanee, with the consortium producing and selling wind energy to offset district debt.

Under the new plan, the consortium will only purchase the energy and sell it, without owning and operating the generating facilities.

The consortium was made possible through 2010 legislation designed to encourage school districts to experiment with renewable energy sources as a means of saving money.

Copyright 2012 Star Courier. Some rights reserved


USDA Energy Web Resources Announced
Posted 1/26/2012 10:35:51 AM

USDA Energy Web includes interactive map, graphing analysis tools, and the USDA Energy Matrix. These instruments allow you to view past USDA investments, navigate in a friendly environment USDA energy programs and compare and analyze biofuels and bioenergy data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navtype=SU&navid=ENERGY


Combined Solar/ Wind Plant Goes Up in Illinois
Posted 1/25/2012 8:41:27 AM

01/19/2012
SustainableBusiness.com News

The largest solar plant in the US midwest is in under construction, and it will be built right next to a wind farm.

Combining wind and solar in an interconnected system makes renewable energy more effectively absorbed into the transmission grid, allowing the energy to be more easily dispatched, and
helps mitigate the effect of intermittency of wind and solar, since they peak at different times of day.

Last year, GWS Technologies (GreenWindSolar) said it started construction on a combined solar and wind plant on 1500 acres in Arizona.

Invenergy, which claims to be the largest independent wind
generation company in the US, will build the Grand Ridge Solar plant adjacent to its Grand Ridge wind farm in Illinois.

General Electric, which supplied the wind turbines for the 211 megawatt (MW) wind farm, will also supply 23 MW of thin-film solar panels for the 160-acre solar park, to be completed in mid-2012.

GE says that adding solar to just 10% of its global wind turbine installed base would sell out its 400 MW solar panel factory in Colorado for six years. The factory, which opens this year, will be the largest solar manufacturing facility in the US at 400,000 square feet.

GE says its installed 27 gigawatts of wind turbines around the world since 2002.

"Invenergy again has established itself as a market leader by bringing its development capabilities to both wind and solar projects," says Victor Abate, vice president of GE's Renewable Energy business. "Expertise in multiple technologies is the future of the renewable energy landscape."

In addition to supplying thin film solar panels to Grand Ridge Solar, GE also will supply packaged inverter skids that include Brilliance inverters, transformers and re-combiners, as well as GE SunIQ plant controls, which enhance grid integration capability.

GE says the solar panels produced at the new Colorado factory will be more efficient, lighter and larger than other thin-film panels. Making them lighter allows for easier installation and facilitates their use on commercial rooftop systems, and larger panels reduce the amount of racking and electrical components needed, which lowers the total system cost.

Invenergy, based in Chicago, owns and operates large-scale renewable energy plants in North America and Europe, has over 6700 MW of renewable energy projects in its portfolio.

© 2012 Sustainable Business.com. All Rights Reserved.


Buffett Energy Firm To Buy Illinois Project in Wind Bet
Posted 1/24/2012 8:20:24 AM

By Noah Buhayar - Jan 20, 2012

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A)'s energy business agreed to buy an 81-megawatt wind-power project from Invenergy Wind LLC to expand production in Illinois.

The Bishop Hill II project, which is in construction, will use 50 General Electric Co. (GE) 1.62-megawatt turbines, according to a statement today from Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. (329802Q)

Berkshire, led by billionaire Warren Buffett, has been expanding renewable production at the energy unit, which also produces power with coal and natural gas. MidAmerican has invested about $6 billion in wind generation and built or acquired more than 3,300 megawatts of the renewable energy source in states including Iowa, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon since 2004. Last month, the energy unit agreed to buy the $2 billion Topaz solar project in California from First Solar Inc.

Wind "meets current and future energy needs in an environmentally efficient and cost-effective manner," MidAmerican Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Abel in the statement.

The Bishop Hill II wind project is near the town of Galva, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Peoria, Illinois, according to the statement. The project is expected to be in commercial operation in the fourth quarter. A unit of Ameren Corp. (AEE) in Illinois has agreed to buy electricity from the project under a 20-year power-purchase agreement. Terms of the Invenergy deal weren't disclosed.

MidAmerican also agreed last month to buy a 49 percent stake in NRG Energy Inc.'s $1.8 billion Agua Caliente solar project being built in Arizona.

To contact the reporter on this story: Noah Buhayar in New York at nbuhayar@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

®2012 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


USDA Rural Energy for America Program Announcement
Posted 1/20/2012 11:39:23 AM

USDA published a notice today in the Federal Register announcing it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2012 to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Funding will be available in the form of grants, guaranteed loans, and combined guaranteed loan and grant applications.

The deadline for submitting applications is as follows:
1. For renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grant and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications: March 30, 2012
2. For renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications: June 29, 2012
3. For renewable energy system feasibility study applications: March 30, 2012
4. For energy audits and renewable energy development assistance applications: February 21, 2012

Today's Federal Register Notice is attached.

A copy of the regulation is available at this link: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/SupportDocuments/4280b.pdf

Application templates and other useful items can be found at the Environmental Law and Policy Center website. Please note that this is not a USDA Rural Development website. If you are interested in hiring a grant writer for application preparation, please contact me for a list of individuals.
http://farmenergy.org/tools/tools-and-templates

I look forward to working with you, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Thanks,

Mary Warren | Business Programs Specialist | Rural Energy Coordinator
Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
2118 W. Park Ct., Ste. A | Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217.403.6218 | Fax: 217.403.6215
www.rurdev.usda.gov/il



ComEd to deliver more solar power
Posted 1/19/2012 2:28:45 PM

www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0118-solar-farm-20120118,0,4009088.story

chicagotribune.com

ComEd to deliver more solar power
Utility working to meet requirements of a state law

By Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune reporter

12:21 AM CST, January 18, 2012


Beginning in July, Commonwealth Edison Co. customers will receive more power from the sun, thanks to a solar project under way in LaSalle County.

The 23-megawatt project by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC, using technology fromGeneral Electric Co.'s renewable arm, will be the largest solar project in the Midwest. But the 4,000 homes powered represent a small footprint when compared with ComEd's 3.8 million customers.

Under state law, utilities must receive one-half of 1 percent of their power from solar by 2012, with that total doubling each year (tripling between 2012 and 2013) until it reaches 6 percent in 2015.

The state has not reached its 2012 goal, said Arlene Juracek, head of the Illinois Power Agency, which procures electricity for state utilities. She said that though some businesses and homes receive power from solar panels on roofs, the Invenergy project will be the only utility-scale project in the state flowing power to ComEd customers.

"It's an important first jump in meeting the solar goals that are in the act for the state," she said.

Michael Polsky, Invenergy's president and chief executive, said the company lined up financing for the project after scoring a first-of-its-kind 20-year contract from the Illinois Power Agency to sell power that the panels will produce to ComEd customers. Renewable energy developers have long said that long-term contracts are necessary to finance wind and solar farms.

The company was the only solar project to win a contract in December 2010 in a competitive bidding process managed by the Illinois Power Agency to help the state reach its renewable energy goals.

"Renewable plants don't just happen," said Polsky. "There has to be a demand."

He would not disclose the cost of the project but said it is in the "tens of millions" of dollars. The thin film solar panels and inverters are expected to fill 160 acres next to Invenergy's Grand Ridge wind farm, where 140 of GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines produce 210 megawatts of power.Exelon Corp.'s LaSalle nuclear power plant also is nearby.

The solar project represents a new era for GE, which until now has spent the vast majority of its roughly $6 billion energy portfolio on wind.

Vic Abate, vice president of GE's renewable energy business, said the solar side had been mostly related to researching and developing ways to bring down the cost of solar technology.

"We're just now at the point where we can scale it," he said.

He said the cost of the technology has dropped over the last six to seven years by nearly a third, to about $3 per watt.

"Our view is that number is going to under $2 a watt, and we're working on technologies to do that," he said.

GE this month announced plans to invest $600 million to build the country's largest solar panel factory in Aurora, Colo.. The plant will make enough panels each year to power 80,000 homes, GE said.

jwernau@tribune.com

Twitter @littlewern

Copyright © 2012, Chicago Tribune


SWCC Issues First Two Full Certifications
Posted 1/11/2012 8:54:54 AM

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC) has issued its first two full certifications and consumer labels to the Bergey Windpower Excel 10 and the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7.

"The full certification of two turbine models is a major leap forward in establishing consistent consumer ratings and aiding incentive programs with determining eligibility," noted SWCC Executive Director Larry Sherwood. "Our labels allow easier comparison shopping and will help small wind turbines gain mainstream acceptance."

SWCC expects to issue more full certifications in the coming months, as more incentive programs initiate certification requirements. Sixteen of the remaining 27 turbine models under contract to pursue SWCC certification have either started or completed testing. Three turbine models have been granted Conditional Temporary Certification based on certification from the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). To be granted full SWCC certification, Conditional Temporary Certified turbines must meet the full requirements of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard and complete the SWCC review process.

"Small wind turbines have great potential to serve increasing demands for distributed generation and can provide a cost-effective solution for many homes, farms, schools and other end-users," noted Sherwood. "Certification helps prevent unethical marketing and false claims, so consumers can have confidence in ratings and funding agencies can ensure that the public's money is spent wisely."

SWCC has received 41 initial Notices of Intent to Apply for Certification and has agreements in place confirming plans for testing and analysis for 29 turbine models with less than 200 m2 swept area, three-fourths of which are sized for the residential market (under 20 kW).

Many state programs are either moving toward or are requiring certification to be eligible for incentives. The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently reinstituted its Emerging Renewables Program including immediate certification requirements. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) requires certification either by SWCC or other independent certifying agency, an EN45011 accredited international organization, or a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory for turbines not already on their approved list to qualify for rebates, and has announced it will require full certification to the AWEA 9.1 standard for small wind turbine models to remain eligible for funding as of September 30, 2012. Both NYSERDA and the CEC have seen record numbers of rebate applicants in the past year. Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and numerous other state and utility programs rely on the NYSERDA list and the SWCC to qualify small wind turbines for incentives. Programs in Oregon and Wisconsin have established certification requirements for incentives eligibility, and programs in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, and Vermont have indicated their intention to follow suit.

SWCC's Incentives webpage provides further background about eligibility criteria and direct links to several programs requiring or expecting to require certification. SWCC has developed options for agencies and utilities to consider for incorporating certification requirements and structuring incentives, including suggestions for wind turbines with a swept area of more than 200 m2 and therefore outside the scope of the AWEA Standard.

About SWCC

The SWCC is an independent certification body that certifies small wind turbines meet or exceed the requirements of the AWEA Standard. SWCC certification is an independent confirmation that a small wind turbine has been tested and designed according to the requirements of the AWEA Standard. This certification provides a common North American standard for reporting turbine energy and sound performance, and helps small wind technology gain mainstream acceptance. Consumer labels, ratings and summary reports for SWCC certified turbine models, including tabulated power curves, acoustic data, and tower design requirements, along with a complete list of SWCC pending applicant turbine models, are available at www.smallwindcertification.org/for-consumer. SWCC updates its certified turbines table and application status table on its website as milestones are reached.

Visit www.smallwindcertification.org or call 518-213-9440 for more information on the certification process.



MREA Small Wind Site Assessor Training Courses at HCC March 2012
Posted 1/6/2012 8:38:37 AM

WIND SITE ASSESSOR TRAINING
PROFDVLP 1512
This course is recommended for those wishing to begin a career in the wind business,
wind system dealers/installers, educators, homeowners considering installing a wind
system or anyone interested in further understanding small wind system (<100kW)
siting. The core material presented in Introduction to Wind Systems will be expanded
to train participants to evaluate a site's wind energy potential and will guide them
through the process normally required to perform wind site assessments for
stakeholders' programs. Prerequisite: Introduction to Wind Systems enrollment or
professional experience. Available for 32 CPDUs.
Midwest Renewable Energy Assoc instructor
Monday - Thursday, March 26 - 29 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
ACEC Rm 2103
$500

TO REGISTER:
call 309-268-8160
visit http://www.heartland.edu/greenInstitute/

INTRODUCTION TO WIND SYSTEMS
GRNCE 1001
This is the prerequisite course for the Wind Site Assessor Training.
This course provides information about what wind energy is, how it works
and what it can do for you. Learn the basics of wind energy such as wind
resources, basic system components, system types, turbine types, applications
and tower types. Available for 12 CPDUs.
Midwest Renewable Energy Assoc instructor
Saturday March 24 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
WDC 1403
$140


IL Wind for Schools to Target Wind Energy Education in Middle/High Schools
Posted 1/5/2012 10:42:03 AM

MACOMB/NORMAL, IL - A new program designed to incorporate wind energy topics into middle and high school classrooms is slated to begin during the 2012-2013 school year. Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS) - an initiative sponsored through a partnership with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, the Western Illinois University Department of Engineering Technology, the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, and the College of Education at Illinois State University - will offer curriculum development resources, teacher professional development, on-site technical assistance and instructional equipment to middle school and high school teachers across the state.

All training, curriculum and equipment will be offered at no charge to schools selected for the program, made possible through Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) grant funding.

IIRA Wind Energy Program Coordinator Jolene Willis noted the ILWFS program addresses specific Illinois Learning Standards goals in mathematics, including estimation and measurement, as well as data analysis and probability.

"It also encompasses specific science goals that include inquiry and design; concepts and principles; and science, technology and society," explained Willis. "Participating teachers will be required to attend the on-site workshop and maintain communication with Illinois Wind for Schools staff, providing evaluation and feedback of the lab activities, curriculum and equipment throughout the 2012-13 school year," she added.

Matt Aldeman, senior energy analyst for the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, said the program's purpose is to engage Illinois teachers and students in energy education, specifically targeting wind energy.

"We hope to educate students about wind energy principles, and position the next generation of career and technical professionals to enter the growing U.S. wind industry. We will also be able to provide technical assistance to Illinois school administrators about renewable energy integration in school facilities," Aldeman said.

According to Willis and Aldeman, through an application process, three to five middle and/or high schools will be selected as ILWFS partner schools for each school year. The ILWFS program includes on-site training workshops at each partner school for all participating teachers, curricula and lesson plans, equipment for hands-on activities and basic supplies. Continuing professional development units (CPDUs) will also be offered for all teacher-training sessions, which are required to participate in this program.

Willis noted the program will begin with an early summer 2012 teacher workshop held on site at each partner school. Topics of the workshop will include fundamentals of wind energy, principles of wind turbine operation and ideas for integrating wind energy into the existing curriculum. During summer 2012, all participating schools will receive a classroom set of experimental model wind turbines, equipment with which to build and test the model wind turbines, a pack of experimental weather balloons, a model wind tunnel and customized lab activities and a comprehensive wind energy curriculum, she added.

Aldeman said the wind energy curriculum will focus on lesson plans in five distinct areas including: energy and electricity; wind and weather; turbines and engineering; environmental considerations; and economics. In the fall of 2012, the ILWFS staff will install scientific weather instrumentation on the school grounds at each partner school. Teachers and students will then be able to easily access data collected by the weather instrumentation using any Internet connection. Wind energy lessons will be integrated into the existing curriculum at teachers' discretion throughout the school year, and the program will conclude in spring 2013.

The ILWFS staff is currently working with three schools in a pilot phase: Ridgeview Community Unit School District (CUSD) #19 located in Colfax (IL), Elmwood (IL) CUSD #322 and Fulton County CUSD #3 in Cuba (IL). A weather station has already been installed at each pilot phase location, and curriculum workshops have been provided for teachers, Aldeman added.

"I am so impressed with how it encompasses biology, physics, chemistry and so many other fields," said Roger Alvey, superintendent at Elmwood CUSD #322 and a former science teacher. "It has relevance to everyday life, and it is hands-on learning."

Willis said that middle school and high school teachers in Illinois public school districts who are excited to teach project-based learning curriculum and have an interest in cross-curriculum implementation are encouraged to apply by Thursday, March 1. Eligible disciplines include math, science, agriculture, industrial technology, engineering and related subject disciplines.

Applications and guidelines will be available later this month at the Illinois Wind for Schools website at www.ILWFS.org. Schools selected for the program will be notified by April 2.

For more information, contact Willis at (309) 298-2835 or Aldeman at (309) 438-1440.

Posted By: WIU, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606


Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council
Posted 1/3/2012 10:59:05 AM

Mission of the Illinois Lake Michigan Offshore Wind Energy Advisory Council.

Pursuant to Illinois Public Act 97-0266, the Department of Natural Resources shall examine the topics identified in below and report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by June 30, 2012 in order to assist in the evaluation and consideration of offshore wind energy projects in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan.

The Council shall examine the topics identified below (subsection (b) of Section 10 of the Act) and shall make recommendations to the Department during the preparation of the report to the General Assembly and Governor.

In preparing a report, the Department shall evaluate all of the following:

Appropriate criteria for the Department to use to review applications for offshore wind development of Lake Michigan lakebed leases.

Criteria for identifying areas that are favorable, acceptable, and unacceptable for offshore wind development, including, but not limited to, impacts to wildlife, protected habitats, navigation, commercial fisheries, and recreational uses of Lake Michigan.

A recommended process for ensuring public engagement in the Department's process for leasing Lake Michigan lakebed for offshore wind energy projects.

Options for how the State shall be compensated for Lake Michigan lakebed leasing.

A summary of the lessons learned from other domestic and international offshore wind development experiences, including, but not limited to, those related to public policy, regulatory, and siting concerns for offshore wind development.

Identification of local, State, and federal authorities with permitting, siting, or other approval authority for wind power development in Lake Michigan.

Recommendations for needed State legislation and regulations governing offshore wind farm development.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (2012) Retrieved from http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/councils/LMOWEAC/Pages/default.aspx


2011-2012 Illinois Innovation Talent (ILIT) grant program applications available
Posted 12/19/2011 10:10:46 AM

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Transportation issue a Request for Application from middle schools, high schools and 21st Century Community Learning Centers interested in participating in the 2011-2012 Illinois Innovation Talent (ILIT) program. Application documents are due by January 20 to Jason A. Tyszko - Jason.Tyszko@Illinois.gov

The goal of the ILIT program is to demonstrate how industry-sponsored problems can exemplify the Race to the Top STEM Learning Exchange functions at the middle and high school level where interdisciplinary teams of students collaborate on real-world problem-based learning (PBL) challenges designed to improve student achievement and increase college and career readiness.

Recognizing the need for students to become globally competitive, a public-private partnership formed in 2008 to design an initiative to promote innovation-centered education and increase student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This initiative connected schools with industry, government and community partners to critically examine and solve complex real-world problems as part of a work-based learning experience involving teams of students. ILIT demonstrates one of the work-based learning functions of the STEM Learning Exchanges as described in the State of Illinois' Race to the Top proposal.

There are 9 challenge sponsors and statements that applicants are to select from. Up to five applicants will be selected for each challenge.
Challenge 1: Abbott - Neuroimaging as a Tool to Advance the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.
Challenge 2: Illinois State University Center for Renewable Energy and Western Illinois University Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs - Renewable Energy Challenge.
Challenge 3: Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) - Preventing Prescription Poisoning.
Challenge 4: Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) - Freeway Interchange Innovations.
Challenge 5: Illinois Department of Transportation and URS Corporation - Sustainable Bridge Design.
Challenge 6: Center Point Properties - Creating More Efficient Supply Chains.
Challenge 7: University of Illinois - Illinois Food System Design.
Challenge 8: Bison Gear - A Working Mechanism Utilizing ServoNOW.
Challenge 9 by Invitation Only: Baxter - Preventing Hospital-Acquired Infections.

Participating teams will receive a $5,000 stipend to cover project-related costs.

Time Line:
January 5, 2012 ……………...Informational Webinar (voluntary) 3:30-4:00 p.m. - Registration information.
January 20, 2012.....................Applications are due.
January 31, 2012………… .Applicants notified of their selection.
February 10, 2012..................Participants attend professional development day at IMSA for problem-based learning training, meet challenge sponsors, and develop implementation plan.
February TBD, 2012...............Participants attend professional development day at IMSA or at sponsor's facility to collaborate with sponsor and finalize implementation plan.
February - April 2012.............Participants implement challenges, collaborate with sponsors, and receive on-site training from IMSA.
May 2012................................Participants present their findings to their challenge sponsor and attend a project-sharing event to be organized by IMSA.

For more information, please contact Jason A. Tyszko - Jason.Tyszko@Illinois.gov or Marcy Johnson marjohns@isbe.net or Mark Williams - mawillia@isbe.net .


A webinar will be hosted on Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 3:30-4:00 p.m. to describe and explain the information necessary for submission of the application to the ILIT Request for Application. Registration information and a program overview are on the ISBE web site.

http://www.isbe.net/grants/html/webinar.htm



DOE and Windustry Community and Small Wind Webinar Series
Posted 12/15/2011 9:15:18 AM

Topic #1: U.S. Small Wind Market Report: 144,000 Turbines Deployed

Windustry invites you to attend a free webinar examining the market for clean, affordable, homegrown wind energy and recent growth in sales, capacity and incentives for small wind turbines (up to 100 kW) powering homes, farms and businesses.

This is the first in a series of free webinars funded by the DOE Wind Powering America Initiative. The webinar is designed for attendance by the general public, local officials, state and federal regulators, permitting officials, facility siting officials, state and federal policy makers, and others interested in small and community wind development.

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011
Time: 11:00 - 12:00 MTN, (or 1:00 - 2:00 Eastern time)

America's small wind turbine industry saw substantial growth in 2010, highlighted by a 26 percent expansion in the market for small wind systems with 25.6 megawatts (MW) of capacity added, as well as a robust increase in sales revenue. Nearly 8,000 small wind units were sold last year, totaling $139 million in sales. The U.S. small wind industry represents an estimated 1,500 full-time equivalent jobs. Small wind turbines manufactured in North America typically incorporated 80-percent domestic content.

With small wind scaling up during the last few years, its benefits are becoming more noticeable. Growth in 2010 pushed cumulative sales in the U.S. to an estimated 179 MW of capacity-a total that reaches well into the range of many utility-scale wind farms. As a result, small wind is having a positive impact on the environment, as installations now annually displace 161,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That is the equivalent of taking 28,000 cars off the road.

The webinar speakers will discuss:
• Market Highlights
• Federal & State Incentives
• Small Wind Market Drivers
• Distinguishing Product Features
• Economic Value of Small Wind
• 2010 Developments & Challenges
• Industry Perspectives
Speakers:
Larry Flowers, AWEA Deputy Director of Distributed and Community Wind
Heather Rhoads-Weaver, eFormative Options Principal Consultant and DWEA Board Member

Moderator:
Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director

The link for the 2010 U.S. Small Wind Market Report can be found at:
http://awea.org/learnabout/smallwind/index.cfm

How to connect to the webinar:
You do not need to sign up in advance.

Date: December 15, 2011
Time: 11 am Mountain Time
Duration: 60 minutes

Audio Access Information:
Toll-free #: 888-469-0883
Toll #: 1-517-308-9044
Participant passcode: 6252105

Web Access Information:
URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW2406963&p=6252105&t=c
If you have trouble with the above link, try going to this website and enter the info separately:
URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/
Conference number: PW2406963
Participant passcode: 6252105



Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Grant Applications Now Available
Posted 12/1/2011 1:40:30 PM

http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/how-to-apply/

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has opened the 2012 Grant Programs with online grant applications and guidelines available today, December 1.

More more information visit ICECF online at www.illinoiscleanenergy.org.


Erie school turbine fails to meet timeline
Posted 11/21/2011 10:25:32 AM

Steven Martens | Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2011 2:00 am Quad City Times

http://qctimes.com/news/local/erie-school-turbine-fails-to-meet-timeline/article_0c8b12a0-1342-11e1-a9a8-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story

ERIE, Ill. - The wind turbine erected three years ago to power the Erie Community School District buildings has not been as financially beneficial as expected, Superintendent Brad Cox said.

The $3.5 million wind turbine, built on school district grounds, was expected to pay for itself in 12 to 14 years. But because of maintenance problems that have cut into the turbine's operation time, it is on pace to pay for itself in closer to 35 years, Cox said.

Cox said part of the problem has been finding resources to provide guidance for maintenance. The turbine built in Erie is one of only five of its kind in North America, and the four others are on a wind farm in Nova Scotia, Canada, Cox said.

"Having the only one of anything in the United States is very interesting when it comes to maintenance," he said.

In August, the district began working with a maintenance worker from the Nova Scotia wind farm, and he can make adjustments to the turbine from his location, Cox said.

"It's been a very positive relationship," he said.

Cox said he is hopeful that improved maintenance will result in more operation time and more power generated, making the turbine more financially beneficial.

The turbine also provides students in the district with a unique educational opportunity, said Marla Smeltzly, who teaches sixth- and seventh-grade science at Erie Middle School.

Smeltzly uses the turbine as part of a unit for her 6th-grade students on alternative energy. The students monitor the turbine's energy production and the district's energy consumption on the district website, www.erie1.info.

She said her students also go inside the turbine and look at the controls to see how it works.

"Anytime the students have an opportunity to get hands-on, they're going to get more out of it than just reading it in a book," she said.


SWCC Announces First Conditional Temporary Certifications
Posted 11/21/2011 10:23:09 AM

The Small Wind Certification Council is pleased to grant its first Conditional Temporary Certifications to three small wind turbines certified under the UK's Microgeneration Certification Scheme, shown on the SWCC Applicant Status Table.

SWCC Conditional Temporary Certification status indicates that the turbine has been tested and certified to the BWEA Standard, but certain requirements of the AWEA Standard have not been met. The SWCC may require that the Applicant satisfy additional requirements within the 18-month Conditional Certification period to be eligible for full SWCC Certification.

As described in Section F4 of the SWCC Certification Policy SWCC labels, certificates and summary reports are pending for such turbines until Conditional Temporary Certifications become full Certifications.

SWCC Announces ‘Under Test' Status of Applicants
In order to provide more transparency in the certification process, the SWCC has updated its policy on optional publication of Application Status and has begun reporting the following key milestones for Pending Applicants:
"Under Contract" indicates that the Applicant has executed a Certification Agreement with the SWCC;
"Under Test" indicates that the small wind turbine has been installed at the test site, commissioned, instrumented and is collecting data;
"Reports Submitted" indicates that the Applicant has submitted a complete Test and Analysis Report to the SWCC with a Certification Application; and
"Conditional Temporary Certification" indicates that SWCC has granted a time-limited certification with labels, certificates, and summary reports pending for a small wind turbine tested and analyzed according to the IEC 61400 series of Standards or the BWEA Standard (certain requirements of the AWEA Standard have not yet been met).

SWCC is now publishing the new application status levels along with the dates that Applicants have achieved each level on the SWCC Applicant Status Table.

http://www.smallwindcertification.org/news-events/


McDonough County Wind Farm Update
Posted 11/18/2011 3:11:41 PM

Tri-States Public Radio WIUM 91.3 & WIUW 89.5

(2011-11-13)
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wium/news.newsmain/article/0/6790/1874798/WIUM.Weekly/McDonough.County.Wind.Farm.Update

MACOMB, IL (wium) - It might not look like it, but progress is being made on the wind farm that will be built in northern McDonough County.

Three studies must be completed before construction begins. Project Manager Gina Wolf of Element Power said the feasibility study is already done. A system impact study is underway, and once it's finished a facility study will be done.

"On average in Illinois it probably takes four years from when you sign your first lease agreement with the landowner to host the facilities to when you actually start construction," Wolf said.

Wolf said it often takes much longer in other states.

Wolf said one of the highlights for the Cardinal Point Wind Project this year was the McDonough County Board's unanimous approval for it. In addition, wind resource data from four meteorological towers remains strong.

"The project remains competitive and we're very optimistic about being able to get on-line in the next couple of years," Wolf said.

She believes the earliest construction could begin is late 2012 or early 2013.

"The phasing hasn't been determined for the project. That will depend on a number of different factors, but in the end what we've permitted is up to 116 locations (turbines). So that would be the maximum we would place in McDonough County," Wolf said.

The wind farm could eventually expand into Warren and Henderson Counties. Wolf said Element Power will probably complete the McDonough County phase before applying for special use permits in the other counties.

© Copyright 2011, wium


Rock Island Clean Line Seeks Negotiated Rate Authority
Posted 11/11/2011 9:52:04 AM

Rock Island Clean Line Seeks Negotiated Rate Authority

Renew Grid, Wednesday 09 November 2011 - 11:12:23

Rock Island Clean Line LLC (Clean Line) has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking negotiated rate authority for its Rock Island Clean Line transmission project.

The project is a 500-mile overhead high-voltage direct-current transmission line that will run from northwest Iowa to an area near Morris, Ill. The project is expected to deliver 3.5 GW of wind energy from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota to communities in Illinois and other states to the east.

Receiving this authority will allow Clean Line to negotiate market-based rates with potential customers of the line - likely load-serving entities or wind developers. In this filing, Clean Line is seeking the authority to subscribe up to 75% of the line's capacity with anchor tenants, with unsubscribed capacity filled through an open-season process.

The anchor tenants will receive guaranteed capacity outside of the competitive process; however, the same terms and pricing will be offered in the open season. Clean Line also seeks a preference for renewable energy generation, such that when evaluating potential customers, one criterion that will be considered is whether the energy the customer plans to ship on the line is derived from renewable energy resources.

In its application, Clean Line addresses the following standards: the justness and reasonableness of rates; the potential for undue discrimination; the potential for undue preference, including affiliate preference; and regional reliability and operational efficiency requirements.

Clean Line plans to host several open houses in Illinois before the end of the year to introduce local contractors to the project and to explore opportunities to utilize local businesses for construction of the project. Local contractor open houses in Iowa will follow next year.


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Renewable Energy Siting Process Gets Boost From New Mapping Tool
Posted 11/11/2011 9:00:13 AM

Renewable Energy Siting Process Gets Boost From New Mapping Tool
in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
by NAW Staff on Wednesday 09 November 2011
North American Windpower


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), has released a mapping tool that allows renewable energy developers to identify sites less likely to interfere with the DOD's mission-readiness activities and environmentally sensitive areas.

According to the NRDC, the Renewable Energy and Defense Database will help ensure that the siting of renewable energy avoids conflicts with DOD-related activities.

The database allows developers to identify DOD activities, including DoD base, testing and training range locations; low-altitude, high-speed military flight training routes and special-use airspace; and an extensive inventory of weather and air surveillance radars all within the U.S.

The resource provides GIS data that the NRDC says is largely missing from the current renewable energy siting process, particularly in the western U.S., where opportunity for development of utility-scale wind, solar and geothermal is abundant and the DOD's presence is extensive.

The database can be accessed through this link: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/readgdb.asp.



Establishing a Community College Wind Energy and Turbine Technology Program
Posted 11/9/2011 10:40:28 AM

Date: 10/31/2011

http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=3326

Establishing a Community College Wind Energy and Turbine Technology Program: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned

Location: IA

In 2004, Iowa Lakes Community College became the first school in the nation to offer a Wind Energy and Turbine Technology Associate of Applied Science degree while utilizing a turbine as a working laboratory. Iowa Lakes is also one of the first three colleges to earn the American Wind Energy Association Seal of Approval for wind turbine technician training programs. Wind Powering America interviewed Daniel Lutat, director of the Wind Energy & Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes, and his team about lessons learned while developing their innovative program.

Describe the process of establishing the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes Community College.
In the years preceding our first class, Iowa Lakes Community College made the decision to purchase a turbine as an energy savings initiative. During that process, we "seeded the clouds" with the idea of developing training for technicians, and our location certainly supported that notion. In 2003, college and industry experts outlined our curriculum and worked with the Iowa Department of Education to approve both the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and diploma (48-credit option) programs. Our first instructor had worked in the industry for some time and was instrumental in not only defining the competencies an entry-level wind turbine technician would need but also securing resources that provided hands-on training to reinforce theory. In 2004, our first class began: the first in the nation to offer a Wind Energy and Turbine Technology AAS utilizing a turbine as a working laboratory. Our 1.65-megawatt Vestas turbine was commissioned during the spring semester in 2005 and has since been one of our most valuable training resources. As we grew to our present level of six full-time instructors, we added new materials and training aids to provide hands-on instruction in the fundamentals that our industry advisors felt were important.

What lessons did the school staff learn while establishing the program that you think may be important for other community college faculty working to establish their own programs?
Strategic planning is vital to getting a program successfully off the ground. The college leadership's first step was establishing an advisory committee, which included employees and industry leaders with excellent planning skills. College staff took the time to investigate funding opportunities and identified key stakeholders (potential employers of program graduates). Beginning with the end in mind, our team answered the questions of where our program graduates would work and what skills they would need to be successful in a rapidly evolving industry. Having the right people on the program design team was vital. By engaging the development staff early in the planning process, the financial burden was eased as we received key federal and state grants.

What is the goal of the program, and what steps have been taken to reach this goal? How has the program changed from its inception, and has the program's goal changed along with it?
Our overall focus where wind energy is concerned is to give our graduates the fundamental skills that companies can in turn polish through their own formal training, no matter what industry sector a graduate chooses. While our focus is on the operations and maintenance technician, our graduates leave us with a broad knowledge of various aspects of the industry. A commitment to quality remained at the forefront of program development. Mutually beneficial relationships between the college and all aspects of the industry drove the process as we designed a comprehensive curriculum. Our advisory committee was extremely robust, providing input on laboratories and graduate attributes that instructors translated into training materials.

Another key step in our journey was collaborating with the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA's) education working group and industry experts in developing the AWEA Seal of Approval for Wind Turbine Technician training programs. As a pilot program for its development, we identified key competencies and hands-on training to produce the quality of entry-level technician the industry desired. We refined our approach locally to closely mirror what industry and education professionals believed was essential. It wasn't simply about training on theory with simulations; it was about putting a sense of realism into the course, so that graduates got their hands on the real components they would work with. As one of the first three colleges nationwide to earn the AWEA Seal of Approval, we now have between 150 and 200 students, and our training aids provide a sense of realism that students find most valuable. Our state, civic, and industry partners and college leadership have committed to leading in this effort, and our aggregate investment tops $7 million dollars to date. It's something you have to be committed to if you're going to succeed, which has led us to a crossroad of sorts in our evolution.

We are now in the process of identifying core competencies that transcend sustainable energy fields so that we can take a more global look at what we include in our curriculum. We are teaming with our bio-renewable technology, environmental, and sustainable resources programs to bring several disciplines together under one roof. As we connect intuitive "dots" in renewable energy training, our goal remains to put our students' hands on the real thing in lab environments that mirror industry as closely as possible.

What lessons have you learned during this process?
Patience is vital. Building a sound program takes time, vision, and creativity. Seeking partnerships is essential, and advancing curriculum in areas that will be mainstays is important. Relationship-building also takes time and is one of the most important aspects of course development. Assistance for student scholarships and program support through cash and non-cash donations are critical to ensuring that our students are well-rounded and capable of utilizing current technology. Internships and job shadow experience processes, which were pretty easy to secure in the beginning, rapidly evolved into a challenge as the field of prospective employees grew. Providing access for companies to interact with potential employees has opened the door to networking opportunities for our industry partners, students, and graduates.

Iowa Lakes Community College's Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program offers a diploma or an AAS degree for students. Explain the difference between the two in terms of what will be learned and what opportunities await students who complete the diploma program versus students who earn their AAS degrees.
The main difference is duration and level of training. The diploma option fits students who already have a technical background and are suited to receiving the wind energy indoctrination before they head back to industry. Both options have an internship requirement of 384 hours, so the challenge of competing for jobs is real and rewarding. In the second year, the student in the AAS program receives more advanced training in electronics, programmable logic, networking, siting, power generation, and distribution. For those who are successful in obtaining an internship during their summer semester, the payoff is that they return with a renewed focus and sense of how their experience here relates to energy integration in the field. Ultimately, we advise students based on their background and goals; so for some, the diploma option is best, and for others, the AAS is best. We promote the AAS heavily because our industry and trade association partners have said they value it tremendously in entry-level professionals. As the first step in their professional development, earning the AAS degree increases the likelihood that students will complete a higher-level degree and shows a commitment that the industry regards highly. It's all about opening doors.

Does the college offer job placement for graduating students?
We have an excellent relationship with industry partners. Through engagement with industry, we bring students in contact with companies at industry panels and job fairs each year, and we have an excellent network established to publicize job openings for which students can apply. Coupled with introductory management coursework, our business and success center helps develop students' abilities to build strong resumes and interview techniques. We also conduct industry panels to give students feedback on what employers are looking for. The sustainable energy field is a competitive market, and our students must learn how to effectively promote their skills.

What lessons have you learned in this area?
The challenge of securing an internship is the student's first glimpse at what employers are looking for. While competitive and challenging for students, employers have the opportunity to observe and develop performance as they build their highly selective workforce. This mutually beneficial relationship is a key component to fielding the best entry-level technicians and identifying competencies that must keep pace with industry demands. We've consistently worked with companies across the renewable energy spectrum to offer a wide array of internships, helping students gain valuable industry exposure.

Wind turbine technology is varied and quickly evolving. How does the program keep up?
Our regular interaction with industry and AWEA keeps our instructors on top of what's going on in the field, and our students are engaged in researching and discussing the latest technologies. The bottom line with our courses is that we teach the core fundamentals that transcend equipment design. Our students explore how different designs and new technologies impact reliability and maintainability of wind generators. By the time they graduate, they are ready for employers to polish their skills on specific equipment. It would be easy to get lost in the "flavor of the week" mentality, so we stick to producing an adaptable technician armed with sound fundamentals that are timeless and universal.

Can you share any lessons in this area?
Changes in the industry demand that college faculty and leadership assertively explore additional programming that we may need to develop and integrate into existing curriculum. These days, it's not enough to treat energy sources individually as a panacea for certain energy concerns. America's energy future lies in an integrated, survivable power "system" that learns from performance data and predicts adaptively, rather than responding reactively. We believe that continuous improvement is the only way to ensure our graduates meet the demands of a dynamic industry.

This information was last updated on 10/31/2011


ICECF Applications Available December 1
Posted 11/3/2011 10:18:33 AM

http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/how-to-apply/

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has announced on their website that 2012 Program Updates and online grant applications will be available December 1, 2011.

More more information visit ICECF online at www.illinoiscleanenergy.org.




Adams Co. Electric Cooperative hosting open house for Brown Co. wind turbine
Posted 11/2/2011 12:55:27 PM

Posted: Oct 31, 2011 5:21 PM CDT www.wgem.com

MT. STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - The newest wind turbine for Adams Electric Cooperative has been in operation since the beginning of September and Tuesday, the public had the chance to see inside the 280 foot high turbine.

Visitors today were able to learn more about how the turbine converts wind into usable energy while seeing inside a section of the windmill.

"Really, we just want to answer some questions that folks may have about wind energy and wind turbines and give them a chance to get up close, hear it, see it, actually stand inside it," said Bill Stalder with Adams Electric.

This is the second turbine Adams Electric has in operation.

Adams Electric says three to four percent of the energy it supplies each year will come from the two turbines.

The new turbine stands 281 feet tall to the blade hub and 403 feet tall to the tip of the blades.

Power from the 1.5-megawatt turbine is distributed to co-op members in the surrounding area. It will supply approximately 4 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That is enough power for about 300-400 homes.


Alternative energy update So far, a new wind turbine delivers little
Posted 10/31/2011 8:58:28 AM

This article appeared in
October 2011 Consumer Reports Magazine.

Generous federal and local rebates and credits have helped put wind power on a growing list of options that use the forces of nature to trim your electricity bill. But our early tests of one wind turbine suggest that you could save far less than the manufacturer claims—and wait decades for your investment to pay for itself.

Wind turbines are supposed to save by powering your home and sending or selling any unused energy they create to a utility so that it can credit you that amount. At about $11,000 installed, the Honeywell WT6500 Wind Turbine we're testing at our Yonkers, N.Y., headquarters costs less than many wind systems, even before rebates. It's warranted for five years and can be ordered through True Value stores, from dealers and online, and at some Ace stores. And it's among the few that can mount on a roof. Low noise is an added talking point for this 6-foot-diameter turbine, which was about as loud as a library whisper in our tests. Its bicycle-wheel design is also claimed to be easier for birds to see than three-blade turbines.

WindTronics, which makes the system, says it can deliver 18 to 23 percent of an average home's annual electricity needs, depending on wind speed. That should mean our system pays for itself in about six years, given the energy it should create in our area, the 30 percent federal tax credit for small turbines, and the thousands in state rebates.

But so far, we've seen only a fraction of the total power that WindTronics says we should for our area, even after several visits from a company-authorized installer. At that rate, the Honeywell wouldn't pay its way over its expected life of 20 years.

We'll be updating our data during the next year and will report on further developments as we continue testing. Still, our early results highlight some key steps to take before opting for any wind turbine:

Know the power you'll really get

Based strictly on wattage, the Honeywell produced roughly what's claimed for the low wind speeds we were able to generate in our tests. But finding out how much energy you'll save at your home could be challenging. For example, WindTronics' promotional material claims 2,000 kilowatt-hours per year at class 3 winds, which the federal government defines as 11.5 to 12.5 mph. Yet its online calculator (www.windknowledge.com) showed an output of just 1,155 kWh per year at the 12-mph average it predicted for our area. That amounts to about 10 percent of the 11,000 kWh per year the U.S. Energy Information Administration cites for a typical home—not the 18 percent WindTronics asserts. The company's website also includes an estimate of 1,500 kWh per year on average, depending on wind speed, height, and site location. But even that comes to just 14 percent of the government's annual energy-use estimate.

Check wind maps carefully

Manufacturer sites can give you average wind speeds by ZIP code. Those averages can be misleading, however. WindTronics' calculator gives a "good" rating to the 12-mph speeds it says our location should average. But that rating is at 164 feet, not the 33 feet or more the Honeywell requires for roofs. A government map of New York lists average wind speeds for our area below 10 mph, not 12 mph. Indeed, we've had to blow air into the Honeywell with two industrial fans to come close to that speed.

Get a site analysis

Hills, trees, and other obstructions can lower wind speeds on your property. A site analysis by the installer should account for that. WindTronics told us its installations require one and that it is adding an online analysis tool. Our factory-authorized installer didn't include a site analysis. And the tool comes months after the Honeywell hit the market in late 2010. WindTronics has since suggested that our site is inappropriate.

Have your roof checked

Wind forces and the more than 440 pounds for the turbine and support structure could exceed your roof's capacity. With any roof system, get a structural analysis from an engineer before buying. And though roof-mounted turbines may seem less obtrusive than pole systems, you might still need approval from your zoning board.


http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2011/october/home-garden/alternative-energy-update/overview/index.htm


Copyright © 2004-2011 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.


NREL Opens New Doors to Renewable Energy Data
Posted 10/27/2011 9:23:35 AM

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL Newsroom

News Release NR-5111

NREL Opens New Doors to Renewable Energy Data
Developer.nrel.gov empowers Web developers to use renewable energy data for Web and mobile applications
October 25, 2011
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is home to a cornucopia of data on renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative transportation. This week, NREL launched a new website that will make the data more accessible than ever.

NREL's new site, developer.nrel.gov, provides data feeds that computer programmers can access for use in their own mobile and Web applications. The first data set to be offered is a comprehensive, nationwide list of alternative vehicle fueling station locations, including those that supply electricity, biodiesel, ethanol or natural gas. Developers can retrieve the data through a Web services API (application programming interface).

"Every year, we get hundreds of requests for our data," NREL project manager Johanna Levene said. "In the vast majority of cases, we've been happy to provide it, but the person on the other end has had to go to the trouble of finding the right person, asking for the data, downloading it and updating it to keep it current. NREL's new subsite automates that entire process and serves as a seamless data conduit directly from NREL to another organization's application."

Developers who access the data will be able to tailor it to their own needs. For example, an organization could use NREL's alternative fueling station data to create an application that reveals the locations of all electric vehicle charging stations inside a particular state or city.

"NREL wouldn't necessarily build a mapping tool for charging stations in South Carolina, for instance, but for someone else, that kind of application might be of tremendous value," Levene said. "Providing our station data through Web services allows developers to slice and dice the information based on their own interests and their own geographical regions."

Developers also can create mashups that combine data from developer.nrel.gov with data from other sources to provide new, unique tools and capabilities. NREL's charging station data could be combined with a data set of coffee shop locations to create a tool that shows electric vehicle drivers the nearest place to grab a latte while charging their car.

"This is a much more streamlined way of pushing out our information on energy efficiency and renewable energy to the rest of the world. We expect that people will develop all kinds of creative applications and uses for it that we haven't even dreamed of," Levene said.

In the near future, developer.nrel.gov will feature a data set of all federal and state laws and incentives related to alternative fuel vehicles and electric vehicles. Within the next few months, developers will be able to access data related to wind and solar energy.

The Web services are publicly available, and the data is immediately accessible once users provide basic contact information. NREL will use the Twitter handle @NRELdev to announce new data sets as they become available.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

For further information contact NREL Public Relations at 303-275-4090.


D-300 nears wind-farm deal
Posted 10/21/2011 12:42:38 PM

By JANE HUH - jhuh@shawmedia.com
Created: Sunday, October 16, 2011 5:30 a.m. CDT
Northwest Herald

D-300 nears wind-farm deal

CARPENTERSVILLE - After working on the concept for two years, School District 300, in conjunction with two other districts, is close to starting a 20-year wind turbine project.

The school board is set to vote on the proposal at its Oct. 24 meeting. At Monday's board meeting, the latest proposal by the School Wind Consortium Agency received tentative approval.

Officials have until December to finalize terms with Chicago-based firm Invenergy LLC for the wind energy purchase agreement.

The consortium, comprising District 300, Keeneyville District 20 and Prospect Heights District 23, has been looking at buying and selling wind power from a turbine farm as a creative and environmentally friendly way to offset electricity bills in the long term.

The power purchase agreement will be set at a fixed price for the next 20 years. District 300 projects to save taxpayers $7 million over the life of the agreement.

According to the tentative agreement, the consortium would buy the generated power at $56.80 per megawatt hour.

Officials anticipate saving $7 million over the course of 20 years based on a 3 percent annual rate of escalation for energy, said David Ulm, district supervisor of facilities and energy management.

"The concept is to sell energy to customers at market value," Ulm said. "We're banking on that in 20 years electricity is going to be a heck of lot more than $56.80 [per megawatt hour]."

Initially, consortium officials were considering a plan to own and operate a wind turbine farm to generate wind energy and revenue from selling the power. The property would have been located in Stark County. The original aim was to own, finance and operate a wind turbine facility to generate and deliver power from renewable energy resources.

However, over the summer, the consortium was unable to issue revenue bonds as an investment means.

"We couldn't find a financial model to build and own it without having to use some kind of public funding," Ulm said.

Later, Invenergy LLC proposed building an addition to its existing 270-megawatt wind farm in Bishop Hill in Henry County. The design and building process would take 12 months.

"It's not a bad alternative. Am I disappointed we can't own a wind farm? Sure, we've been working on it for two years," Ulm said. "But it's absolutely a win for us. It's absolutely wonderful for our taxpayers, our students and our bottom line."

The consortium simply is buying the power the wind turbines produce at the Bishop Hill wind farm.

School leaders also see the potential for new educational opportunities for environmental science classrooms.

At Monday's meeting, Mike Tennis, a district taxpayer, expressed opposition to the "risky financial initiative."

"From my perspective, this project is outside the core competency of the district," said Tennis, of Sleepy Hollow.

Officials should concentrate on educating students, not operating a profit-driven endeavor, he said.

But soon after learning that night that the consortium's original plan had been scrapped, Tennis said his opinion had changed.

"There's an upside potential versus a downside risk, which I think should be fairly minimal," he said.

Still, the time and effort spent on the original concept was but "chasing a dream," Tennis said.

"With hindsight, it was a dream I don't think they should have pursued. It was a waste of their time pursuing some way to enhance the revenue of the district rather than focusing on the education curriculum," he said.

District 300 takes most of the share, roughly 90 percent, and the other districts split the remaining 10 percent of the wind purchasing and selling share. The breakdown was based on the districts' electrical use.

"Ultimately, we all started in this together, and we're all still interested in being a part of it. There was no benefit for us to not be in a partnership."

The consortium became the first in Illinois to use a wind farm to defray energy costs when the School District Intergovernmental Corporation Renewable Energy Act, authorizing school districts to acquire facilities that convert wind or solar power into energy, went into effect during the summer of 2010.

Copyright © 2011 Northwest Herald. All rights reserved.

www.nwherald.com


Adams Electric's Second Wind Turbine
Posted 10/12/2011 11:23:50 AM

http://www.adamselectric.coop/wind.html

East of Mt. Sterling and south of Highway 24, Adams Electric Cooperative has erected a 1.5 MW wind turbine.

The site is located south of the Cooperative's Mt. Sterling substation. The location is being leased from Joseph Ray, a member of Adams Electric Cooperative.

Instead of a gearbox, the Co-op's new turbine is a direct drive unit, meaning the three blades will drive the generator. The blades will start producing electricity in winds as light as 6.7 miles per hour and reach full capacity in winds starting at 24.6 miles per hour. The tips of the blades at full capacity turn at 149.1 miles per hour.

This direct drive unit will create an annual generation of 4 million kWhs of energy per year, enough for about 300-400 homes.

The Brown County wind turbine is Adams Electric Cooperative's second wind turbine.

The Brown County Wind Turbine was manufactured by Vensys, located in Germany. The blades were made in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The tower was made in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The generator, nacelle and convertor were made in Germany. The parts arrived in Mt. Sterling, Illinois, by semis and were assembled on site using two massive cranes.

Each blade weighs about 6 tons and attaches to a 16 ton hub. The hub is attached to a generator weighing 45 tons. The new landmark stands 279 feet tall to the hub and 403 feet tall to the tip of the blade.

Each blade on the Brown County Wind Turbine is 122 feet long. The entire assembly including the tower, blades, generator and rotor contains 986 (1 ½ inch dia.) bolts.

The Cooperative received a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help fund thise project. Financing is secured through Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) which are low-interest loans (2.1%) for financing renewable energy projects.

The Cooperative will be hosting an open house and welcome visitors to the site on November 1, 2011. Watch for details in the Adams Outlet or call (800) 232-4797 for more information.


New program channeling wind energy into classrooms
Posted 10/7/2011 10:40:53 AM


Students at three rural Illinois schools are using the weather to learn physics, chemistry, biology, and math via Wind for Schools.

Kay Shipman, FarmWeek www.farmweeknow.com

Published: Oct 7, 2011

Students at three rural Illinois schools are using the weather to apply principles of physics, chemistry, biology, and math through a pilot program known as Wind for Schools.

"This (program) is a great opportunity," said Superintendent Roger Alvey, whose Elmwood School District is pilot testing Wind for Schools.

"I am so impressed at how it encompasses biology, physics, chemistry, and so many fields. It has relevance to every day life and it's hands on," said Alvey, a former science teacher.

Wind for Schools is being developed and administered by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University and the Center for Renewable Energy and College of Education at Illinois State University (ISU). The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is funding the program with a two-year grant.

In addition to the Elmwood district, the other participating schools are Fulton County School District, Cuba, and Ridgeview School District, Colfax. Recently, a weather station was installed on a school building in each district and curriculum workshops were provided for teachers.

"The whole point is for Illinois site-specific data to be integrated into the curriculum," said Jolene Willis, IIRA wind energy program coordinator. "We're excited about this initiative to integrate wind energy into science curriculum. Wind energy is a growing part of Illinois' economy."

Through the program, students are collect real wind and weather data and then incorporate that information into classroom lessons, experiments, and projects. The curriculum has been designed to fulfill relevant state learning goals.

Material also will encompass STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) goals, according to Alvey.

Wind for Schools also fits with the state's education goal to develop career-based learning about industry sectors. The goal is for schools to implement curriculum that builds upon concepts introduced in early grades all the way through college degree programs.

An introduction of energy concepts to young students is ideal for college programs, such as ISU's renewable energy undergraduate program, according to David Loomis, director the ISU Center for Renewable Energy. High school students who understand those concepts will be prepared for more advanced college-level classes, Loomis noted.

"Students need to understand plain, old energy concepts. Then you marry it (Wind for Schools) with wind concepts and all the wind and weather data," Loomis said.

Wind for Schools' materials are based on curriculum from the National Energy Education Development Project, which has a website at www.need.org. The model turbine kits are from the Kid Wind Project, which has a website at www.kidwind.org.

After the pilot program is assessed, a formal application for districts will be finalized for the 2012-13 school year. "We estimate conservatively three to five schools will be selected to participate," Willis said.

However, the long-term future of Wind for Schools hinges on a sustainable funding for the program after the two-year grant ends. "We're continuously looking for sustainable funding," Willis added.

More information about Wind for Schools is available by contacting IIRA's Fred Iutzi and Loomis at the Renewable Energy Center.


Center For Rural Affairs Releases Wind Energy Transmission Map
Posted 9/29/2011 10:59:53 AM

Release Date: 09/23/11
Contact(s): Johnathan Hladik (pronounced Huh-lad-ik), Center for Rural Affairs, johnathanh@cfra.org or (402) 687-2103 ext. 1022 or John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs, johnc@cfra.org or (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010


Lyons, NE - Today the Center for Rural Affairs released a map and informational database of proposed clean energy transmission projects throughout the Great Plains and Upper Midwest. The database is continuously updated to include both new lines and new information for projects currently listed.


Center for Rural Affairs Energy Advocate and map designer Johnathan Hladik stated, "We believe wind energy projects are best when they involve the entire community in planning and when the opportunity is shared broadly. We encourage local advocates, elected officials and others to get involved in the planning process around these lines."

Twenty proposed projects across the region are mapped along with detailed and updated development information at http://www.cfra.org/clean-energy-transmission-map.

"These transmission projects are critical to unleashing the tremendous wind energy potential of the region, and hold the key to the thousands of jobs projected to come from wind energy development," explained Hladik.

"Clean energy transmission is more important now than ever. Congress, the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are all working to change the way renewable energy is integrated into the electric grid," added Hladik. "Now is the time to make your voice heard, to become familiar with these issues and make sure that new transmission lines are built in a way that works best for you, your community, and your economy."

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a report, Connect the Dots: Transmission and Rural America, highlighting the rural economic potential of wind energy development that will be unleashed if transmission projects like these are advanced. That report can be found at http://www.cfra.org/files/Connect_the_Dots.pdf

For more information visit: www.cfra.org.


Position Opening: Director of College Partnerships - Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)
Posted 9/23/2011 10:05:45 AM

Director of College Partnerships - Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN)

Posted 9/21/2011 at http://www.heartland.edu/general/jobs/details_jobs.asp?JobID=649

IGEN seeks applicants for a full-time, grant-funded position to provide leadership, management, and coordination to support the establishment, development, and maintenance of sustainability centers, green economy centers, employer partnerships, and a variety of sustainability initiatives. Master's degree in environmental studies or related field required. Other requirements include experience in a start-up environment with ability to adapt to changing priorities; strong organizational, project management, and written and oral communication skills; ability to work well both independently and as an effective team member; ability to interact with and foster collaboration among diverse partnering groups; proficiency with various computer software; and a valid driver's license with ability to travel locally and regionally. Desired qualifications include a minimum of two years' community college, higher education, not-for-profit, or corporate experience; experience collaborating with multiple entities in the development and delivery of educational programs; experience with grant proposals; effective research and analytic skills; a strong environmental ethic with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of sustainability; ability to utilize websites and teleconferencing technologies; and familiarity/experience with a community college environment. Position is based at Heartland Community College and is contingent upon continued grant funding.

Review of applications will begin 10/17/2011, and will continue until the position is filled.



DCEO Solar and Wind Rebate Program Now Closed
Posted 9/20/2011 12:44:11 PM

The Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program is no longer accepting applications. Due to the overwhelming response of applications that the Department has received since the program opened on September 9th, the program has reached capacity. The Department will no longer accept applications at this time for this fiscal year's program. The program will not reopen until after July 1, 2012. The Department is greatly encourage by the interest in solar and wind generation systems within the state.

Wayne Hartel
Energy Program Specialist, Illinois Energy Office
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
500 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701-1643
Phone: (217) 785-3420
Fax: (217) 558-2647
Wayne.Hartel@illinois.gov




Benton County's (IN) Wind Energy Ordinance: Wind Powering America Lessons Learned
Posted 9/13/2011 3:41:04 PM

Date: 9/6/2011
Location: IN
U.S. Department of Energy, Wind Powering America Newsletter

Benton County is one of Indiana's top agricultural communities. In 2008, the county welcomed the crop of the future, becoming home to Indiana's first wind farm (and several subsequent projects). Wind Powering America interviewed Benton County government officials about lessons learned while developing their wind energy ordinance.
Did Benton County planners start from scratch or build on an established ordinance?

Benton County planners began by looking at ordinances from Illinois and Iowa. Much of our ordinance wording came from those, but we also changed much of it because of different permitting and taxing state policies. So we used bits and pieces from each ordinance we read and then added some new language to meet our needs here.
Describe any lessons learned in terms of ensuring that the county will receive economic benefits from the projects.

Abatements vary widely and could not be directly addressed within the Benton County ordinance. However, one way to ensure economic benefits is to charge for tax abatements. Individual projects differ in whether or not abatements are needed, but when they are, county officials should ensure that the agreement benefits the community and the people. In one Benton County case, developers make payments in lieu of taxes for the first 10 years of operation and then resume regular tax payments for the remainder of the project.
The general public may express concerns regarding sound and setbacks, which then must be addressed in ordinances. Can you share your experience with county planners who may be working on wind turbine regulations regarding sound and setbacks?

Non-participating people (those not receiving money from the wind developers) viewed the sound issue differently than people who were participating, but then after the project's development, those views changed and became more positive. Although there is no specific language in our ordinance addressing sound levels, Benton County utilized setbacks to address these concerns.

The ordinance requires turbines to be located at least 1,000 feet from "residences" and 1.1 times the highest point of the turbine from other structures such as roads. When planning setbacks from buildings, Benton County planners only addressed "residences," so eventually the county had to re-define "residence" to include all buildings that are occupied for a certain number of hours and a certain number of days per week in order to include schools, churches, and other structures.
Benton County has multiple wind energy installations within its jurisdiction. What advice would you give county planners who are developing ordinance language?

Do your research before you start, before the first wind farm company comes! That way you will not have to fix ordinance mistakes when another company approaches the county. Benton County was unique because we were the first county in the state with a wind farm, so we basically invented the wheel for the state of Indiana. Now other counties have used our ordinances and have tweaked them to satisfy their area/community, and it has made it better for all involved.
Describe any other lessons learned while developing the Benton County wind energy ordinance.

Understand that road conditions and drainage issues must constantly be addressed, throughout the development of the wind farm and after installations.

A drainage issue affecting farmers was more difficult to deal with than we originally planned. The county had originally addressed potential drainage issues in the contract with the wind farm developers. The agreement states that the developers will be responsible for damages to subsequent crops due to drainage issues. While developers met their obligations, the issue took longer to remedy than originally thought. In order to fix this issue for future projects, county commissioners are considering hiring an individual to oversee this portion of construction.

http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=3277




Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies Fall Conference Oct 20, 2011
Posted 9/13/2011 11:25:19 AM

The Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies at Illinois State University is sponsoring a conference entitled "Economic Impacts from Updating our Infrastructure" on Thursday, October 20, 2011, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Illinois.

The conference will focus on three issues concerning (1) updating our infrastructure for water utilities, the electricity grid, and natural gas pipelines; (2) legislative mandates and the impacts on markets; and (3) changing transmission regulation and the market distortions created.

Latest confirmed speakers/moderators include:

Hon. Doug Scott, Chairman, Illinois Commerce Commission
Hon. John Colgan, Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission
Kevin Wright, President, Illinois Competitive Energy Association
Michael Deane, Executive Director, National Associations of Water Companies
James R. Monk, President, Illinois Energy Association
Shiv Mani, Group Manager and Team Leader for Order #1000, FERC
J. T. Smith, Manager, Regulatory Studies, MISO Energy
David B. Grover, Manager, Regulatory Strategy, ITC Holdings Corp.
Robert Lieberman, Former ICC Commissioner, Lunch Speaker

Session 1 will discuss the implications from increased conservation efforts on demand and increased investment costs. Included is a dialogue on the options for updating our aging water infrastructure, building and maintaining distribution for competitive electricity generation, and updating the needs of natural gas distribution.

Session 2 will examine impacts from legislative mandates concerning the requirements of new synthetic natural gas power plants, RPS requirements, and the reliability concerns and impact on competition from such mandates.

Session 3 will assess the effects of changing transmission regulation on natural gas demand, pipelines, and infrastructure, as well as the impact on consumers and utilities.

Attorneys: The Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies is now an Accredited CLE Provider for the Illinois MCLE Board.

For more information and registration go to www.irps.ilstu.edu


DCEO SOLAR AND WIND REBATE PROGRAM - NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Posted 9/12/2011 4:27:33 PM

The Solar and Energy Rebate Program is now open and we are accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2012. The guidelines and application form are now available at our website at http://www.illinoisbiz.biz/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Energy/Clean+Energy/01-RERP.htm.

All applications must be complete and follow these new guidelines. Furthermore, all applications, without exception, must be submitted under this new form for Fiscal Year 2012. Any applications received under previous application form will be rejected.

There are a few changes to the program that I would like to make you aware of:

1. The biggest change to the program is that the per watt incentive limits for solar PV and wind energy projects have been decreased, as has the maximum rebate amount. Rebates will be limited to no more than $2.25/watt for solar photovoltaic systems and $2.00/watt for wind energy systems purchased by residential and business entities, and $3.75/watt for solar photovoltaic systems and $3.25/watt for wind energy systems purchased by public sector and non-profit entities. Otherwise, the rebate is still based on 30% of total cost for homeowners and businesses and 50% for governmental and non-profit entities, with a maximum rebate of $30,000.

2. Another provision (Section 2.3.3) encourages that the applicants submit a report by a certified wind site assessor for wind projects but does not require that it be submitted.

3. We request information on installers/developers related to whether they are a minority businesses in the application.

4. We also added Appendix B to provide a timeline of the rebate process and to provide a checklist of what to provide with application.

Applicants from FY 2011 who did not get considered for a rebate and are still interested in a solar or wind rebate this year, must reapply using the new form. All applicants will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.

If you have any questions with regards to the new guidelines and application form, please email or call me.

Regards,


Wayne Hartel
Energy Program Specialist, Illinois Energy Office
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
500 East Monroe
Springfield, IL 62701-1643
Phone: (217) 785-3420
Fax: (217) 558-2647
Wayne.Hartel@illinois.gov




Request for Proposal REMINDER - GGCC 2011 Sustainable Universities and Colleges Symposium
Posted 9/6/2011 10:19:38 AM

Governor Quinn's Green Government Coordinating Council, Illinois Green Economy Network, and Heartland Community College invites you and your organization to participate in the 2011 Sustainable Universities and Colleges Symposium-Oct. 28th, in Normal, IL.

This annual free symposium is an opportunity for college and university administrators, engineers, architects, professors, and student leaders to exchange ideas in the effort to enhance sustainability at Illinois institutions of higher learning and identify new programs to apply at your institution. The annual event also seeks to empower students to pursue green jobs and make an investment in the sustainability of our state and our planet. It is held each year under the Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council. Institutions with noteworthy accomplishments during the past year will be recognized.

Call for proposals:
We are seeking proposals for panelists for the Symposium. We are looking for speakers that can cover topics such as sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency, transportation, renewable energy, geothermal systems, conservation, environmental education and service learning, water and waste reduction, student engagement in greening the campus, applications of benchmarking and reporting tools like the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact, STARS, ACUPCC and more. Please see the attached Request for Proposals document for more information.

Deadline to submit proposals is:
September 20, 2011. Please submit proposals to Gabriel.Sulkes@Illinois.gov

Call for Sponsors and Exhibitors:
We are seeking sponsors and exhibitors for this year's symposium. We expect to have 300 or more attendees at this annual event. This is a great opportunity for affordable marketing. As always there are special rates for Non-Profits to exhibit.

More information on sponsorship and exhibiting can be found at: http://www.igencc.org/symposium

Registration:

Registration for this symposium is free and can be found at Green.Illinois.Gov
We are excited to offer another great opportunity to learn, network and build your community of peers. We look forward to seeing you in October!

Green Regards,
Gabe Sulkes
James H. Dunn Memorial Fellow
Policy-Sustainability and Energy
Office of the Governor
JRTC | 100 W. Randolph | Suite 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone 312.814.9799
Fax 312.814.5274



Central Illinois Green Expo, in East Peoria, IL – September 9th & 10th
Posted 8/31/2011 2:30:45 PM

Central Illinois Green Expo, in East Peoria, IL - September 9th & 10th
Pre-Expo Environmental Film Festival - September 8th

Complete information on www.cigreenexpo.org

GREEN EXPO HIGHLIGHTS LOCAL FOOD, AREA "GREEN TEAMS"
SEPT. 9 & 10 AT ICC EAST PEORIA CAMPUS

Local food and central Illinois "green teams" will take center stage at the 2011 Central Illinois Green Expo set for September 9 & 10 at Illinois Central College on the East Peoria Campus. Community members can learn more about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable living during the two-day expo which will feature exhibitor booths showcasing programs and products, presentations focusing on a variety of "green" topics, as well as children's activities, and a taste of locally grown food.

This year's Expo will kick-off with a conference series with three key presentations:

• One will feature the economic benefits of local food highlighting the recent study of 32 counties in central Illinois by nationally renowned economist, Ken Meter. Meter will discuss the opportunities in our communities to boost economic development, create and retain wealth, and provide greater access to fresh, affordable, locally-produced foods.

• A second presentation will introduce a three-year, community-based regional sustainability planning effort led by Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. This session will introduce the consortium members and will look to engage community members in the process that will address sustainable solutions to everything from transportation to the role of arts and culture.

• The final topic will be addressed by a panel of local municipal and corporate "green team" leaders who will share best practices and lessons learned in the greening of their cities and workplaces.

The Green Expo offers something for everyone with topics and products of interest for everyone from business owners, community leaders, builders and contractors to homeowners, educators, and students. The two-day event will offer more than 20 different presentations with topics ranging from lead-safe home renovation to guidelines for creating a vibrant, sustainable city center. A complete presentation schedule is available online at www.cigreenexpo.org.

Partners in the Central Illinois Green Expo include Illinois Central College, Peoria Park District, Lakeview Museum, Tri-County Construction Labor-Management Council, and the Sun Foundation.

The event will be held in the Courtyard area of the Academic Building on the ICC East Peoria Campus. Signs will direct attendees. The event will be held rain or shine, and admission to all events and parking are free. Workshops will be held inside, in conference rooms adjacent to the Courtyard.

For complete details, go online to www.cigreenexpo.org.

###

Environmental Film Festival is Sept. 8

The public is also invited to attend the pre-Expo Environmental Film Festival on September 8th from 12pm until 8pm at the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center on the East Peoria Campus.

Films screenings for these films are planned: The Greening of Southie, Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic, Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future, and Ingredients, a documentary on local food. Each film will be followed by a moderated discussion. Admission is free and open to the public.
12 noon - 1:30 pm The Greening of Southie (72 minutes)
Trailer available at: www.greeningofsouthie.com
2 - 3:30 pm Bat It: Is your life too plastic? (78 minutes)
Trailer available at: www.bagitmovie.com
4 - 5:45 pm Dirty Business: "Clean Coal" and the Battle for Our Energy Future (89 minutes)
Trailer available at: www.dirtybusinessthefilm.com
6 - 7:30 pm Ingredients (73 minutes)
Trailer available at: www.ingredientsfilm.com

MEDIA CONTACT:
Susan Grebner, Public Relations Coordinator - Illinois Central College
Phone (309) 694-5440



Illinois Solar Tour—October 1st, 10am-3pm
Posted 8/31/2011 2:29:03 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:
Lesley.mccain@illinoissolar.org
847-924-7359

Illinois residents will "Be Solar Inspired" by attending the
World's Largest Solar Energy Event on Saturday October 1st

Chicago IL, August 19, 2011 Be solar inspired! View renewable energy systems in action! The Illinois Solar Tour is a FREE self-guided, statewide event that demonstrates how Illinois homes and businesses are using solar, wind, geothermal, passive solar design, and energy efficiency to become energy independent.

Renewable energy system owners and installers will be providing tours on Saturday, October 1st from 10 am to 3 pm. Tour guides will answer questions on how you can harness the power of the sun and wind to fuel your home and business. Learn how you too can reduce your monthly utility bills, increase property values, and be part of the energy solution.

In the Chicagoland area, tour participants will have the opportunity to meet with homeowners who not only power their homes with renewable energy but also have installed electric vehicle charging stations to power their cars!

Area business owners will be interested to see how businesses have reduced their bottom line with renewable energy systems. View a car dealership that is powered by five wind turbines and a solar installation, a laundromat that pays nothing for its hot water and a farm that harvests the sun and wind along with its crops.

In Central Illinois the Kendall family, located in Eureka, explain their reason for installing their solar systems; "We like to be close to our sources of food and energy. Harvesting sunlight with our PV and hot water systems makes good sense to us, like growing our food in our gardens and harvesting firewood from our lands." Visit this homeowner and others who are enjoying the benefits and peace of mind of being energy independent

To register for this free event and download a guidebook visit www.illinoissolartour.org. Solar Tour guidebooks are also available in the September edition of Mindful Metropolis Magazine, available at 600 locations in Illinois including Whole Foods.

About the Illinois Solar Energy Association
Established in 1975 The Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the widespread application of renewable energy through education and advocacy. As the Illinois chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, ISEA is the local resource for educational classes, events, renewable energy related policy developments, local news and access to local renewable energy vendors. For more information about the Illinois Solar Tour, please visit www.illinoissolartour.org.

About the American Solar Energy Society
For more than 50 years the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has been leading the renewable energy revolution to advance the use of solar and renewable energy. ASES leads national efforts to promote solar energy education, public outreach, and advocacy. www.ases.org. The ASES National Solar Tour is the world's largest grassroots solar event. More than 160,000 participants will visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S. The event takes place annually during the first Saturday in October, in conjunction with National Energy Awareness Month.

The National Solar Tour is expected to run in all 50 states this year. A complete list of scheduled events may be found at www.NationalSolarTour.org.

For more information contact: Lesley McCain @Lesley.mccain@illinoissolar.org 847-924-7359





USDA green energy grants announced
Posted 8/19/2011 11:45:25 AM

Press release submitted by Joan Messina, USDA.

USDA awards grantsfor renewable energy and energy efficiency projects

24 Illinois Projects Funded

ATKINSON, Ill., August 17, 2011 - Twenty-four Illinois agricultural producers, rural small businesses and an electric cooperative were selected for grants to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations. The recipients will receive a total of $346,574 and were among 900 recipients selected nationwide.

Secretary Vilsack made the announcement in Atkinson, Ill., as part of President Obama's rural economic bus tour in the Midwest. The tour highlighted efforts underway to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil, increase the economic competitiveness of rural America and promote job creation.

Colleen Callahan, state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois, was in Atkinson when Vilsack made the announcement. "This investment can have a considerable impact on the environment and profitability for agriculture and small business," Callahan said. "The energy efficiency improvements and use of renewable energy systems will save these recipients thousands of dollars in energy costs each year by substantially cutting their energy consumption."

The grants are being provided through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a 2008 Farm Bill initiative. Nineteen of the Illinois REAP recipients will use the funding to improve their grain dryer system or otherwise reduce energy consumption in their grain operation. The other recipients will use a variety of other green energy options.

A family farm in Scales Mound, Ill. will use an $18,439 grant to install photovoltaic panels that will generate solar electricity for a dairy barn. The farm operates 234 certified organic acres in the rolling hills of Northwestern Illinois to raise corn, oats, hay and 45 milking cows. The solar system will power the lighting in the barn during milking, the vacuum pump, the milk cooler, and the fans. The system will offset about 49 percent of their annual farm energy consumption.

Kraft Fertilizer, Inc. in Princeville, Ill., will use its $13,250 grant to install a geothermal system in new warehouse. The new building is replacing a similarly sized warehouse that is currently heated by a propane furnace. The geothermal system will circulate a water-based solution through a buried loop system that takes advantage of the constant 55 degree ground temperature. The new system will use only about nine percent of the BTUs used by the current system.

Pals Electric, Inc. will use its $16,304 grant to install a 10kW wind turbine at its headquarters in Teutopolis, Ill. The small electrical contracting company will use the electricity produced by the turbine to power the lighting, office machinery, small power tools, and heating and air conditioning in their office, electrical shop and warehouse. The wind-generated electricity will replace about 67 percent of the company's current energy usage.

KBNT, Inc. received an $11,191 grant to install two new blender pumps. The new pumps will replace its existing E 85 pumps at its Hometown Express stations in Geneseo and Galva. When installed, the pumps will dispense both E30 and E85. Consumers will be able to choose which blend of ethanol and gasoline they want to put in their flex-fuel cars. E30, with 30 percent ethanol, has been found to be more fuel efficient than E85.

M.J.M Electric Cooperative, providing service in Macoupin, Montgomery and Jersey counties, was selected for a $12,327 grant to make energy efficiency improvements in its Carlinville headquarters. The cooperative will replace its 18 year old heat pumps, halogen bulbs and single pane windows with new high efficiency heat pumps, fluorescent bulbs and energy efficient double pane windows. Energy savings will be about 46 percent.

Funding of each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the conditions of the grant agreement. Grants can finance up to 25 percent of a project's cost, not to exceed $500,000 for renewables, $250,000 for efficiency. For a complete listing of Rural Energy for America Program grant recipients announced today, please click here.

Wednesday's announcement is an example of investments the Obama Administration is making to help create jobs and grow the rural economy. In June, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in our rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).











Wind Power has the Ability to Maintain Rural Communities
Posted 8/19/2011 11:07:07 AM


Date: 8/12/2011
Source: Stacia Cudd, National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.

Audio with Eric Lantz, NREL energy analyst (MP3 3.0 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:03:13

As the economy has suffered and unemployment has stayed high, there's been a lot of talk about green jobs and the green economy. Some critics claim the green economy isn't real—or is at least oversold. But for National Renewable Energy Laboratory energy analyst Eric Lantz, it's all about the opportunity for jobs—and particularly where those jobs are created.

Wind energy development, according to Lantz, has the power to maintain communities in rural areas of the country. Areas that have been under-invested in for years and are losing families and youth, he says, have the biggest opportunity to see job creation and increased income. He says the primary direct income contribution is through annual land lease payments that often go to the nation's farmers.

"A lot of times we see payments that are on the order of four to six-thousand dollars per megawatt. And each turbine may be one-and-a-half to three megawatts. It can add up to a relatively substantial amount. In addition, wind projects make relatively sizable property tax payments to the local government. Often times property tax payments are on the order of seven-thousand dollars per megawatt, so again, those property tax payments can add up rather quickly."

Lantz says that has a ripple effect—providing for additional economic activity at multiple layers. He notes local purchases and manufacturing provides for tremendous indirect economic development activity in the state or local community. And because of transportation costs, Lantz says manufacturers want to locate in areas of demand—those with a great wind resource, which are typically in rural America.

"We've seen a number of OEM equipment manufacturers locate kind of throughout the wind corridor, the central Plains of the U.S. And that includes Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and then Iowa. In addition, some of the lower-tier manufacturers, those people who make bearings, gear boxes and other components, they provide a significant new opportunity for manufacturers in the Midwest."

That's one reason Lantz says it's beneficial to build wind energy projects as opposed to other conventional sources of electricity generation. He says new manufacturing in the U.S. boosts the economic development potential from wind power.

"Most recent estimates estimate that domestic content in the wind energy is about 60 percent. And what that means is that from an economic development perspective, we can provide a very large amount of our labor and our equipment for wind energy projects in the U.S. That obviously benefits the local communities where projects are sited, as well as the rest of the supply chain. And that's not something that's true of all types of power generation."

That doesn't mean Lantz believes the use of local goods should be required. He says the way to maximize the economic development potential of wind energy is providing incentives or training programs that can attract manufacturers to an area. He says making the environment more competitive is the best way to increase the local share of goods and services that go into projects.

This information was last updated on 8/12/2011.

http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=3246





Suzlon Set To Open New Wind Power Training Center In Illinois
Posted 8/12/2011 8:55:55 AM

by Mark Del Franco on Thursday 11 August 2011
North American Windpower


Suzlon, the fifth-largest turbine manufacturer in the world, says it will begin training and safety classes in mid-September, with a grand opening for its new training center set for October.

The training center is part of Suzlon's 64,000 square-foot Elgin, Ill.-based central distribution center, which opened in October 2010, according to the company.

According to Andy Cukurs, the company's North American CEO, the training facility features a powered nacelle atop of a seven-foot tower, which he maintains will help technicians simulate experiences in the field.

"Suzlon's training facility will not only feature classroom and bench test training, but also be equipped with a fully operational nacelle installed on a seven-foot tower section with three truncated blades," he says. "All levels of certification and nearly every aspect of low- and high-voltage electrical, technical and safety training can occur under one roof."

The 8,000 square-foot wind turbine training center will be co-located in another section of the building and replace Suzlon's former Pipestone, Minn.-based training facility.

Other features of the new facility include a 4,000 square-foot lab, a powered independent hub and pitch system, and a working-at-height training area. The wind turbine training facility will also feature a full-length Suzlon blade just outside the building.

Meanwhile, the central distribution side of the facility, located near Suzlon's North American headquarters in Chicago, has reduced the original equipment manufacturer's transportation costs while providing shorter transit times for turbines and related equipment.

According to Cukurs, Suzlon has already saved $1 million by employing a "milk run" model that includes shipping on regularly scheduled dates using preplanned outbound and returning freight lines.

###


Survey shows county wind farm zoning continues to change
Posted 8/9/2011 4:02:32 PM

By Kay Shipman, FarmWeek

Illinois counties continue to change zoning ordinances to allow for large-scale wind farms as the state's wind energy industry evolves, according to Jolene Willis, wind energy program assistant with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA).

"It's pretty fluid within the time period when (wind zoning) ordinances started. It's been a learning curve for the state and the counties," Willis told FarmWeek. She discussed a 2011 survey of county wind zoning for large-scale projects at a recent state wind energy meeting in Chicago.

New trends emerged in the third wind zoning survey of large-scale wind development, according to Willis. Previous surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2009. The Illinois Clean Energy Foundation funded the 2011 survey.

One change was turbine setback requirements. Fifteen county governments now require one setback distance for landowners who don't have turbines on their property and a different setback for landowners with turbines, Willis said.

For large-scale projects, the most common setback distance from property lines is 1.1 times the turbine height.

Other zoning changes have happened in decommissioning requirements for turbines in large-scale wind farms. The requirements have become more detailed and specify the types of financial assurances, appraisal costs, timing, and procedures of decommissioning, she said.

County ordinances "are keeping up with technology as it keeps changing," Willis said.

As of July 2011, 45 counties regulate large-scale wind projects as part of their zoning codes and six counties have stand-alone zoning ordinances for large-scale wind projects. Eleven counties have zoning ordinances that don't regulate large-scale wind development; the remaining counties don't have zoning.

However, some counties have zoning ordinances specifically for small-scale wind projects, Willis added.

The full survey with county-by-county information soon will be available online at (www.illinoiswind.org).

###

Note: The Zoning Surveys are now available here: http://www.illinoiswind.org/resources/zoning.asp




Illinois Wind Working Group Annual Conference Materials Now Available
Posted 8/4/2011 4:05:51 PM

Illinois Wind Working Group Annual Conference - Advancing Wind Power in Illinois
July 21-22, Hermann Hall, Main Campus, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL


Thank you once again for attending the IWWG Annual Conference in Chicago. Many of the speaker presentation handouts are now available as PDF files on the conference website. (Click on the red links in the agenda to view the presentations.)

http://renewableenergy.illinoisstate.edu/wind/conferences/AnnualConference2011.shtml


Also, if you get MediaCom Channel 22 (in some Western Illinois areas it is Channel 78), they are airing the plenary sessions from Thursday, July 21st on the following dates:
• Thursday, August 4th - 10:30 PM
• Saturday, August 6th - 8:00 PM
• Sunday, August 7th - 10:00 PM
• More dates to be added next week



Heartland Community College To Install Wind Turbine On Its Campus
Posted 7/29/2011 9:19:45 AM

in News Departments > Projects & Contracts
by North American Windpower Staff on Wednesday 27 July 2011


The Heartland Community College (HCC) board of trustees has voted to purchase and install a wind turbine on the college's campus in Normal, Ill.

Over the past three years, HCC has conducted a site-specific evaluation to determine the geographic and economic feasibility of installing a wind turbine on campus.

HCC has received two major grants to support the installation: $950,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and a $500,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

The combined grants will partially subsidize the purchase and installation of the 1.6 MW wind turbine, which could provide approximately half of the 256-acre campus' current electrical needs, according to HCC.

In addition to the energy savings, the wind turbine will act as a hands-on laboratory for students pursuing degrees or certificates in HCC's renewable and alternative energy curriculum.

HCC's renewable energy program began in fall 2010, and its first graduates are anticipated to graduate from the program in 2012.


CCEA Seeking energy projects >150KW to purchase
Posted 7/26/2011 3:19:01 PM

Bryan Villano. President of the Chicago Clean Energy Alliance is assisting a renewable energy developer that is the operating arm of a private equity company. They are currently seeking up to 500MW of renewable or traditional projects to own and operate, and will consider generation sites greater than 150KW. Primary states for consideration are NJ, PA, OH, MA, IN, IL, interconnected projects in CA, and FIT projects in ON. He would also be happy to learn about international projects as well. Late stage projects are preferred, however no PPA is required. All energy generation projects including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and traditional energy sources will be considered. If you're interested in learning more please contact Bryan@TheCCEA.org to setup an appointment.

www.theccea.org




Illinois’ Clean Energy Supply Chain: New Study Shows Jobs and Business Growing
Posted 7/26/2011 8:37:29 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Peter Gray 312-795-3715

July 13, 2011



Illinois' Clean Energy Supply Chain: New Study Shows Jobs and Business Growing



Chicago - The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) has released a new study of the clean energy supply chain in Illinois. The study finds that over 300 Illinois companies are working in the wind, solar or geothermal energy industries and employing over 18,000 people in the state. From old-line steel fabricators to high-tech start-ups, renewable energy is powering job growth and launching Illinois to the forefront of the green economy.



"Clean energy is putting power on the grid and paychecks in people's pockets here in Illinois." said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "The recent rapid growth in clean energy businesses and jobs shows the industry's huge potential. With the right policies in place, clean energy is becoming a major economic engine for Illinois."



The report highlights the more than 300 companies that compose the wind, solar and geothermal supply chains, including the 13 corporate headquarters of major wind power companies located in Chicago, start-ups developing new solar technology and 89 businesses working in geothermal heating and cooling. These corporate headquarters attract more engineering, finance and legal professionals to the state as well.



Expanding on ELPC's 2010 report on the wind energy supply chain in Illinois, the new report identifies more companies entering the wind business and creates a picture of the state's growing solar and geothermal industries.



The report notes that strong regulatory and tax policies are crucial to growing any industry, and wind, solar and geothermal energy industries are no exception. In addition to existing policies, a federal renewable electricity standard would drive more demand for clean energy options, and ensure the continued growth of Illinois' wind, solar and geothermal industries.



To download a copy of the report, visit www.elpc.org/ilenergy





###


Siting and Financing Renewable Energy Projects on Contaminated Properties: New Market Opportunities
Posted 7/12/2011 8:25:58 AM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Region 5, Chicago, Illinois,will host a renewable energy financing workshop to provide information on how lending and investing in renewable energy projects on contaminated sites can be done profitably while minimizing liability risk.

FEATURED TOPICS INCLUDE:
• Benefits and opportunities to using contaminated properties for renewable energy facilities - where it's been done, and how
• Addressing barriers to using contaminated properties for renewable energy facilities - what can make these sites work?
• Show me the money! Public-private resources available to support renewable energy projects on contaminated sites
• Let's talk…What can EPA and communities do to make these sites attractive? What do lenders, investors, and developers need?

This is a workshop you don't want to miss! Seating is limited. To RSVP email RE_financingworkshop@sra.com


Renewable Energy Fair, Edwardsville, IL July 24th
Posted 7/11/2011 2:25:30 PM

Renewable Energy Fair
Nearly 90 percent of our electricity still comes from polluting sources of energy like coal and nuclear power. We can face these challenges by taking steps today towards a brighter energy future!

Re-energizing America: Choices For Our Future
Sunday, July 24, 2011
11am-3pm
Watershed Nature Center, Edwardsville, IL

Highlights
• Sustainable Energy Booths: A highlight of the Fair will be exhibitors featuring
their products and services throughout, including: energy-efficient homebuilders
and auditors, technology experts, and energy tips for your home or small business.
• Hands On Youth Energy Booths: Learn while having fun - ride the energy bike,
make a solar hot dog cooker, check out a solar flare through special telescopes, reenergize
the soil with compost, and more!

Workshops:
• 12 pm - Algae Biofuels of the Future
• 1 pm - Energy Audits and DIY Energy Efficiency Workshop
• 2 pm - Reliable and Affordable Solar Technologies

FREE and FAMILY FRIENDLY!!!!
http://illinois.sierraclub.org/piasapalisades




Illinois Wind Working Group’s Fifth Annual Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference 2011
Posted 7/11/2011 10:15:48 AM

Illinois Wind Working Group's Fifth Annual
Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference 2011

Thursday, July 21st - Friday, July 22nd
At the Illinois Institute of Technology, Main Campus, Hermann Hall, 3241 S. Federal Street, Chicago, IL 60616

The two-day conference will cover topics on wind energy including large wind farms, small wind, and community wind.
Visit the conference website
for a detailed conference agenda and speaker information.

-------------------------

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will speak on Thursday, July 21st

Wind Energy Executives Panel: Where Is Wind Energy Headed in 2012 and Beyond
Andy Cukurs, Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation
Daniel Foley, Acciona Energy
Jim Murphy, Invenergy

Hot Topics Panel on Friday, July 22nd:
Indiana Bat & Eagles
Advanced Drive Train Concepts for Offshore Wind Turbines
System-Wide Emissions Implications of Increased Wind Penetration
Renewable Energy Procurement Event

Plus many more plenary sessions, breakout seminars,
breakout panel sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibitors.

-----------------------
Who Should Attend?
Landowners interested in wind turbines or leasing their land, county board members, zoning board administrators, elected officials, policy makers, wind development companies, environmental groups, economic development officials, contractors, manufacturers, universities, and schools interested in wind energy should attend. The conference is open to the public.

To register visit www.RenewableEnergy.ilstu.edu and select "Conferences" for more information.


US DOE Free Webinar: Myths and Benefits of Wind Energy July 20th
Posted 7/7/2011 10:47:36 AM


WPA Webinar: Myths and Benefits of Wind Energy
Date: 7/20/2011
Contact: Susan Hinnen, NREL
Phone: 303-384-6962

1:00 p.m. MDT (3:00 p.m. EDT)
This free webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America 2011 webinar series. Following from Wind Powering America's recent regional meetings across the country, the NEWEEP Social Acceptance Issues in New England conference and workshop, and the release of the Wind Energy Benefits fact sheet, three speakers will discuss common myths and benefits of wind energy. The webinar is free; no registration is required. Login information is below.
Audio Access

Toll-free #: 888-469-1747

Toll #: 1-212-287-1669

Participant passcode: 2914708
Web Access

URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW7852181&p=2914708&t=c

If you have trouble with the above link, try going to this website and enter the info separately.

URL: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/

Conference number: PW7852181

Audience passcode: 2914708
Save the date for future webinars

August 17: Jobs and Economic Development Impacts
September 21: Offshore Wind Development and Industry Update
October 19: Wind and Wildlife Interactions

This information was last updated on 5/19/2011


School Wind Turbine Installations Map Updated
Posted 7/7/2011 10:45:08 AM

The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America team updated the interactive map of school wind projects on the WPA website found here: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/schools/projects.asp

The map currently features approximately 250 school projects. Know of a project not included on the map? Please send information to Julie Jones at julie.jones@nrel.gov.



Illinois Electric Cooperatives To Purchase 40 Megawatts of Wind Power
Posted 6/28/2011 8:54:29 AM

Friday, June 24, 2011

Illinois Electric Cooperatives To Purchase 40 Megawatts of Wind Power

PAXTON - Today, three generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives, serving 21
Illinois electric cooperatives and their 540,000 members, announced that they will be
purchasing 40 megawatts of wind energy from the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm.
The wind farm is being developed east of Paxton, Ill. The three member-owned G&Ts,
Prairie Power, Inc., Southern Illinois Power Cooperative and Wabash Valley Power
Association are entering into an 18-year power purchase agreement with Pioneer Trail
Wind Farm, LLC, an affiliate of E.ON Climate & Renewables North America
(EC&RNA). The agreement was coordinated through the National Renewables
Cooperative Organization, which was formed to promote and facilitate the development
of economically viable renewable energy resources for its member cooperatives across
the United States.
Duane Noland, president/CEO of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, said
the purchase agreement illustrates the ongoing effort of Illinois electric co-ops to provide
affordable and reliable energy to electric co-op members, and support innovative energy
efficiency and clean renewable energy projects such as the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm.
Noland said the agreement also helps the 21 electric distribution co-ops across the state
that receive wholesale power from the three G&Ts by keeping rates affordable and
diversifying the power supply. "Cooperatives also live by a principle of commitment to
community and we know that this project will produce not only affordable energy, but
also jobs and new revenue for the area."
"Our Pioneer Trail Wind Farm is expected to provide clean power to approximately
45,000 households in the central Illinois region using North American made turbines,
blades and towers," said Steve Trenholm, CEO, EC&RNA. "Locally, this project
projects to spend more than $29 million dollars in local taxes, paying $8 million in local
salaries and more than $50 million to landowners. We expect to employ about 200 people
during construction and also expect to establish 8 to 10 permanent positions for the life
of the wind farm."
David Champion, Jr., president/CEO of Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative headquartered
in Paxton, said that this purchase agreement demonstrates that the Illinois electric co-ops
are not only working to keep bills affordable through innovative energy efficiency
programs, but also looking for affordable power supply options. Champion said, "Our
power supplier, Prairie Power Inc, has been searching for commercially available,
viable, renewable projects as a potential resource for some time. They had found that
most of the alternatives were priced higher than our current and projected cost of power.
By remaining diligent in the search, they found a project that is both good for the
environment and cost effective for our members. Our participation in this project is
made possible by the competitive pricing in this new contract."
Jay Bartlett, president/CEO of Prairie Power, said the state's cooperatives have taken a
conservative but long term approach to renewable energy. He said, "The cooperatives
are purchasing both the energy and renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by this
project over a long period of time. This provides renewable energy system developers like
E.ON with a steady source of revenue to finance the construction of additional renewable
energy projects in Illinois. We believe this is very good for our co-op members, the
environment, and wind energy development in Illinois. We are looking for cost effective
projects, like the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm, that ensure positive long term environmental
and economic benefits, and assist us in maintaining affordable and stable rates."
Scott Ramsey, president/CEO of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, said the G&T was
one of the founding members of the National Renewables Cooperative Organization and
has been looking for several years for the right partner and the right renewable energy
contract. "E.ON is a solid and reputable company that has global wind energy
development and operational experience. They were in a position to offer us a
competitively priced renewable energy contract. After doing the necessary due diligence
we determined that now is the time and this is the contract that we have been looking
for."
###
About the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives
Based in Springfield, the AIEC provides legal, engineering, communications,
safety training, legislative and other services to 25 electric distribution cooperatives and
four generation and transmission cooperatives. AIEC member cooperatives serve more
than 279,334 farms, homes and businesses in 90 counties, with 55,592 miles of line.
Contact: Duane Noland, 217-529-5561, dnoland@aiec.coop. www.aiec.coop
About Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative
Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative is a member-owned rural electric cooperative
based in Paxton, Ill. that supplies electricity to approximately 13,731 meters over 4,522
miles of line in parts of Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLain,
Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion Counties. Eastern Illini Electric is a member of Touchstone
Energy — an alliance of more than 720 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around
the country.
Contact: Mike Wilson, 217-379-2131, mikew@eiec.coop. www.eiec.coop
About Prairie Power, Inc.
Prairie Power, Inc. (PPI) is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric generation
and transmission cooperative, which produces and supplies wholesale electricity to 10
electric distribution cooperatives in central Illinois. PPI's distribution cooperatives
provide retail electric service to approximately 78,000 homes, farms, businesses and
industries within their local service territories.
Contact Jay Bartlett, 217-245-6161, jbartlett@ppi.coop. www.ppi.coop
About Southern Illinois Power Cooperative
Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) is a member-owned, not-for-profit
electric generation and transmission cooperative serving seven distribution cooperatives
and two municipals in southern Illinois. SIPC's distribution cooperatives provide retail
electric service to approximately 82,000 homes, farms, businesses and industries in 29
counties.
Contact: Scott Ramsey, 618-964-1448, sramsey@sipower.org, www.sipower.org
About Wabash Valley Power Association
Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA) is a generation and transmission
(G&T) cooperative based in Indianapolis. The G&T provides wholesale electricity to 28
distribution systems in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Collectively, these
distribution cooperatives supply electricity to more than 380,000 homes, farms,
businesses and industries.
Contact: Sabrina Kapp, 317-481-2800, sabrinak@wvpa.com, www.wvpa.com
About the National Renewables Cooperative Organization
Cooperatives across the country formed the National Renewables Cooperative
Organization (NRCO) to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy
resources for its members. NRCO's main purposes are to facilitate the cost-effective,
joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners.
Contact: Katie Shults, 317-344-7906, katie.shults@nrco.coop, www.nrco.coop.
About EC&R
E.ON Climate & Renewables (EC&R) is responsible for the E.ON group's
renewable energy and environmental protection activities around the world. Tapping
renewable energy sources offers enormous alternatives, both from a business perspective
and for the environment. E.ON Climate & Renewables will be investing €4 billion in
renewable energy and environmental protection projects from 2010 - 2013 to expand the
share of renewable energy in E.ON's portfolio for the long term. E.ON has thus taken a
leading role in developing renewable energy sources worldwide.
E.ON Climate & Renewables North America is one of EC&R's six regional
business units and is headquartered in Chicago, Ill. E.ON AG is one of the world's largest
energy companies and the largest investor owned utility in the world. For more
information, please visit www.eon.com/renewables.
Contact: Matt Tulis, 512-482-4026, www.eoncrna.com.


DCEO Announces Public Sector Aggregation Program RFA
Posted 6/27/2011 1:02:11 PM

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is accepting applications until July 11 for its Public Sector Energy Efficiency Aggregation Program. This initiative allows successful applicants ("Aggregators") to combine energy efficiency projects within a designated market sector, simplifying the overall application process for public sector entities and capturing projects that might not otherwise be submitted.

Market sectors targeted by this program include:
• Units of Local Government
• Public Community College Districts
• K through 12 Public School Districts
In order to be considered for an award under this solicitation, applicants must be a not-for-profit, state or local government agency or unit of local government with a strong affiliation to the market sector proposed.

Detailed applications must be submitted to the State Energy Office by 4:30pm on July 11, 2011.

For more information and application materials, visit: http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Energy/Energy+Efficiency/#PSEE




Introduction to Wind Systems at Heartland Community College
Posted 6/21/2011 9:41:30 AM

Date: July 14, 2011, Thursday from 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Location: Lincoln HCC Center, Room 110,620 Broadway St, Lincoln, IL 62656
Are you interested in a residential-size wind system for your home or business? This course provides information about what wind energy is, how it works and what it can do for you. Learn the basics of wind energy such as wind resources, basic system components, system types, turbine types, applications and tower types. This course is a prerequisite for all other MREA wind courses.
For more information visit: https://communityedregistration.heartland.edu/CommEdWebReg/description.jsp?term=0201&group=Community%20Education%20Program&subject=GRNINST&classNumber=4997



USDA Rural Energy Assistance Program – Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance
Posted 6/21/2011 9:41:03 AM

USDA Rural Energy Assistance Program - Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance
Application Due: June 30, 2011
Eligible Applications: Units of state, tribal, or local government and their instrumentalities; institutions of higher education; rural electric cooperatives; or a public power entity
The Rural Energy Assistance Program Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance grant program is designed to assist farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses; the program provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.
For more info, go to: http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=92633. Refer to Sol# RDBCP-11-REAP-ENERGYAUDIT.



Community Wind Webinar on June 15 at 2:00 PM
Posted 6/8/2011 5:31:32 PM

Sponsored by US DOE, this webinar will discuss community wind projects. This free webinar is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America 2011 webinar series. It will provide an overview of community wind, including project case studies, equipment and project sizing and selection, how to select a development team, and funding. The webinar is free; no registration is required.

http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=3077

Source: Sustainable Cities News & Updates, Office of Gov. Pat Quinn


Testa Produce Installs Chicago’s First Freestanding Wind Energy Turbine
Posted 5/19/2011 3:15:30 PM


Testa Produce Installs Chicago's First Freestanding Wind Energy Turbine
by Testa Produce

Posted: 2011-05-13 11:59:44 EST

CHICAGO - Testa Produce, Inc., Chicago's premier independent wholesale produce distributor, today took another step toward its goal of gaining U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® Platinum certification with the installation of an on-site 750-kilowatt wind turbine. The first of its kind in Chicago, the freestanding turbine stands 238 feet tall near the entrance to Testa's new state-of-the-art distribution center in the Chicago Stockyards Industrial Park, quietly harnessing some of the city's famous wind and transforming it into clean energy.

The turbine, manufactured by Massachusetts-based Aeronautica Windpower, is expected to supply 950,000 to 1 million kilowatt hours per year of zero-emissions energy. That's enough energy to supply roughly 35 percent to 40 percent of the 91,000-square-foot facility's needs. Testa expects a seven- to eight-year return on its investment in the turbine.

"Using wind power is a cornerstone of our commitment to maximizing the sustainability of our operations and to setting a new, significantly higher standard for green operations in our industry," says Peter Testa, President and CEO of Testa Produce. "We're proud to have selected a U.S.-built turbine and to be the first company in the city of Chicago to be generating its own wind power with its own freestanding turbine."

The wind turbine is just one of many advanced sustainability features, including a vegetated roof, solar panels and an extensive rainwater reclamation system, at the new Testa Produce distribution center. The facility was designed by Epstein architects. Summit Design + Build served as the construction manager and WBS Equities served as owner's project consultant. Construction and permanent financing was provided by MB Bank. All are local Chicago-based concerns.

Celebrating its grand opening on May 10, 2011, Testa's facility is on track to be the first foodservice distribution center in the nation to earn LEED® Platinum certification by the USGBC, the highest rating available.

For more information and to see photos of Testa's groundbreaking new building and wind turbine, visit www.testaproduce.com or Testa's Facebook page, where many pictures of the construction are posted.

Testa Produce: Founded in 1912, Testa Produce, Inc. is Chicago's premier independent produce distributor. In addition to a broad line of domestic, local, organic, sustainable and imported fresh produce items, the company delivers frozen, canned, and specialty foods to fine restaurants, hotels and institutions in throughout Illinois and much of Wisconsin. Testa is a member of PRO*ACT, the foodservice industry's largest produce buying and marketing organization, and Legacy Foodservice Alliance.

Source: Testa Produce



Green Institute at Heartland Community College Offers Renewable Energy Training Opportunities
Posted 5/17/2011 8:53:11 AM

Normal, IL - May 16, 2011

The Green Institute at Heartland Community College is offering a series of solar and wind energy training courses. All courses are designed for those with minimal experience in the renewable energy field.

On June 2, 2011, Basic Photovoltaics is being offered at Heartland Community College's Normal campus from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. In this workshop, attendees will learn the basics of photovoltaic (PV) systems including how to describe and identify PV system components and mounting options, define the solar window, calculate load estimates and utilize basic site assessment tools. The cost is $140.

Wind Site Assessment is being offered from June 6 - June 9, 2011 at Heartland Community College's Normal campus from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. This course is recommended for those interested in a career in the wind industry (< 100 kW) and will provide trainings on evaluating a site's potential and how to perform a basic wind site assessment. The cost is $480 for MREA members or $500 for nonmembers.

On July 17, 2011 at Heartland Community College's Lincoln Campus, Intro to Wind Systems will be held from 8:30 Am to 5:00 PM. This course provides information about wind energy basics including system components, system types, turbine types, applications and tower types. The cost is $140.

The final renewable energy training course offered in the summer is Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems, which is planned for August 4, 2011 at Heartland Community College's Pontiac Campus from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. This course provides an overview of a variety of solar water system types that heat water for showers, sinks and clothes washers. The cost is $140.

Register online at http://www.heartland.edu/communityEd/ or call 309-268-8160.

For more information about the trainings contact:
Rebecca Rossi
rebecca.rossi@heartland.edu
309-268-8402

###



Sustainable Cities News & Updates May 16, 2011
Posted 5/17/2011 8:45:01 AM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
May 16, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.

If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit- May 17th
2) Exploring School Gardens-May 19th
3) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites-May 20th
4) GR 2011: Celebrating Sustainability Awards- May 21st
5) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration-May 21st
6) Climate Cycle's 3rd Annual Ride to Recharge- May 22nd
7) Green Festival Challenge Kick-Off Event -May 23rd
8) Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors: Scoring Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager-May 25th
9) DOC Green Economies- May 26th
10) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards- May 27th
11) Call for presenters at The Chicago Center for Green Technology- May 31st
12) Chicago Botanic Garden Celebrates World Environment Day- June 4th
13) Chicago Sky Go Green Night- June 25th
14) Free Energy Code Training for Illinois
15) Summer Opportunities at Moraine Valley Community College
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1) Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 1-5 pm
Location: Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams, Chicago, IL - 5th floor
This year's summit is aimed at providing a variety of stakeholders with practical information on navigating employer-recognized credentials in the labor market, regional green jobs growth projections for the immediate future, and innovative workforce development strategies among employment programs and educational partnerships. This information is critical to creating opportunities for disadvantaged workers in the stabilizing economy.
Registration is $50 for CGCJI Partners, $75 for all others. Registration includes access to summit workshops and a networking reception in the gorgeous 10th floor event room at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The reception will immediately follow the workshops. All payments are transferable, but strictly non-refundable. For more information please visit: http://greencollarchicago.org/?page_id=530.
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2) Exploring School Gardens
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 4-8 pm
Location: Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL
This workshop will take teachers out of the classroom and into Chicago's largest school garden with veteran garden educator, Pete Leki. Teachers will learn how to plan and a school garden, get families and community members involved, and utilize the garden as an outdoor classroom. Participants in this workshop will also have the opportunity to get their hands dirty working in the soil while singing garden songs! Light dinner is included. For more information email Lindsey Arenberg at Lindsey@sevengenerationsahead.org.
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3) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites
Application Due: May 20, 2011
Eligible Applications: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, regional governments, and communities
Through its RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites initiative, EPA is soliciting applications from states, tribes, regional governments, and communities that want to evaluate the potential development of renewable energy on potentially or formerly contaminated properties. This evaluation will be in the form of a feasibility study conducted by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory that will determine the best renewable energy technology for the site, the optimal location for placement of the renewable energy technology, potential energy generating capacity, the return on the investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects. The purpose of the technical assistance is to reuse sites, improve communities, create jobs, develop partnerships, decrease the use of greenspace for siting renewable energy, and increase the amount of renewable energy generated. Proposals are due to EPA Friday May 20 and may be submitted to matthews.lura@epa.gov. More information on the RE-Powering initiative and the request for applications can be found at http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/.
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4) GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Location: Joliet Public Library - Black Road Branch and the Forest Preserve's Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access, located on Black Road between I-55 and Essington Road in Joliet.
"GR2011" is designed to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services, and technologies. All ages are welcome, and all activities are being offered free of charge. Food will be available for purchase. The festival will feature recycled artwork, a rock wall, live music, how-to workshops, yoga classes, and other fun, Earth-friendly activities for the whole family. Kids' activities will include bird hikes and fishing pole casting demonstrations. Also on hand will be eco-friendly exhibits - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to energy-efficient home and green building products. Festival goers are encouraged to bring books and old electronics for a recycling drive held on-site.
For more information visit, http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/gr2011.asp.
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5) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration
Date: Saturday, May 21, 11a.m. to 4p.m.
The Village of Homer Glen will celebrate Earth Day/Arbor Day on Saturday, May 21 from
11a.m. to 4p.m. at the historic Konow Farm located at 16849 S. Cedar Road in Homer Glen.
This unique event will be a day of education, celebration and action for the world in which
we live. Exhibits feature antique cars, green solutions, examples of efficient use of energy
and ideas for conserving and protecting our natural resources. Participants will showcase
activities which connect children with nature and those that use natural products. Programs
include Jim Nesci's Cold Blooded Creatures and the Big Run Wolf Ranch. In the spirit of Earth
Day/Arbor Day, and through the generosity of its sponsors, entrance to this event is free for
the whole family! For more information, please visit www.homerglen.org or e-mail
eartharborday@homerglen.org.
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6) Climate Cycle's 3rd Annual Ride to Recharge
Date: May 22, 2011
Climate Cycle's 3rd annual Ride to Recharge will pedal along the Chicago lakefront. Bikers of all skill levels and walks of life come together to help our schools go green.
In our first two rides, a combined 900 Climate Cyclists raised $175,000. Thanks to their efforts, Climate Cycle has awarded 10 schools with solar panel installations and seeded 15 additional environmental school projects to date.
We've set a goal of more than 1,000 riders raising $250,000 in this year's Ride to Recharge. Will you join us?
Online registration closes at noon on Friday, May 20th. After May 20th, you can register at the event site, but the registration fee increases from $30 to $45. Go HERE to register for the ride. Visit http://www.climatecycle.org/ for more information.
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7) Green Festival Challenge Kick-Off Event
Date: May 23, 2011
Location: The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
My Gen, Inc. would like to invite you to the 1st Annual Green Festival Challenge Kick-Off Event.
The event will feature a special screening of the Carbon Nation movie. Carbon Nation is a documentary about amazing people doing extraordinary things to transform our economy to Clean Energy and combat Climate Change. Six schools and six festivals will compete with one another this summer to see who can best apply what they learn in the classroom about the environment to the "greening" of their neighborhood festival.
For more information please visit: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=fm6upyeab&oeidk=a07e3lk1o5052571608.
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8) Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors: Scoring Energy Performance with EPA's Portfolio Manager
Date: May 25, 2-3:30 PM (EDT)
Sponsored by ENERGY STAR, this webinar is meant for energy efficiency program sponsors—regulated utilities; publicly owned utilities; energy delivery companies; national, regional, state, or local government entities; or organizations that administer energy efficiency programs promoting ENERGY STAR—interested in using EPA's Portfolio Manager. The training provides a high-level, introductory overview of Portfolio Manager enabling program sponsors to assist customers in using the tool. The training will provide an online demonstration of the benchmarking process, including creating a user account, identifying data requirements, managing and sharing information, and establishing an energy performance score. It will also provide an introduction to additional ENERGY STAR tools and resources that support program implementation in the commercial and industrial market. To register, visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0306lc/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar
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9) DOC Green Economies
Application Due: May 26, 2011
Eligible Applications: District organizations (as defined in 13 C.F.R. § 304.2), federally recognized tribes, state or local governments, institutes of higher education, public or private nonprofit organization, or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, requests proposals for i6 Green. This multi-agency competition focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality, spotlighting the best ideas that contribute to a vibrant, innovative, clean economy. Applicants must address a persistent problem or an unaddressed opportunity with a sense of urgency and demonstrate how an i6 Green Proof of Concept Center will avoid duplication of existing efforts, remove road blocks, and spark sustainable economic opportunities in the applicant's region. $6 million expected to be available, up to 6 awards anticipated. Letters of Intent are required, and are due 5/2/11, final proposals due 5/26/11. For more info, including regional contacts, go to: http://www.eda.gov/i6. Refer to Sol# I6GREENEDA031011.
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10) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards
2011 marks the 25th year of the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards. The University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Awards. The Center, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, has honored organizations for their efforts in sustainability and pollution prevention since 1987. Sustainability is achieved through activities that satisfy today's needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. At ISTC, we believe that the key to sustainability is being less wasteful with materials, energy, and natural and community resources. For the award application, please tell us your story. We want to know what you did, how you did it, and how it helped your organization, the environment, and your community. This is a competitive award, and successful applicants will provide detailed, creative, and compelling descriptions of significant activities whose benefits encompass the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
Applications will only be accepted electronically and must be submitted to GovsAwards@istc.illinois.edu by May 27, 2011 for consideration. Visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/govs_awards.cfm for more information.
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11) Chicago Botanic Garden Celebrates World Environment Day
Date: Saturday, June 4, 2011, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, IL
The Chicago Botanic Garden will celebrate the United Nations World Environment Programme's (UNEP) World Environment Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 4, 2011. Visitors of all ages will participate in fun, interactive and enriching programs and activities that explain the importance of protecting and preserving plants through awareness and action. Several activities and two lectures highlight UNEP's 2011 International Year of Forests theme. The day begins with an informal opening of the new Trellis Bridge and dedication of the Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden. Trams will shuttle visitors to the dedication beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the ribbon cutting and refreshments begin at 9 a.m.
Many free tours and demonstrations will be held throughout the day including horticulture tours at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the best trees and shrubs for the Chicago area and at 2 and 3 p.m. on growing vegetables organically. Natural area tours and demonstrations include the Dixon Prairie at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., McDonald Woods at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and the Lakeshore at 1:30 p.m. Tours of the newly dedicated Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Special talks will be held in the Seminar Room of the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center from noon to 4 p.m.
Call (847) 835-5440 or visit www.chicagobotanic.org/wed to register for lectures and to obtain more information.
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12) Call for presenters at The Chicago Center for Green Technology
The Chicago Center for Green Technology (CCGT) is seeking presenters for its Green Tech U program this fall. Green Tech U is an ongoing series of informational seminars whose purpose is to both educate and inspire residents, business owners, and professionals to lead more sustainable lives. The Green Tech U Educational Program provides opportunities for residents to meet like-minded people, expand professional networks, and increase knowledge of sustainability, green building and public policy.
We are looking for seminars that address one or more of the following topics as they pertain to green building, sustainability, and the environment:
• Architecture
• Building Construction & Management
• Engineering
• Green Business
• Green Home & Garden
• Interior Design
Seminars may also address current issues in urban planning, science, policy, business, construction, government, homes/residences, energy efficiency, horticulture, and other areas related to the intersection between urban life and the environment. Seminars are typically held Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at CCGT, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd, Chicago, IL.
To submit a seminar for consideration, please e-mail the following information to Steve Pincuspy, Project Coordinator, at steve.pincuspy@cityofchicago.org by Tuesday, May 31st, 2011:
1. Primary Contact name, affiliation, and full contact information;
2. Presenter(s) name and affiliation (may be the same as Primary Contact);
3. Title of seminar(s);
4. A two to four sentence description of each seminar, not to exceed 100 words;
5. Two preferred dates for the seminar between September 10th and December 10th, 2011. Please select from Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings, or Saturdays during that period.
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13) Chicago Sky Go Green Night
Date: June 25, 2011
The Chicago Sky is proud to acknowledge and support Earth Day. While Earth Day is recognized on April 22nd the Sky plans to celebrate on Saturday, June 25th when the Sky "Goes Green". Join us as we take on Diana Taursi and the Phoenix Mercury. Prior to the game the Sky will host a Go Green fair. Local 4-H Clubs will present a variety of projects that they have been working on throughout the year and the Urban Habitat Chicago will be there to share information on urban farming. This event is open to public and will take place at Allstate Arena in the Skyline Room from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Game tips-off at 7:00 pm. In addition to the game the Sky players will take part in an urban farming project with the Urban Habitat Chicago on Friday, June 24th.
Continue to visit www.chicagosky.net or call 312-994-5986 for more information on the Sky's "Go Green" night and community event.
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14) Free Energy Code Training for Illinois
The International Code Council, through a grant from DCEO's Illinois Energy Office, is providing free training on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code® for those living or doing business in Illinois. Participants receive, at no charge, critical information on code requirements, methods to achieve compliance, and energy performance enhancing alternatives.
If you reside or do business in the ComEd or Ameren Illinois Utilities territories, click here to register.
If you do NOT live or do business in any of the Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors (EEPS) Eligible Communities, click here to register.
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15) Summer Opportunities at Moraine Valley Community College
-Native Plant and Prairie Restoration
This workshop is designed as an overview to native plant and Prairie restoration. In this workshop you will be introduced to the expanding world of native and ecological restoration industry. You will learn how the prairies were created, why they have all but disappeared and how and why we need to restore them. You will gain basic knowledge our prairies, our native plants and the wildlife that depends on them. This workshop will prepare you for further study and encourage you and guide you towards a career in this industry.
Course Code Days Start Date Time Location Classroom
GR5-112-270 A 07/16 10a-12:30p MVCC T909
-Becoming a Green Teacher
This workshop is developed specifically for teachers K-6th grade and is eligible for 3 CPDU's. As a teacher, are you feeling a sense of responsibility for your students and their future? Scientists report that we only have a few years left to transform our society to a renewable energy economy to avoid catastrophic climate change. What is the role of educators in creating this transformation? At the appropriate grade levels, our students need to develop a deep bond with the rest of Nature, learn how life works on Earth, work together on creative solutions to environmental problems, and become practitioners of sustainable development, with understanding of its principles and practice in its processes, if they are going to contribute to the necessary societal transformation. In this workshop you will become familiar with the Growing Green Movement including an overview on sustainability, environmental issues, initiatives, solutions and concepts as well as leave with a set of valuable tools which can be utilized in classroom lessons and activities.
Course Code Days Start Date Time Location Classroom
GR5-114-270 A 07/30 1-4p MVCC T909

For more information visit: http://www.morainevalley.edu/sustainability/schedule.htm or email wdcs@morainevalley.edu.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.



Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




Legislation a moving target for Illinois wind developers
Posted 5/16/2011 1:05:29 PM

Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=186201
Story Retrieval Date: 5/16/2011 1:03:55 PM CST
RPS

Kate Springer/MEDILL

At least 25 percent of renewable energy sources in 2025 must be wind energy.

Legislation a moving target for Illinois wind developers
by Kate Springer
May 12, 2011

Though the state ranked second in most new wind added in 2010, Illinois wind farm development could come to a halt this summer.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the state's industry faces a substantial financial hurdle if Illinois' in-state preference expires as scheduled June 1, 2011.

The in-state preference requires the Illinois Power Agency, which is responsible for meeting the state's rising requirement to use electricity from renewable sources, to procure that electricity from facilities located in Illinois. Only if such in-state power is exhausted can the IPA buy from outside, first from states that adjoin Illinois, then from elsewhere.

"If the General Assembly does not extend the geographic preference, the industry could lose momentum," said Brad Lystra, director of the AWEA. "If developers can't finance projects, then we can't put shovels in the ground."

Illinois has 13 proposed wind farms ready for construction with estimated lifecycles of more than 20 years, he estimated, which would produce an average of 205.4 megawatts, generate $25 million in annual local property tax revenues, $10 million in annual payments to landowners, and 10,000 construction jobs.

"With the current unemployment rate in Illinois and budget shortfalls nationally and locally," said Lystra, "that kind of tax-base improvement is significant and is something that can help keep local governments and communities afloat."

According to a June 2010 economic impact study by the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, wind farms have created about 10,000 full-time jobs during construction periods and nearly 500 permanent jobs in rural Illinois, totaling $509 million and $25 million in payroll, respectively.

On May 3 more than 60 people representing 28 companies, organizations, labor unions, and schools gathered in Springfield to lobby for an extension of the in-state preference law.

But the in-state preference is not the state's most economical option.

Mark Pruitt, director of the Illinois Power Agency, argues that extending the policy would be an unnecessarily expensive way to meet the renewable portfolio standards.

Pruitt explained that the geographic preference was originally included in the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard because there was some concern that surrounding states would undercut wind developers in Illinois.

"In reality, in the past two years, Illinois assets have been the only assets to be procured and they've won exclusively," he said. "If I'm being suspicious, I would say that the push for the extension is more a reflection of asset developers with locations already secured in Illinois."

There is also concern that the in-state preference may be unconstitutional, because electricity is an interstate system.

In Massachusetts and Maine, similar in-state preference policies have been challenged and dropped, because they would have failed in courts, according to Pruitt.

Proponents argue that though more expensive than coal or natural gas, wind directly supplements local budgets via property taxes.

"Look at all of the foreclosures. No one is paying property taxes," said Andre DeRosa, chairman of Chicago-based Balanced Wind LLC. "But a wind farm that is going to have a contract with a municipality for over 20 years could raise $8 million in taxes."

DeRosa said that wind projects could guarantee more books, teachers and bigger classrooms without adding students.

Ed Maher, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 spokesman, agreed.

"Not every state can take advantage of the wind resources that Illinois has," he said. "We have the resources and the expansive grid. It's foolish not take advantage of it."

©2001 - 2010 Medill Reports - Chicago, Northwestern University. A publication of the Medill School.



USDA REAP Recorded Webinars Now Available
Posted 5/11/2011 1:36:52 PM

Greetings all, due to technical difficulties, we are not getting the Webinar links to the Website as quickly as we anticipated. In the meantime, for your information we are sending the links for the recorded session of the webinars. We do anticipate on having the links posted soon.

We have attached a link for the Energy Coordinators for your use, if needed. Will keep you posted on our progress with the posting of the links.. Thank you for your participation and interest in the REAP products.

https://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=6igmtt April 29, 2011

https://cc.readytalk.com/play?id=a9nxvv May 2, 2011


http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/EnergyCoordinatorList.doc


Donnetta Rollins-Rigney
Rural Development | Business Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Sustainable Cities News & Updates May 4, 2011
Posted 5/6/2011 10:58:08 AM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
May 4, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.

If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients-May 5th
2) Composting in the City - Successful Strategies for Schools and Communities-May 10th
3) Save Green by Greening Your Business-May 10th
4) Green Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Sites & Livable Communities-May 12th
5) Green Festival-May 14th-15th
6) Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit- May 17th
7) Exploring School Gardens-May 19th
8) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites-May 20th
9) GR 2011: Celebrating Sustainability Awards- May 21st
10) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration-May 21st
11) DOC Green Economies- May 26th
12) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards- May 27th
13) Chicago Botanic Garden Celebrates World Environment Day- June 4th
14) Chicago Sky Go Green Night- June 25th
15) Free Energy Code Training for Illinois
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1) Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
Date: May 5, 2011, May 5, 2-3:30 PM (EDT)
Sponsored by ENERGY STAR, this webinar will review EPA's online energy management tool, Portfolio Manager, which enables you to track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings to peer buildings across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time. In addition, topics discussed will include best practices for bulk data management for new and existing accounts, real-life examples of organizations that have successfully benchmarked large portfolios of buildings, and helpful information on using Portfolio Manager for reporting and tracking for EECBG recipients. To register, visit: https://energystar.webex.com/mw0306lc/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=energystar
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2) Composting in the City - Successful Strategies for Schools and Communities
Date: May 10, 2011, 6:00-8:00 PM
Speaker: Pete Leki, Waters School, CPS
This workshop will explain the ecological processes involved in creating a "hot" year-round compost pile. It will also discuss successful composting of school lunchroom waste at CPS Schools. The information will be easily transferable to home composting. Pete Leki will take you through everything you need to know to start your own community composting program. For more information call 312-746-9642 or e-mail greentech@cityofchicago.org.
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3) Save Green by Greening Your Business
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Joliet Junior College-Main T-1002, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL
All organizations, both large and small and new or well-established, can learn ways to cut costs while at the same time making their businesses more sustainable. Various speakers will explain rebates, performance contracting and waste reduction. Vendors will also be available to provide personalized information. For more information visit, http://www.willcountygreen.com/business/greening_business_seminars.aspx.
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4) Green Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Sites & Livable Communities
Date: May 12, 2011, 6:00-8:00 pm
Speaker: Tom Barrett, Green Water Infrastructure, Inc.
Green infrastructure is a transformative approach to sustainable site development utilizing rain gardens, bioswales and engineered elements to create a water management system that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. This integration of natural and built environments provides benefits such as cleaner water, ecosystem conservation, wildlife habitat and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, green infrastructure can be accomplished at a significantly lower cost than conventional concrete and mortar infrastructure. Join Tom Barrett as he explains how harvesting locally produced water helps develop a "natural approach" to the efficient use of water and relieves stormwater problems. For more information call 312-746-9642 or e-mail greentech@cityofchicago.org. AIA/CES: 2 LU
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5) Green Festival
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10 am-7 pm and Sunday, May 15, 2011, 11 am- 6 pm
Location: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL
At Green Festival®, a project of Green America and Global Exchange, we're celebrating what's working in our communities and around the world - for people, business and the environment. Join us at the nation's premier sustainability event, where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses-everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources. For more information visit: http://www.greenfestivals.org/chi/updates/.
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6) Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Summit
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 1-5 pm
Location: Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams, Chicago, IL - 5th floor
This year's summit is aimed at providing a variety of stakeholders with practical information on navigating employer-recognized credentials in the labor market, regional green jobs growth projections for the immediate future, and innovative workforce development strategies among employment programs and educational partnerships. This information is critical to creating opportunities for disadvantaged workers in the stabilizing economy.
Registration is $50 for CGCJI Partners, $75 for all others. Registration includes access to summit workshops and a networking reception in the gorgeous 10th floor event room at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The reception will immediately follow the workshops. All payments are transferable, but strictly non-refundable. For more information please visit: http://greencollarchicago.org/?page_id=530.
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7) Exploring School Gardens
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 4-8 pm
Location: Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL
This workshop will take teachers out of the classroom and into Chicago's largest school garden with veteran garden educator, Pete Leki. Teachers will learn how to plan and a school garden, get families and community members involved, and utilize the garden as an outdoor classroom. Participants in this workshop will also have the opportunity to get their hands dirty working in the soil while singing garden songs! Light dinner is included. For more information email Lindsey Arenberg at Lindsey@sevengenerationsahead.org.
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8) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites
Application Due: May 20, 2011
Eligible Applications: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, regional governments, and communities
Through its RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites initiative, EPA is soliciting applications from states, tribes, regional governments, and communities that want to evaluate the potential development of renewable energy on potentially or formerly contaminated properties. This evaluation will be in the form of a feasibility study conducted by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory that will determine the best renewable energy technology for the site, the optimal location for placement of the renewable energy technology, potential energy generating capacity, the return on the investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects. The purpose of the technical assistance is to reuse sites, improve communities, create jobs, develop partnerships, decrease the use of greenspace for siting renewable energy, and increase the amount of renewable energy generated. Proposals are due to EPA Friday May 20 and may be submitted to matthews.lura@epa.gov. More information on the RE-Powering initiative and the request for applications can be found at http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/.
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9) GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Location: Joliet Public Library - Black Road Branch and the Forest Preserve's Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access, located on Black Road between I-55 and Essington Road in Joliet.
"GR2011" is designed to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services, and technologies. All ages are welcome, and all activities are being offered free of charge. Food will be available for purchase. The festival will feature recycled artwork, a rock wall, live music, how-to workshops, yoga classes, and other fun, Earth-friendly activities for the whole family. Kids' activities will include bird hikes and fishing pole casting demonstrations. Also on hand will be eco-friendly exhibits - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to energy-efficient home and green building products. Festival goers are encouraged to bring books and old electronics for a recycling drive held on-site.
For more information visit, http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/gr2011.asp.
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10) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration
Date: Saturday, May 21, 11a.m. to 4p.m.
The Village of Homer Glen will celebrate Earth Day/Arbor Day on Saturday, May 21 from 11a.m. to 4p.m. at the historic Konow Farm located at 16849 S. Cedar Road in Homer Glen. This unique event will be a day of education, celebration and action for the world in which we live. Exhibits feature antique cars, green solutions, examples of efficient use of energy and ideas for conserving and protecting our natural resources. Participants will showcase
activities which connect children with nature and those that use natural products. Programs include Jim Nesci's Cold Blooded Creatures and the Big Run Wolf Ranch. In the spirit of Earth Day/Arbor Day, and through the generosity of its sponsors, entrance to this event is free for
the whole family! For more information, please visit www.homerglen.org or e-mail eartharborday@homerglen.org.
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11) DOC Green Economies
Application Due: May 26, 2011
Eligible Applications: District organizations (as defined in 13 C.F.R. § 304.2), federally recognized tribes, state or local governments, institutes of higher education, public or private nonprofit organization, or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, requests proposals for i6 Green. This multi-agency competition focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality, spotlighting the best ideas that contribute to a vibrant, innovative, clean economy. Applicants must address a persistent problem or an unaddressed opportunity with a sense of urgency and demonstrate how an i6 Green Proof of Concept Center will avoid duplication of existing efforts, remove road blocks, and spark sustainable economic opportunities in the applicant's region. $6 million expected to be available, up to 6 awards anticipated. Letters of Intent are required, and are due 5/2/11, final proposals due 5/26/11. For more info, including regional contacts, go to: http://www.eda.gov/i6. Refer to Sol# I6GREENEDA031011.
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12) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards
2011 marks the 25th year of the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards. The University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Awards. The Center, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, has honored organizations for their efforts in sustainability and pollution prevention since 1987. Sustainability is achieved through activities that satisfy today's needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. At ISTC, we believe that the key to sustainability is being less wasteful with materials, energy, and natural and community resources. For the award application, please tell us your story. We want to know what you did, how you did it, and how it helped your organization, the environment, and your community. This is a competitive award, and successful applicants will provide detailed, creative, and compelling descriptions of significant activities whose benefits encompass the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
Applications will only be accepted electronically and must be submitted to GovsAwards@istc.illinois.edu by May 27, 2011 for consideration. Visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/govs_awards.cfm for more information.
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13) Chicago Botanic Garden Celebrates World Environment Day
Date: Saturday, June 4, 2011, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 1000 Lake Cook Road in Glencoe, IL
The Chicago Botanic Garden will celebrate the United Nations World Environment Programme's (UNEP) World Environment Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 4, 2011. Visitors of all ages will participate in fun, interactive and enriching programs and activities that explain the importance of protecting and preserving plants through awareness and action. Several activities and two lectures highlight UNEP's 2011 International Year of Forests theme. The day begins with an informal opening of the new Trellis Bridge and dedication of the Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden. Trams will shuttle visitors to the dedication beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the ribbon cutting and refreshments begin at 9 a.m.
Many free tours and demonstrations will be held throughout the day including horticulture tours at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on the best trees and shrubs for the Chicago area and at 2 and 3 p.m. on growing vegetables organically. Natural area tours and demonstrations include the Dixon Prairie at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., McDonald Woods at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and the Lakeshore at 1:30 p.m. Tours of the newly dedicated Bernice E. Lavin Evaluation Garden are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Special talks will be held in the Seminar Room of the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center from noon to 4 p.m.
Call (847) 835-5440 or visit www.chicagobotanic.org/wed to register for lectures and to obtain more information.
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14) Chicago Sky Go Green Night
Date: June 25, 2011
The Chicago Sky is proud to acknowledge and support Earth Day. While Earth Day is recognized on April 22nd the Sky plans to celebrate on Saturday, June 25th when the Sky "Goes Green". Join us as we take on Diana Taursi and the Phoenix Mercury. Prior to the game the Sky will host a Go Green fair. Local 4-H Clubs will present a variety of projects that they have been working on throughout the year and the Urban Habitat Chicago will be there to share information on urban farming. This event is open to public and will take place at Allstate Arena in the Skyline Room from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Game tips-off at 7:00 pm. In addition to the game the Sky players will take part in an urban farming project with the Urban Habitat Chicago on Friday, June 24th.
Continue to visit www.chicagosky.net or call 312-994-5986 for more information on the Sky's "Go Green" night and community event.
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15) Free Energy Code Training for Illinois
The International Code Council, through a grant from DCEO's Illinois Energy Office, is providing free training on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code® for those living or doing business in Illinois. Participants receive, at no charge, critical information on code requirements, methods to achieve compliance, and energy performance enhancing alternatives.
If you reside or do business in the ComEd or Ameren Illinois Utilities territories, click here to register.
If you do NOT live or do business in any of the Energy Efficiency Program Sponsors (EEPS) Eligible Communities, click here to register.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.



Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




Report: Proposed Wind Development Could Create Thousands Of Jobs In Illinois
Posted 5/6/2011 9:47:33 AM

Report: Proposed Wind Development Could Create Thousands Of Jobs In Illinois

in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
by NAW Staff on Wednesday 04 May 2011
www.nawindpower.com


As many as 20,000 jobs would be created with the development of the 3,200 MW of utility-scale wind generation currently permitted in Illinois, according to a report released by three wind energy organizations.

The report, titled "Investing in Illinois," was released by the Illinois Wind Energy Association (IWEA), the American Wind Energy Association and Wind on the Wires at a time when state lawmakers are considering legislation to overhaul the state's electric market.

"With the right policies in Illinois, we can ensure that a significant number of the 3,200 MW of permitted wind projects will go to construction within the next few years," says Kevin Borgia, executive director of IWEA. "Wind energy can create thousands of new jobs, but to tap wind's tremendous economic potential, Illinois needs policies that reflect current market realities and foster financing of new projects."

Using the U.S. Department of Energy's Job and Economic Development Impact model, the report finds that if all 3,200 MW of the current permitted wind projects were developed in Illinois, the following are likely to occur:

- Creation of over 19,000 new jobs in construction, manufacturing and maintenance in the near term;

- Generation of more than $930 million in construction wages and $34 million in annual operations and maintenance wages;

- Production of over $32 million in annual local taxes, approximately 70% of which would go directly to local school districts; and

- Generation over $9 million in annual lease payments to Illinois farmers and landowners.

Illinois currently has over 2,000 MW of installed wind energy, but according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the state's wind resource could meet over five times the state's total current electricity needs.

However, the current market for commercial wind remains largely untapped because the state's existing renewable portfolio standard (RPS) law makes financing new wind projects difficult, according to IWEA.

Legislation now before the Illinois legislature would expand and streamline the RPS program, facilitate the type of long-term power contracts with utilities that renewable energy developers need in order to get projects built, encourage project construction in Illinois, and ensure economic development benefits to the state, IWEA says.


Renew your home with solar and wind Now is the time to invest in renewables
Posted 5/2/2011 12:19:55 PM

Illinois Times

Thursday, April 21,2011

Renew your home with solar and wind
Now is the time to invest in renewables

By Karen Fitzgerald

http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-8559-renew-your-home-with-solar-and-wind.html
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If you're considering adding solar energy to your home, now may be a good time to do it. Solar panel prices are low because demand slumped after the financial crisis of 2008, when the renewables industry was booming in Japan, Germany, Spain and California. Surplus panels piled up in warehouses and prices dropped as a result.

What's more, solar insiders predict prices will soon be rising because Illinois law requires utilities to include solar in their power mix starting in 2012. Most utilities have been fulfilling the law's renewable energy quota with wind farm energy, but they must begin ramping up solar sources until they reach six percent of power from solar by the year 2015. "If people get in now, they can do it before prices go up," says Bob Croteau, who leads workshops on renewable energy at Lincoln Land Community College.

Homeowners usually choose renewable technology for the environmental benefits, but Michelle Marley, owner of WindSolarUSA in Owaneco, Ill., says it also makes sense on a purely economic basis. In a time of escalating utility prices, she says, "what you're really doing with a renewable system is fixing your energy costs" for 20 to 25 years - the life of the system. "You know what you're paying, you know what it's going to give you."

Croteau sees it as an investment that will pay for itself over time, as long as homeowners avoid scammers selling useless products. "We suffered through scams in the early 80s when renewable energy was hot," he recalls. "Companies were quickly formed to sell stuff that wasn't well researched or designed for this climate, and they overpriced it to take advantage of the tax credit."

Croteau and Marley spoke with Illinois Times about some of the best green technologies for Illinois homeowners and what to watch out for.

For $500 to $2,000, a solar pool heater circulates pool water through black mats. - PHOTO BY BOB CROTEAU


Solar swimming pool heating. This is a good option for homeowners who want to dip their toe into renewables before jumping in. Your pool's filter pump can be hooked up to circulate water through a black solar mat. Just roll it out flat and attach it to the roof, house deck, or side of the pool. If you heat your pool, you can save all your heating costs for an investment of $500 to $2,000. Croteau, an energy planner with City Water Light & Power, says it's "the most cost-efficient thing you can do." If you don't heat your pool, the solar mat will extend pool use by a month in spring and another month in fall.

Solar hot water heating. Croteau calls this "a really tried and true" technology that can supply about half your water heating year-round. You don't need to replace your current water heater. Just add another 80- to 100-gallon electric water tank to store the solar-heated water and connect it to your current heater where cold city water normally goes in. Less power will be required to keep your water hot as a result. Antifreeze flows through the solar collector and transfers its heat to the water in the storage tank via a heat exchanger. For easier maintenance, the heat exchanger can be mounted on the wall above the tanks with two small pumps. One pump circulates cold city water to the heat exchanger for warming and then into the storage tank, and in a separate loop, the other pumps antifreeze through the solar collector and down to the heat exchanger. If you don't get enough sun on your roof, you can put collectors on the ground or on an awning with this system.

If you can put a collector on your roof, a more efficient option is to let the fluid fall back down into the storage tank at night or whenever the pump shuts off. This so-called drainback system requires the least maintenance of any solar hot water design, typically running 20 years with no service.

With two flat plate solar collectors (enough for a family of four), a solar hot water system would cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000, including installation. Croteau estimates the system will pay for itself in 5 to 10 years.

A recent addition to the market is evacuated tube collectors, which are more efficient than flat plate collectors. Instead of copper tubes running across a flat plate that absorbs the sun's heat, the fluid lines are surrounded by a vacuum, resulting in virtually no heat loss. They can heat fluids to higher temperatures than flat plate collectors, and any excess energy can be easily applied to heating bathroom and kitchen floors in winter. Evacuated tube technology performs better in cold weather than flat plate, so would be an advantage in Illinois winters. A two-panel system using evacuated tube technology costs $5,000 to $6,000.

Of course, costs would be lower if you can get by with one panel rather than two. Low-flow showerheads and lather valves that pause the water while soaping and shampooing can cut water usage in half, Croteau notes.

Air from inside the house is circulate through these panels then back into the basement to heat the house. - PHOTO BY BOB CROTEAU


Solar hot air collectors. Jan Kessinger has had one of these on his house near Lake Springfield since the early 1980s. Three 4-by-6-foot panels hanging on the south wall of his house include a black absorber plate that warms air piped in from a bedroom. A small fan drives the solar-heated air into his basement, where it rises to heat the entire house. When he and his wife migrate to warmer climes for three months in winter, it provides all the heating needed to prevent the house from freezing. "I should have put one in 20 years earlier," Kessinger says. "They pay for themselves."

Their vertical orientation on the outside wall of a house puts the collectors at a good angle for the low Illinois sun in winter, Croteau notes. Furthermore, reflection off snow will increase the sunlight reaching them. You can put up one collector or more depending on your needs. One collector will heat 500 square feet during daytime and generate 5 million BTUs over the winter season.

You can buy a solar hot air collector for $1,000 to $2,000, or make one yourself for $400 using Croteau's booklet, Do-It-Yourself Solar Hot Air Collectors, available from CWLP. They don't qualify for the federal tax credit, but they pay back their cost in two to five years. Marley recommends them for warehouses or barns rather than homes because of fan noise. Croteau says a good fan makes no more noise than a furnace or refrigerator.

Solar electricity. Photovoltaics are the premier solar technology because they generate electricity, which means they can power your kitchen appliances, computers and air conditioning. They also have the advantage of performing best during Illinois summers when electrical usage is at its peak due to air conditioning. The sun shines 70 percent of the time during our summers, as compared to 30 percent during winter. And photovoltaic panels are practically maintenance-free. "The worst you're going to have to do is brush snow off it in the winter, or hose it off if it gets dust on it in the summer," says Marley.

There are two main kinds of photovoltaic cells - crystalline and amorphous, or thin film. Crystalline cells are the "workhorse of the industry," Croteau says. "The ones that were installed 25 years ago are still working." Most panels are guaranteed for 25 years, but they can operate much longer at slightly reduced output. Amorphous cells are cheaper, but more are required to produce the same amount of electricity, so the mounting costs are higher. As a result, no matter what technology is chosen, "solar ends up being the same cost per watt," Croteau says. Most residential systems cost between $8,000 and $24,000, but will pay for themselves in 10 to 15 years.

To ensure good results, it's important to get a professional assessment of your site for solar access. Unlike other solar technologies, photovoltaic panels don't generate electricity unless the sun is shining on the entire panel. So your site's solar access from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is critical in determining whether photovoltaics will benefit you. If your roof has too much shading or doesn't have a south-facing slope, Marley says you can put solar panels on a garage roof, the ground or even a solar shed placed on an unshaded portion of property, with all controls concealed inside the shed.

Professional site assessors use a solar pathfinder tool, which gives a 360-degree image of the shading at a particular spot superimposed over gridlines of the sun's path throughout the day and the year. A photograph of the shaded gridlines can be downloaded into a software program that calculates the total amount of sunlight the location receives over the year. A Google satellite image of your property, along with a shot from the south, can also tell site assessors whether it's suitable for solar.

Marley says solar power got a bad name in the 1970s because people who weren't qualified got into the business. "Some of the site assessors who came in in the early 1980s would put solar panels anywhere," adds Croteau, even in total winter shading. This time around, training courses across the country are turning out certified professionals to prevent a repeat of the past. Marley received her certification from the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Wisconsin, which offers the best training in the country outside California. The first thing a certified professional will do is make sure the house is as energy efficient as possible to minimize the size and expense of the renewable system required.

Croteau also cautions people to be wary of cheap solar photovoltaics from China. "Chicago Electric is one brand," he says. "It sells a 145-watt solar panel kit that just runs a couple of light bulbs. It's totally made in China, but they use a Chicago name to make it sound American." And he says flexible photovoltaic laminates that can be attached to roof shingles, which are the latest fad, are overpriced.

A 1 kW Bergey tilt-up windmill being installed. Wind generators including installation start at $16,500 for the 1 kW model. - PHOTO BY BOB CROTEAU


Wind generators. "Ideally you'd have both wind and solar, if you could," says Croteau, noting that wind can supply electricity as solar photovoltaics do, and they complement each other weatherwise. But most people, especially in town, don't have good wind access. "If you don't get your wind generator up high enough, the turbulence from the surrounding structures and trees are going to just tear it up and you're going to have a maintenance headache." A height of 100 feet is the "sweet spot" for wind generators because that's where the wind is steady.

He considers many generators on the market with 30-foot towers useless "toys" that only spin in all directions. Wind generators on vertical axes, which have recently become popular, are also nothing but "lawn ornaments." Furthermore, "anyone trying to sell you a wind generator to mount on your roof - that's a hangup call," he warns, pointing out that it will transmit vibrations through the house and possibly damage the roof.

Springfield city ordinance requires wind towers to be at least 25 feet from any structure and Sangamon County mandates they be at least 110 percent of their height from buildings and property lines. So you'd have to have a lot of space to accommodate one. Croteau recommends buying a proven wind generator, such as the 20 kW Jacobs on a 100-foot tower or the 10 kW Bergey on an 80-foot tower. Wind generators including installation start at $16,500 for 1 kW and $60,000 for 10kW.

Avoid buying cheap systems online. "If you get something cheap, it probably is," Croteau says. "Low-cost wind is much harder to find than low-cost solar."

Smaller options. If the expense of these systems is too much for you after taking the federal tax credit, state rebate, and grants into consideration, you could start even smaller with a $100-$250 passive solar oven. When it's too hot in the kitchen in summer, you can bake outside using the power of the sun streaming into the glass window of the oven. The ovens typically heat to 350 degrees and cook rice in an hour and a half or a turkey in five hours.

You could also add a sunspace or greenhouse to the south side of your house to incorporate passive solar energy into your home. Or simply add or enlarge windows on the south side. And there are many more options for people building a new home, such as passive solar features like clerestory windows and thermal walls. There are a multitude of ways to let the sun shine in.

Karen Fitzgerald is a freelance writer living in Pleasant Plains. She can be reached at kmfitz3@yahoo.com.

Legislature depletes green incentive

Illinois is one of only 22 states that offer a rebate on renewable technology for homeowners. It has one of the better programs, returning 30 percent of product and installation costs for both wind and solar, including pool heating. But the rebate was available for only five weeks last fall before funding ran out for the current (2011) fiscal year. Out of 300 applications, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity paid rebates amounting to $1.5 million to less than 130 applicants, according to Marcelyn Love, DCEO spokesperson.

The rebate fund, which comes from an assessment customers pay on their utility bills, has been raided every year since 2008 by the Illinois General Assembly to pay the state's debts. The legislature took $5 million from the fund in 2008 and more than $13 million in 2009.

"When the state quit giving incentives, it kind of shut the whole industry down around here," says Rich Marsaglia of Haenig Electric Company. Based in Springfield since 1904, the company just began handling commercial solar projects a year ago, installing solar panels on FitClub South and Southwind Park's visitor center.

The rebate should be available again at some point in the next fiscal year on a first-come, first-served basis. But CWLP customers don't qualify for it because city-owned CWLP isn't required to charge the assessment.

Still, there are other incentives available, beginning with the 30 percent federal tax credit. See a full listing on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency website www.dsireusa.org.

Recommended consultants and vendors for central Illinois
Courtesy of Bob Croteau, CWLP energy planner

WindSolarUSA
PO Box 168, Owaneco, IL 62555
Michelle Marley 217-825-4206

Advanced Energy Solutions
186 & 192 Gates Rd., Pomona, IL 62975
www.aessolar.com
Aur Beck 618-893-1717

Habi-Tek
524 Summit St., Geneva, IL 60134
www.habi-tek.com
Tom DeBates 630-262-8193

The Root Cellar
2807 University, Suite 127,
Muscatine, Iowa 52761
www.therootcellar.com
John Root 563-590-8566

Mid America Advanced Power Solutions
18 Ednick Dr., Swansea, IL 62226
www.maaps.us
Jason Hark 618-540-9313

SunAir Systems
139 Perene Ave., Byron, IL 61010
www.SunAirSystems.com
Dave Merrill 815-262-2831

Heavenly Winds
2820 Chicago Rd., Compton, IL 61318
www.heavenlywindllc.com
Dale Balder 815-631-2970

Upcoming renewable energy events

"The best way to shop for solar is to go to a renewable energy fair," Croteau advises. About 25,000 people attend Wisconsin's Midwest Renewable Energy Association fair every year. It has workshops to help people decide what they need, and vendors exhibiting their products. Closer to home, he also recommends the Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair upstate, where he will be leading a workshop on building a solar hot air collector. A similar workshop is being planned for summer or fall at LLCC.

Midwest Renewable Energy Association Energy Fair
Custer, Wis. - June 17-19

Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair
www.illinoisrenew.org
Oregon, Ill. - Aug. 13-14

Lincoln Land Community College Renewable Options for Homeowners Series
taught by Bob Croteau
May 4 (solar thermal), 18 (solar electric) and April 1 (wind)
www.llcc.edu

Another source of information on renewable technologies is Home Power magazine, www.homepower.com

###













SWCC Announces 'Under Test' Status of Turbine Applicants
Posted 4/29/2011 12:56:34 PM

In order to provide more transparency in the certification process, the SWCC has updated its policy on optional publication of Application Status and has begun reporting the following key milestones for Pending Applicants:

• "Under Contract" indicates that the Applicant has executed a Certification Agreement with the SWCC;

• "Under Test" indicates that the small wind turbine has been installed at the test site, commissioned, instrumented and is collecting data;

• "Reports Submitted" indicates that the Applicant has submitted a complete Test and Analysis Report to the SWCC with a Certification Application; and

• "Conditional Temporary Certification" indicates that SWCC has granted a time-limited certification with labels, certificates, and summary reports pending for a small wind turbine tested and analyzed according to the IEC 61400 series of Standards or the BWEA Standard (certain requirements of the AWEA Standard have not yet been met).

Currently, 9 SWCC Pending Applicants, listed on the SWCC website, have achieved "Under Test" status. An additional 16 wind turbine models are currently "Under Contract." SWCC is now publishing the new application status levels along with the dates that Applicants have achieved each level.

The Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), an independent certification body, certifies that small wind turbines meet or exceed the requirements of the AWEA Small Wind Turbine Performance and Safety Standard. This certification provides a common North American standard for reporting turbine energy and sound performance, and help small wind technology gain mainstream acceptance. For more information visit www.smallwindcertification.org



Sustainable Cities News & Updates April 25, 2011
Posted 4/27/2011 8:37:03 AM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
April 25, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.

If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact
2) GreenTown: The Future of Community- April 28th
3) Free Computer and Electronic Recycling-month of April
4) EPA Environmental Education Regional Grants- May 2nd
5) Spring LEED Credential Blitz-May 3rd
6) Composting in the City - Successful Strategies for Schools and Communities-May 10th
7) Save Green by Greening Your Business-May 10th
8) Green Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Sites & Livable Communities-May 12th
9) Green Festival-May 14th-15th
10) Exploring School Gardens-May 19th
11) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites-May 20th
12) GR 2011: Celebrating Sustainability Awards- May 21st
13) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration-May 21st
14) DOC Green Economies- May 26th
15) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards- May 27th
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1) Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact
The Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact program launched on January 31, 2008 features best practices that K-12 schools can voluntarily pursue to achieve greater environmental sustainability. Governor Quinn wants to challenge all Illinois schools to consider and pursue these practices, helping our communities and our state lead the way to a greener, cleaner future. Currently, over 450 Illinois schools have signed onto the Compact. This is a great a great program for schools to join during Earth Month. To participate, principals or superintendents should check off practices the school or district is now pursuing and aims to pursue. For the compact please visit, http://www2.illinois.gov/green/Pages/IllinoisSustainableSchoolsCompact.aspx.
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2) GreenTown: The Future of Community
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Location: The Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL 60120
Led by Mayor Ed Schock, Elgin developed a sustainability master plan with consultants, environmental groups and community stakeholders and has been working to make Elgin a healthy, sustainable community through planning, transportation, energy efficiency, green jobs and more. GreenTown will not only focus on Elgin's progress and future, but will also look at ways communities around the Chicago metro area are "going green" and working on creating healthy, sustainable communities.
Whether you are part of the public or private sector, at GreenTown you will learn, network and get actionable information.
For more information visit, http://greentownconference.com/.
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3) Free Computer and Electronic Recycling
For Earth Month (April) any county can bring in computers or electronics for proper disposal to available BLH Computers, Inc. locations. This free program is available during normal business hours. For a complete list of what is accepted and what is not, and to find locations and hours of operation, please go to www.blhcomputers.com.
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4) EPA Environmental Education Regional Grants
Application Due: May 2, 2011
Eligible Applications: Local education agencies, colleges or universities, state education or environmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, or noncommercial educational broadcasting entities
EPA is seeking grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques as described in this notice. Under this solicitation EPA expects to award environmental education grants from the 10 EPA Regional offices. EPA expects approximately $1,943,000 to be available for grants in amounts of a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $100,000. Each of EPA's 10 Regions anticipates funding a minimum of 2 grants resulting in a minimum number of grants issued to be approximately 20 grants nationwide. For more information, contact Karen Scott at EEgrants@epa.gov or read the full solicitation at http://www.epa.gov/education/pdf/solNotice2011.htm.
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5) Spring LEED Credential Blitz
Date: May 3, 2011, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, 350 West Mart Center Drive, Chicago, IL
USGBC- Illinois Chapter and CMHC International invite you to a full day of LEED credential maintenance opportunities! Attend a full day seminar and earn 6.5 GBCI CE hours to maintain your LEED Green Associate or LEED AP credential, and earn 5.5 AIA HSW/SD learning units.
For more information visit:
http://admin.usgbc-illinois.org/widget/calendar?eventId=290412&EventViewMode=EventDetails
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6) Composting in the City - Successful Strategies for Schools and Communities
DATE: 5/10/2011, 6:00-8:00 PM
SPEAKER: Pete Leki, Waters School, CPS
This workshop will explain the ecological processes involved in creating a "hot" year-round compost pile. It will also discuss successful composting of school lunchroom waste at CPS Schools. The information will be easily transferable to home composting. Pete Leki will take you through everything you need to know to start your own community composting program. For more information call 312-746-9642 or e-mail greentech@cityofchicago.org.
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7) Save Green by Greening Your Business
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Joliet Junior College-Main T-1002, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL
All organizations, both large and small and new or well-established, can learn ways to cut costs while at the same time making their businesses more sustainable. Various speakers will explain rebates, performance contracting and waste reduction. Vendors will also be available to provide personalized information. For more information visit, http://www.willcountygreen.com/business/greening_business_seminars.aspx.
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8) Green Infrastructure: Creating Sustainable Sites & Livable Communities
DATE: 5/12/2011, 6:00-8:00 pm
SPEAKER: Tom Barrett, Green Water Infrastructure, Inc.
Green infrastructure is a transformative approach to sustainable site development utilizing rain gardens, bioswales and engineered elements to create a water management system that protects, restores, and mimics the natural water cycle. This integration of natural and built environments provides benefits such as cleaner water, ecosystem conservation, wildlife habitat and aesthetic appeal. Additionally, green infrastructure can be accomplished at a significantly lower cost than conventional concrete and mortar infrastructure. Join Tom Barrett as he explains how harvesting locally produced water helps develop a "natural approach" to the efficient use of water and relieves stormwater problems. For more information call 312-746-9642 or e-mail greentech@cityofchicago.org. AIA/CES: 2 LU
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9) Green Festival
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011 10 am-7 pm and Sunday, May 15, 2011, 11 am- 6 pm
Location: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL
At Green Festival®, a project of Green America and Global Exchange, we're celebrating what's working in our communities and around the world - for people, business and the environment. Join us at the nation's premier sustainability event, where you will see the best in green. Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music. Shop in our unique marketplace of more than 300 eco-friendly businesses-everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to Fair Trade gifts and beautiful kitchen tiles made from renewable resources. For more information visit: http://www.greenfestivals.org/chi/updates/.
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10) Exploring School Gardens
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 4-8 pm
Location: Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL
This workshop will take teachers out of the classroom and into Chicago's largest school garden with veteran garden educator, Pete Leki. Teachers will learn how to plan and a school garden, get families and community members involved, and utilize the garden as an outdoor classroom. Participants in this workshop will also have the opportunity to get their hands dirty working in the soil while singing garden songs! Light dinner is included. For more information email Lindsey Arenberg at Lindsey@sevengenerationsahead.org.
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11) EPA Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites
Application Due: May 20, 2011
Eligible Applications: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes, regional governments, and communities
Through its RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites initiative, EPA is soliciting applications from states, tribes, regional governments, and communities that want to evaluate the potential development of renewable energy on potentially or formerly contaminated properties. This evaluation will be in the form of a feasibility study conducted by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory that will determine the best renewable energy technology for the site, the optimal location for placement of the renewable energy technology, potential energy generating capacity, the return on the investment, and the economic feasibility of the renewable energy projects. The purpose of the technical assistance is to reuse sites, improve communities, create jobs, develop partnerships, decrease the use of greenspace for siting renewable energy, and increase the amount of renewable energy generated. Proposals are due to EPA Friday May 20 and may be submitted to matthews.lura@epa.gov. More information on the RE-Powering initiative and the request for applications can be found at http://www.epa.gov/renewableenergyland/.
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12) GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Location: Joliet Public Library - Black Road Branch and the Forest Preserve's Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access, located on Black Road between I-55 and Essington Road in Joliet.
"GR2011" is designed to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services, and technologies. All ages are welcome, and all activities are being offered free of charge. Food will be available for purchase. The festival will feature recycled artwork, a rock wall, live music, how-to workshops, yoga classes, and other fun, Earth-friendly activities for the whole family. Kids' activities will include bird hikes and fishing pole casting demonstrations. Also on hand will be eco-friendly exhibits - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to energy-efficient home and green building products. Festival goers are encouraged to bring books and old electronics for a recycling drive held on-site.
For more information visit, http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/gr2011.asp.
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13) Village of Homer Glen's Earth Day / Arbor Day 2011 Celebration
Date: Saturday, May 21, 11a.m. to 4p.m.
The Village of Homer Glen will celebrate Earth Day/Arbor Day on Saturday, May 21 from
11a.m. to 4p.m. at the historic Konow Farm located at 16849 S. Cedar Road in Homer Glen.
This unique event will be a day of education, celebration and action for the world in which
we live. Exhibits feature antique cars, green solutions, examples of efficient use of energy
and ideas for conserving and protecting our natural resources. Participants will showcase
activities which connect children with nature and those that use natural products. Programs
include Jim Nesci's Cold Blooded Creatures and the Big Run Wolf Ranch. In the spirit of Earth
Day/Arbor Day, and through the generosity of its sponsors, entrance to this event is free for
the whole family! For more information, please visit www.homerglen.org or e-mail
eartharborday@homerglen.org.
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14) DOC Green Economies
Application Due: May 26, 2011
Eligible Applications: District organizations (as defined in 13 C.F.R. § 304.2), federally recognized tribes, state or local governments, institutes of higher education, public or private nonprofit organization, or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, requests proposals for i6 Green. This multi-agency competition focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality, spotlighting the best ideas that contribute to a vibrant, innovative, clean economy. Applicants must address a persistent problem or an unaddressed opportunity with a sense of urgency and demonstrate how an i6 Green Proof of Concept Center will avoid duplication of existing efforts, remove road blocks, and spark sustainable economic opportunities in the applicant's region. $6 million expected to be available, up to 6 awards anticipated. Letters of Intent are required, and are due 5/2/11, final proposals due 5/26/11. For more info, including regional contacts, go to: http://www.eda.gov/i6. Refer to Sol# I6GREENEDA031011.
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15) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards
2011 marks the 25th year of the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards. The University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Awards. The Center, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, has honored organizations for their efforts in sustainability and pollution prevention since 1987. Sustainability is achieved through activities that satisfy today's needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. At ISTC, we believe that the key to sustainability is being less wasteful with materials, energy, and natural and community resources. For the award application, please tell us your story. We want to know what you did, how you did it, and how it helped your organization, the environment, and your community. This is a competitive award, and successful applicants will provide detailed, creative, and compelling descriptions of significant activities whose benefits encompass the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
Applications will only be accepted electronically and must be submitted to GovsAwards@istc.illinois.edu by May 27, 2011 for consideration. Visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/govs_awards.cfm for more information.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.


Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




USDA REAP Informational Webinars April 29 & May 2
Posted 4/22/2011 9:22:23 AM

SUMMARY: The Rural Business Cooperative Service (RBS) will hold two informational Webinars for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) associated with the recently published REAP interim rule and Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA). Participation will be limited for each Webinar to the first two hundred registrants.

DATES: The Webinars will be held on Friday, April 29, 2011, and on Monday,May 2, 2011, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT both days. You must register, as described in the ADDRESSES section, by noon EDT April 27, 2011, for the April 29, 2011, Webinar and by noon EDT April 28, 2011, for the May 2, 2011, Webinar.

ADDRESSES: To participate in one of the Webinars, you must register for one of the Webinars by sending an e-mail to:energydivision@wdc.usda.gov. You must include in the SUBJECT line the date of
the Webinar for which you wish to participate, and in the body of the e-mail, please provide the participant's name, e-mail address, mailing address, and telephone number. You must submit your e-mail by the applicable deadline listed in the DATES section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Donnetta Rigney, Rural Business Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stop 3225, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-3221,Telephone: (202) 720-9812.


Act on Energy Business Symposiums
Posted 4/20/2011 9:33:10 AM

In your business, every cent counts. Each year, Illinois businesses are saving nearly $17 million through the award-winning Act On Energy® program. See how you can save! Join us for the Act On Energy Business Symposium, presented by Ameren Illinois and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

At this special event, you can:

Learn about the latest Act On Energy savings incentives
Get no-cost/low-cost tools to reduce waste
Share best practices with other professionals
Meet trusted Act On Energy Program Allies

Plus, each registered attendee* will receive a 15% bonus coupon that could be worth thousands of dollars in energy efficiency upgrades. To date, businesses that have redeemed their 2010 symposium bonus coupons will save a whopping 36 million kWh—enough to power over 3,300 homes for a year!

Symposiums will be hosted at two locations. Please plan to attend at the location most convenient for your business.

TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011 | 7 A.M. - 2 P.M.
Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
201 Broadway Ave., Normal, IL 61761

-OR-

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011 | 7 A.M. - 2 P.M.
Collinsville Gateway Center
One Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234

For more information or to register, visit
www.actonenergy.com/symposium






USDA Rural Energy for America Program Announcement
Posted 4/15/2011 10:21:46 AM

USDA published a notice today in the Federal Register announcing it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2011 to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Funding will be available in the form of grants, guaranteed loans, and combined guaranteed loans and grant applications.

The deadline for submitting applications is as follows:
1. For renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvement grant and guaranteed loan applications: June 15, 2011
2. For renewable energy system feasibility study applications: June 30, 2011
3. For energy audits and renewable energy development assistance applications: June 30, 2011

Today's Federal Register Notice is attached, along with the interim rule published today. The interim rule has a few changes. Some of the major changes include:
• Inclusion of flexible fuel pumps that dispense blended liquid transportation fuel as an eligible renewable energy project.
• Removal of citizenship requirements which the Agency has determined is in the best interest of furthering the Administration's goal of increasing the use of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.
• Modification of the rural area requirement for projects proposed by agricultural producers to allow such projects to be located in non-rural areas.
• Clarification on how the Agency addresses changes in equipment for energy efficiency improvements for determining eligible project costs. Eligible costs for energy efficiency improvements that are increasing the capacity of equipment will be limited to the capacity of the existing equipment
• Removal of the demonstrated financial need requirement.

Application templates and other useful items can be found at the Environmental Law and Policy Center website. Please note that this is not a USDA Rural Development website. If you are interested in hiring a grant writer for application preparation, please contact me for a list of individuals.
http://farmenergy.org/tools/tools-and-templates

We look forward to working with you, and feel free to contact one of us with any questions.

Mary Warren | Business Programs Specialist
Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
2118 W. Park Ct., Ste. A | Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217.403.6218 | Fax: 217.403.6215
mary.warren@il.usda.gov

Molly Hammond|Business Programs Specialist|Rural Energy Coordinator
Rural Development
U.S. Department of Agriculture
2118 W. Park Court|Suite A|Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217-403-6210|Fax: 217-403-6215
www.rurdev.usda.gov/il
View our 2010 annual review



Supply Chain Growth Conference May 11, 2011
Posted 4/12/2011 11:15:23 AM

Supply Chain Growth Conference
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM (Central Time)

UIC Student Center East
750 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607
United States
Map and Directions
http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=957686



Manufacturers: $150* (2 or more registrations will qualify for group discount)
Non-manufacturers: $200

*Applications have been submitted for Employer Training Investment Program funds that would allow manufacturers to receive a reimbursement on registration fees of up to 50%. Required documents must be completed in order to qualify. Forms available upon request: GrowMfg@imec.org



Agenda (click here for more information about the speakers)

8:30AM - Introductions

8:50AM - Keys to Successful Market Diversification
What does it take to break into a new industry or develop a new customer segment? We'll map the diversification process and discuss key operational issues that must be addressed in order to win new business. We'll highlight examples of companies that have successfully sold to the three targeted sectors, and review IMEC's diversification readiness self-assessment.

9:30AM - Overview of Growth Sector Market Opportunities
What emerging products and services are the companies in our three sectors looking to purchase? We'll look at the buying profiles and targeted growth rates in each supply chain and offer specific examples of capabilities these companies are looking to source from new vendors. Background on the speakers for each breakout session will be provided.

10:00AM - Break

Breakout Sessions
Each session will provide the following for the designated sector: (1) information on expectations for future demand growth and key issues that will impact domestic and global competitiveness; (2) the perspective of a supply chain/purchasing manager from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) on their expectations for supplier performance and components with potential for future supply chain growth; and (3) the perspective of a 1st tier manufacturer on their experience being a supplier to OEMs in the sector.

10:15AM - Breakout Sessions - Round 1

Wind Energy and Other Green Technologies
Aerospace and High Speed Rail
Medical Devices and Equipment

12:30PM - Lunch w/ Speaker

1:30PM - Breakout Sessions - Round 2

Wind Energy and Other Green Technologies
Aerospace and High Speed Rail
Medical Devices and Equipment

3:30PM - Break

3:45PM - Resources
Overview of federal, state and local programs and services to help manufacturers grow and diversify.

4:15PM - Concluding Comments

4:30PM - Networking Reception

6:00PM - Conclude



Sustainable Cities News & Updates: April 11, 2011
Posted 4/12/2011 10:21:43 AM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
April 11, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.
If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Green Infrastructure Maintenance Conference- April 13th
2) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale- April 15th
3) Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact
4) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding- April 15th
5) Illinois Recycling Association Scholarship Program- April 15th
6) Turner Foundation Seeks Information on Local Green Infrastructure Projects
7) Upcycled, Reused and Recycled Art Show Application- April 15th
8) Project Greenway: A Green Arts and Fashion Show Exhibiting Eco-art and Recycled Fashion-April 16th
9) Green Metropolis Fair- April 16th
10) GreenTown: The Future of Community- April 28th
11) Free Computer and Electronic Recycling-month of April
12) Save Green by Greening Your Business- May 10th
13) Exploring School Gardens- May 19th
14) GR 2011: Celebrating Sustainability Awards- May 21st
15) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards- May 27th
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1) Green Infrastructure Maintenance Conference
Date: April 13, 2011, 9:00 am-3:45 pm
Location: I-Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First Street, Champaign, IL, 61820
As cities grow and age, green infrastructure is becoming increasingly important. This conference addresses maintenance for bioretention swales, native plantings, rain gardens, porous pavements, and green roofs. It is sponsored by the University of Illinois Office of Public Engagement and the MS4 Stormwater Technical Committee. For more information and registration, please see: http://www.fs.uiuc.edu/environmentalconservation/events/greenconfabout.html
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2) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale
The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program. The federal government has mandated that T12 lamps be phased out of production in 2012. Approximately 30 percent of all fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are still T12 technology. As a result of the T12 phase out, 70 percent of all T12 fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. will be phased out by July 2012. This means all public facilities will eventually have to upgrade all of their T12 lighting. To help the public sector and public schools, the State's Illinois Energy Now program is offering its best incentives to upgrade to high-efficiency T8 or T5 lamps.
DCEO's Illinois Energy Now special sale is open to municipalities, park districts, fire districts, public k-12 schools, public universities, community colleges and state and federal facilities within ComEd and Ameren electric service areas. The Illinois Energy Now special sale will be available from December 13, 2010 to April 15, 2011. Applicants seeking the Illinois Energy Now Special must submit an addendum along with the standard application and follow the Public Sector Electric Efficiency Program Guidelines and specifications posted at http://www.IllinoisEnergy.org (follow the Illinois Energy Now link). Incentives cannot exceed 100 percent of project cost.
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3) Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact
The Illinois Sustainable Schools Compact program launched on January 31, 2008 features best practices that K-12 schools can voluntarily pursue to achieve greater environmental sustainability. Governor Quinn wants to challenge all Illinois schools to consider and pursue these practices, helping our communities and our state lead the way to a greener, cleaner future. Currently, over 450 Illinois schools have signed onto the Compact. This is a great a great program for schools to join during Earth Month. To participate, principals or superintendents should check off practices the school or district is now pursuing and aims to pursue. For the compact please visit, http://www2.illinois.gov/green/Pages/IllinoisSustainableSchoolsCompact.aspx.
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4) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding
Application due: April 15, 2011
This program is designed to support projects that will divert food scraps and other organic material, excluding yard waste, from Illinois landfills for composting, increasing the quantity of materials composted in Illinois. The Department anticipates that these projects will provide new jobs and other economic and environmental benefits to the State of Illinois as well as advance Illinois' composting infrastructure. The Department encourages the submission of joint projects or applications that address regional or multi-jurisdictional composting approaches from any combination of two or more governmental, for-profit, or not-for-profit organizations. To learn more about the program, or if you would like to be notified on the program's next funding opportunity, please contact: David.E.Smith@illinois.gov. Visit www.illinoisrecycles.com for more information.
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5) Illinois Recycling Association Scholarship Program
The Illinois Recycling Association (IRA) will provide a scholarship to students enrolled in Sustainability Environmental Science or related studies. This year's scholarship is $1,500.00. Applications are to be received electronically no later than April 15, 2011. An application consists of:
-letter to the Committee
-how their curriculum relates to the Sustainability/Science/environmental field
-grade point average (in applicable classes and overall)
-involvement in extra-curricular activities
Students eligible to be considered must have graduated from an Illinois high school or be a resident of Illinois. The IRA Awards Committee will consider the application and select one student to be awarded the scholarship. For more information visit, http://www.igencc.org/Illinois-Recycling-Association-Scholarship-Program.
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6) Turner Foundation Seeks Information on Local Green Infrastructure Projects
Is your community investing in green infrastructure to improve air quality, lower summertime temperatures, or reduce energy costs? The Clean Water America Alliance (Alliance) is conducting a project for the Turner Foundation to engage utilities, cities, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector on green infrastructure policy. The resulting report will be used to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with its national rulemaking to establish a program to reduce stormwater discharges. If you would like to participate in this project, complete the questionnaire at the link below to submit information on your current green infrastructure implementation efforts as well as the barriers you've encountered. The questionnaire is intended to seek quantitative and qualitative data on the technical, financial, legal, institutional, and cultural barriers to implementing green infrastructure practices at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Your contribution will be compiled with others to develop a report highlighting the opportunities, barriers and recommendations. Respond to the questionnaire yourself, or circulate the link below to others at your organization to complete some or all of the questions, as appropriate. The deadline for survey participation is April 15, 2011.
Visit http://www.cleanwateramericaalliance.org/gisurvey_about.php for more information.
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7) Upcycled, Reused and Recycled Art Show Application
Due: April 15, 2011
The Illinois Recycling Association, Illinois Counties Solid Waste Management Association, and the Illinois Chapter Solid Waste Association of North America are holding their joint conference, "Destination Sustainability: Greening Illinois Together," June 6-8, 2011 in Springfield. This event is supported with a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Upcycled, Reused and Recycled Eco Market Committee cordially invites you to submit an application to exhibit and sell your crafts and/or artwork during this annual conference. We are asking you to display your items on Tuesday, 7, 2011. The exhibitor free is $25.00 per 6-foot table. For more information or the application please email david.e.smith@illinois.gov .
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8) Project Greenway: A Green Arts and Fashion Show Exhibiting Eco-art and Recycled Fashion
Date: April 16th, 2011 from 4 pm-6 pm
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, McCormick Room, 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
This is your chance to meet ACE Action Teams from all over the City, see the latest in green fashion trends, and learn about area schools' eco-successes from this school year. You'll also have the opportunity to connect with other teachers, partners and environmental club sponsors and be entered into a raffle for great prizes. To RSVP visit, https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEFLWWJfWDZxYWFyeW5nRjI2VUFxT3c6MQ&ndplr=1.
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9) Green Metropolis Fair
Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 10 am-4 pm
Location: Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox, Chicago, IL
Join us for this special all day Earth Month Event to celebrate spring, sustainable living & wellness!
• Free entry; non-perishable food donation requested. All are welcome.
• Hands on family-friendly activities: farm animals, composting and more!
• Multiple showings of Dirt! The Movie & Vanishing of the Bees. Requested donation $5 per family. Your small donation helps bring events like this to underserved communities throughout our region.
• Retail market with sustainable business vendors
• Food market with local restaurants and chefs
• Presentations on car-sharing, gardening, composting, CSAs, and more.
For more information visit, http://www.greenmetropolisfair.com/index.html.
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10) GreenTown: The Future of Community
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Location: The Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL 60120
Led by Mayor Ed Schock, Elgin developed a sustainability master plan with consultants, environmental groups and community stakeholders and has been working to make Elgin a healthy, sustainable community through planning, transportation, energy efficiency, green jobs and more. GreenTown will not only focus on Elgin's progress and future, but will also look at ways communities around the Chicago metro area are "going green" and working on creating healthy, sustainable communities.
Whether you are part of the public or private sector, at GreenTown you will learn, network and get actionable information.
For more information visit, http://greentownconference.com/.
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11) Free Computer and Electronic Recycling
For Earth Month (April) any county can bring in computers or electronics for proper disposal to available BLH Computers, Inc. locations. This free program is available during normal business hours. For a complete list of what is accepted and what is not, and to find locations and hours of operation, please go to www.blhcomputers.com.
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12) Save Green by Greening Your Business
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Joliet Junior College-Main T-1002, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL
All organizations, both large and small and new or well-established, can learn ways to cut costs while at the same time making their businesses more sustainable. Various speakers will explain rebates, performance contracting and waste reduction. Vendors will also be available to provide personalized information. For more information visit, http://www.willcountygreen.com/business/greening_business_seminars.aspx.
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13) Exploring School Gardens
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011, 4-8 pm
Location: Waters Elementary School, 4540 N. Campbell Ave., Chicago, IL
This workshop will take teachers out of the classroom and into Chicago's largest school garden with veteran garden educator, Pete Leki. Teachers will learn how to plan and a school garden, get families and community members involved, and utilize the garden as an outdoor classroom. Participants in this workshop will also have the opportunity to get their hands dirty working in the soil while singing garden songs! Light dinner is included. For more information email Lindsey Arenberg at Lindsey@sevengenerationsahead.org.
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14)GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Location: Joliet Public Library - Black Road Branch and the Forest Preserve's Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access, located on Black Road between I-55 and Essington Road in Joliet.
"GR2011" is designed to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services, and technologies. All ages are welcome, and all activities are being offered free of charge. Food will be available for purchase. The festival will feature recycled artwork, a rock wall, live music, how-to workshops, yoga classes, and other fun, Earth-friendly activities for the whole family. Kids' activities will include bird hikes and fishing pole casting demonstrations. Also on hand will be eco-friendly exhibits - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to energy-efficient home and green building products. Festival goers are encouraged to bring books and old electronics for a recycling drive held on-site.
For more information visit, http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/gr2011.asp.
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15) 2011 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards
2011 marks the 25th year of the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards. The University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Awards. The Center, in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, has honored organizations for their efforts in sustainability and pollution prevention since 1987. Sustainability is achieved through activities that satisfy today's needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. At ISTC, we believe that the key to sustainability is being less wasteful with materials, energy, and natural and community resources. For the award application, please tell us your story. We want to know what you did, how you did it, and how it helped your organization, the environment, and your community. This is a competitive award, and successful applicants will provide detailed, creative, and compelling descriptions of significant activities whose benefits encompass the three aspects of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
Applications will only be accepted electronically and must be submitted to GovsAwards@istc.illinois.edu by May 27, 2011 for consideration. Visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/govs_awards.cfm for more information.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.

Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




Illinois Wind Working Group Conference Call April 18th
Posted 3/30/2011 3:08:07 PM

WHEN: Monday, April 18th

TIME: 11:00 AM (Central Time)

SPEAKER: Larry Flowers
Deputy Director, Distributed and Community Wind
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

TOPIC: Creating a Public-Private Partnership to Educate K-12 about Wind Energy


Directions to connect to the conference call:

• Please dial (712) 775-7100.

• At the prompt, enter conference code 471368 followed by the # key.

For more information visit: www.RenewableEnergy.ilstu.edu



Studies Show Multiple Benefits of Community Wind: 25x'25 Webinar April 11
Posted 3/30/2011 10:21:27 AM

Announcing a New 25x'25 Webinar
SAVE THE DATE!

Community Wind: Studies Show Multiple Benefits
to Rural Communities and Public at Large

25x'25 will be hosting a webinar, "Community Wind: Studies Show Multiple Benefits to Rural Communities and Public at Large," on April 11, 2011.

Community wind, or locally owned wind power, is a great source of electricity for rural communities with good wind resources. Wind power development is a win-win-win for rural economic development, national security, and the environment. However, community wind development faces significant obstacles, including potentially higher costs and limited policy support. Fortunately, there are ways to develop community wind despite these and other challenges.

This wind power webinar session, our 3rd to date, will feature in-depth presentations on several important studies. The first presentation will highlight findings from both "Revealing the Hidden Value that the Federal Investment Tax Credit and Treasury Grant Provide to Community Wind Projects" and "Community Wind: Once Again Pushing the Envelope of Project Finance." The second presentation is entitled "Economic Development Impacts of Community Wind Projects: A Review and Empirical Evaluation." In addition, new policy initiatives by 25x'25 and wind power allies, and the latest wind power politics, will be discussed.

Session Leaders:
Mark Bolinger, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Eric Lantz, National Renewable Energy Lab
Peggy Beltrone and Lloyd Ritter, 25x'25

Moderator: Ernie Shea, 25x25

Date: April 11, 2011

Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. EDT

How to participate (using both computer and phone)

Step 1: Computer login
Go to http://www.soundpatheview.com
Participant code login: 202 862 6309

Step 2: Phone call in
Call in number: 1-866-805-0848
Participant code: 202 862 6309

Important note:
Participants must be using Microsoft Internet Explorer as their web browser and pop-up blockers and session cookies must be enabled. Then, participants should visit http://www.soundpatheview.com before the webinar to test their system by clicking on the System Check link.


No wind turbines for Aurora police station
Posted 3/24/2011 10:00:57 AM

Article updated: 3/22/2011 10:20 PM
By Marie Wilson, Daily Herald
www.dailyherald.com

Wind turbines are not likely to be spinning outside the Aurora Police Department's headquarters anytime soon.

The city council Tuesday night sent back to the finance committee a proposal to use $213,500 in federal funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to install turbines near a bike path on the police station's property.
Advertisement

The finance committee will look into applying the funding toward a different project or projects that can get started before April 15, the day the grant expires, Chief Management Officer Carie Anne Ergo said.

The proposed turbines would have provided 6,000 kilowatts of energy a year — one twentieth of a percent of the energy necessary to power the police station, according to estimates alderman received last week from Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure of Chicago.

With power at a cost of 8 cents a kilowatt, the turbines would save the city $576 a year in rebates from ComEd, which pays for the police station's power under a contract with the city. And with a project cost of $213,500, the city decided that amount of savings was not enough.

"When we looked at the numbers, it was not a project that we felt made the best use of the energy efficiency block grant funds," Ergo said.

Alderman Rick Lawrence said he was glad the project is not moving forward. He said the situation almost became a case of a consulting and engineering firm using the "green" craze to exploit taxpayers by suggesting a project with little real value.

But Ergo said the city saw value in the project beyond dollars and cents. The turbines also could have encouraged other Aurora businesses to pursue emerging renewable energy technologies and educated students at nearby Simmons Middle School about sustainability.

"What we usually tell people who ask us about small turbines, if the only reason is that they want to make money, save money, then they might want to look at it closely to see if it will meet expectations," said Fred Iutzi, program manager for sustainable development at the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs, which has conducted wind speed studies across the state.

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which provides grants for turbine installation, also prioritizes small wind projects that have educational or outreach aspects other than their power generation abilities, said Gabriela Martin, who reviews grant applications for the foundation.

Alderman Abby Schuler, who sits on the finance committee and whose ward includes the police station property, said it's unfortunate the wind turbine project will not be moving forward. She said she supported the idea for both its renewable energy and educational aspects.

"It would have been a nice generation of our green philosophy," Schuler said. "I want the best return for the money."

Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110322/news/703229782/#ixzz1HWslsRPf



Proposed 100 MW Wind Project In Indiana Has A Unique Partnership
Posted 3/23/2011 8:41:32 AM

by Angela Beniwal on Tuesday 22 March 2011
North American Windpower
http://www.nawindpower.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.7521

A unique partnership between a university, a developer and an energy company could result in a 100 MW wind farm that would be used as a research center.

Purdue University's board of trustees recently gave the school permission to pursue leasing land as part of a 60-turbine wind farm, which would be located on a combination of university and private land in Tippecanoe County, Ind.

"This is an energy park that has a lot of potential to positively impact the research on wind and to really understand it better," says Scott Zigmond, vice president of sales and marketing for Performance Services.

The project would be developed by Indianapolis-based Performance Services, a design-build engineering firm. Other partners include Purdue University, the Purdue Research Foundation and GE.

"We haven't found any partnerships like this in the country," says Zigmond. "We haven't seen a commercial wind farm with this level of research at 100 MW in the country."

The project is proposed for Purdue's Animal Sciences Research and Education Center (ASREC) and adjacent private property. The school erected a meteorological tower in 2005, and three years later began seriously exploring the idea of building an energy park. The Purdue Research Foundation subsequently issued a request for proposals (RFP). It was through this RFP that the school learned that Performance Services also wanted to build a wind project just north of the university's property.

"We discovered that the developer that we already felt was pretty strong and had assembled a pretty good team also was looking at a development that would be a neighbor to our property," says Ken Sandel, director of physical and capital planning at Purdue University. "It kind of all merged together and has really become a good partnership."

What sets this proposed project apart is the potential for research in the areas of turbine reliability, and how wind energy affects the environment and agriculture, says Douglas Adams, a professor of renewable energy and power systems at Purdue's College of Engineering.

"You can do your best to create things like this in the laboratory, but at the end of the day, it's where the rubber meets the road that matters from a standpoint of these actual measurements," says Adams. "The data source that [the wind project] represents is just unprecedented. Having that kind of access to data, both within the wind farm and in the vicinity of the wind farm, will just be fantastic."

In addition to providing 1.5 MW turbines, and operations and maintenance, GE would work with engineers at Purdue University to conduct research on wind turbines. Research conducted at the site would be unique because it would be done at a system level, rather than on an individual turbine, says Adams.

"The idea and the process of collecting data from an operating wind turbine is generally well understood," he says. "I think the opportunity that this represents is that that can be done at a system level. Now we can start to understand these wake effect interactions and how control and operation of one turbine affects turbines that are downstream, for instance."

Purdue University offers a wind certificate program, through which some students are sent to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory or Sandia National Laboratories to work on turbines that are set up in those locations. Adams says the few students lucky enough to visit the turbines gain a unique perspective about how wind energy works.

"Those students who go and test the utility-scale wind turbine, they come back and they're different," he explains. "They have a different appreciation for their work, and obviously, they are much more competitive for jobs in the industry."

Having turbines on university property will make it easier for more students to work with the machines directly, says Sandel.

"We feel that this will provide a lot of potential and a lot of opportunity for our students," he says.

The Purdue Research Foundation plans to handle leasing arrangements for about 1,600 acres of Purdue land 10 miles northwest of the campus in northern Tippecanoe County, where half of the turbines would be built for the Purdue Energy Park. Performance Services' wind farm, known as Performance Park, is proposed for more than 2,400 acres of private property north of ASREC.

Performance Services is working with Duke Energy, NIPSCO, Indiana Power & Light Co., Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Vectren Corp. and Hoosier Energy to secure power purchase agreements (PPAs), which the company hopes will happen by this summer. Zigmond says that the PPAs can be split among utilities.

"What we really like about it is that it's an Indiana developer with Indiana construction with an Indiana university," says Zigmond. "Hopefully, utility companies recognize this so we can keep that power in the state of Indiana."

Performance Services hopes to place the turbine order this fall and begin installation in spring 2012, with final completion expected later that year. The developer's construction partner is White Construction, which expects that up to 225 temporary jobs will be created as a result of development.

In addition to the six to eight long-term jobs that are expected for the project, Zigmond says there is employment potential elsewhere as well.

"Researchers believe they can bring in millions of dollars of research funds, which then could create jobs and could create some spin-off companies," he notes.


Sustainable Cities News & Updates
Posted 3/14/2011 1:25:14 PM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
March 14, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.
If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Illinois River Coordinating Council, Mississippi River Coordinating Council, Wabash and Ohio Rivers Coordinating Council Quarterly Meeting-March 16th
2) Family Farmed EXPO- March 17th-19th
3) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job training Grant Guidelines-March 18th
4) Join us for a FREE Teacher Training session from Seven Generations Ahead-March 21st, April 4th, May 18th, 19th, and 21st
5) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program- March 22nd
6) Natural Lawn Care Workshop Professionals and Municipalities-March 23rd
7) Second Annual Electronics and Sustainability Symposium-March 23rd-24th
8) Illinois American Water 2011 Environmental Grant Program-March 25th
9) Going Green and Paying For It: Green Tools for Municipalities- March 30th
10) 2011 Sustainable Schools Symposium-April 1st
11) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC- April 5th
12) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale-available till April 15th
13) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding- April 15th
14) GreenTown: The Future of Community- April 28th
15) GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival-May 21st
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1) Illinois River Coordinating Council, Mississippi River Coordinating Council, Wabash and Ohio Rivers Coordinating Council Quarterly Meeting
Date: March 16, 2011, 1:30 PM
Location: Department of Natural Resources, Lakeview Rooms, One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
The public is invited to attend a discussion with Lt. Governor Sheila Simon on river recreation in Illinois. Lt. Governor Simon chairs the Illinois River, Mississippi River, and Wabash and Ohio Rivers Coordinating Councils that are composed of a diverse group of citizens, not-for-profit organizations, and state and federal agencies. Through a public dialogue, the Councils coordinate initiatives, projects and funding to promote the ecological health of Illinois rivers. The theme of the first quarter meeting is river access and recreation.
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2) Family Farmed EXPO
Date: March 17-19, 2011
Location: UIC Forum 725 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60607
Family Farmed EXPO is a three day conference, trade show, and food festival for farmers, businesses, the trade, individuals, and families. Thursday features our world-class Financing Farm to Fork conference supporting the local food movement by encouraging investment in farm and food production, processing and distribution businesses. Friday features the Midwest's leading local food trade show, a major school food track, our Meet the Buyers reception, an innovative Food Policy Summit, and the scrumptious Localicious Party to cap the day. Saturday features cooking demos from celebrity chefs, educational workshops, Sally Fallon and an interactive Kids Corner. For more information visit: http://www.familyfarmedexpo.com/about.html.
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3) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines
Application due: March 18, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields or access the RFP at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/grants/epa-oswer-oblr-11-01.pdf.
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4) Join us for a FREE Teacher Training session from Seven Generations Ahead
Date:
• March 21 - Benton, IL 9am-3pm,
• April 4 - Springfield, IL 9am-3pm
• May 18, 19, 21 - Chicagoland TBD
Seven Generations Ahead is an Oak Park, IL based non-profit whose mission is to promote ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. Using a fun, and hands-on approach to learning, Fresh from the Farm threads together ecology, healthy eating, organics, and local farming through year-round curriculum lessons and activities. The Fresh from the Farm training will provide you with the curriculum, materials and the skills to take to your school and implement this outstanding program! Some of the curriculum activities include: local organic farm tours, school-based composting, and classroom food tastings and curriculum lessons.
For registration or more information, please email or phone Emily Doering at emily.doering@illinois.gov or 312-814-7098.
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5) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program
Application due: March 22, 2011
This request for proposals (RFP) announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities for financial assistance through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program. CARE is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.
For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
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6) Natural Lawn Care Workshop Professionals and Municipalities
Date: March 23, 2011, Oakton Community College, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL
Growing public demand for safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly lawns has created a
prime opportunity for turf pros and looking to get into this field and to address customers'
concerns. Natural lawn care emphasizes building healthy soil, encouraging soil biology, selecting
the right grass, watering properly and managing pests naturally. The topics the workshop will
cover include: Sustainability and Natural Lawns, Soil and Healthy Landscapes, Transitioning to
Natural Lawn Care, Budgets and Saving Money, and Public Messaging. The featured speaker is Chip Osborne, President of Osborne Organics, with over 30 years of experience in the turf and horticulture industry, as well as experience managing athletic and municipal turf fields naturally.
For a complete agenda, presenter biographies and registration materials please go to www.ilca.net.
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7) Second Annual Electronics and Sustainability Symposium
Date: March 23-24, 2011
Location: I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820
The Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) are hosting the Second Annual Electronics and Sustainability Symposium. This event will serve as a forum for welcoming new ideas and alternative methods for dealing with the environmental impacts of electronic devices. It will also serve as an opportunity to interact with representatives from academia, industry, and government sectors.
For more information, please visit: http://www.sustainelectronics.illinois.edu/symposia/2011/
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8) Illinois American Water 2011 Environmental Grant Program
Application due: March 25, 2011
Illinois American Water (IAW), a private water supplier serving parts of the greater Chicago area, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2011 Environmental Grant Program to improve and protect local watersheds. Created in 2005, IAW's grant program awards grantees up to $10,000 for "innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in our local communities." Watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects and hazardous waste collection efforts are all cited as examples of eligible activities. To be eligible, the project must be a community initiative and be located within the Illinois American Water service area.
For more information visit: http://www.amwater.com/ilaw/ensuring-water-quality/environmental-grants-program.html.
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9) Going Green and Paying For It: Green Tools for Municipalities
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 08:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Location: College of Lake County Campus, 19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake, Illinois 60030
Join the USGBC - Illinois Chapter's North/Northwest Branch for Branch for an education program designed for our Municipal/Government leaders. Sustainability is an often heard term but what does it really mean and how can it be implemented by a city planner, contractor or engineer? "Going Green and Paying for It: Green Tools for Municipalities" features a panel discussion and case study providing guidance on how to start saving energy and money through green building practices and energy conservation. Learn about the true value of incorporating energy efficiency, the role of alternative energy, and available funding assistance and financing options.
For event fees, online registration and additional information, visit: http://usgreenbuildingcouncilchicagochapter.roundtablelive.org/ViewEvent.ashx?eventId=266456
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10) 2011 Sustainable Schools Symposium
Date: Friday, April 1, 2011
Location: Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 West 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60655
The Governor and Lt. Governor's Offices invites you and your organization to participate as an attendee, sponsor or exhibitor at the 3nd Annual K-12 Schools Symposium, hosted by the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council and Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago on Friday, April 1, 2011.This symposium is an opportunity to exchange ideas with symposium participants such as school and district administrators, regional superintendents, school board members, facilities managers and custodial staff, teachers, school health practitioners, facility planners and architects, school-related non-profits and agencies, and high school student environmental leaders.
Speakers and workshops will cover topics such as sustainable school facility planning and siting, green facilities management, sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and service learning, water conservation, waste reduction, and sustainable school transportation.
To register for the symposium, visit:
http://admin.usgbc-illinois.org/widget/calendar?eventId=271493&EventViewMode=EventDetails
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11) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC
Where: I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820
This one day training will address the design and construction of high-performance residential buildings by explaining the construction of efficient building envelopes, the implementation of energy load reduction measures, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation. The training will be of particular interest to architects, developers, contractors, public housing authority staff, public sector code and building officials, and other individuals involved with building design and construction. Registration fees: $35 early bird; $45 regular which includes program materials and lunch.
• April 5, 2011 (early bird registration by March 22)
Visit http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/html/GreenLiving.html for more information.
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12) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale
The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program. The federal government has mandated that T12 lamps be phased out of production in 2012. Approximately 30 percent of all fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are still T12 technology. As a result of the T12 phase out, 70 percent of all T12 fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. will be phased out by July 2012. This means all public facilities will eventually have to upgrade all of their T12 lighting. To help the public sector and public schools, the State's Illinois Energy Now program is offering its best incentives to upgrade to high-efficiency T8 or T5 lamps.
DCEO's Illinois Energy Now special sale is open to municipalities, park districts, fire districts, public k-12 schools, public universities, community colleges and state and federal facilities within ComEd and Ameren electric service areas. The Illinois Energy Now special sale will be available from December 13, 2010 to April 15, 2011. Applicants seeking the Illinois Energy Now Special must submit an addendum along with the standard application and follow the Public Sector Electric Efficiency Program Guidelines and specifications posted at http://www.IllinoisEnergy.org (follow the Illinois Energy Now link). Incentives cannot exceed 100 percent of project cost.
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13) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding
Application due: April 15, 2011
This program is designed to support projects that will divert food scraps and other organic material, excluding yard waste, from Illinois landfills for composting, increasing the quantity of materials composted in Illinois. The Department anticipates that these projects will provide new jobs and other economic and environmental benefits to the State of Illinois as well as advance Illinois' composting infrastructure. The Department encourages the submission of joint projects or applications that address regional or multi-jurisdictional composting approaches from any combination of two or more governmental, for-profit, or not-for-profit organizations. To learn more about the program, or if you would like to be notified on the program's next funding opportunity, please contact: David.E.Smith@illinois.gov. Visit www.illinoisrecycles.com for more information.
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14) GreenTown: The Future of Community
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011
Location: The Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin, IL 60120
Led by Mayor Ed Schock, Elgin developed a sustainability master plan with consultants, environmental groups and community stakeholders and has been working to make Elgin a healthy, sustainable community through planning, transportation, energy efficiency, green jobs and more. GreenTown will not only focus on Elgin's progress and future, but will also look at ways communities around the Chicago metro area are "going green" and working on creating healthy, sustainable communities.
Whether you are part of the public or private sector, at GreenTown you will learn, network and get actionable information.
For more information visit, http://greentownconference.com/.
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15) GR2011: Celebrating Sustainability Festival
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m
Location: Joliet Public Library - Black Road Branch and the Forest Preserve's Rock Run Preserve - Black Road Access, located on Black Road between I-55 and Essington Road in Joliet.
"GR2011" is designed to create excitement and enthusiasm for green products, services, and technologies. All ages are welcome, and all activities are being offered free of charge. Food will be available for purchase. The festival will feature recycled artwork, a rock wall, live music, how-to workshops, yoga classes, and other fun, Earth-friendly activities for the whole family. Kids' activities will include bird hikes and fishing pole casting demonstrations. Also on hand will be eco-friendly exhibits - everything from all-natural body care products and organic cotton clothing to energy-efficient home and green building products. Festival goers are encouraged to bring books and old electronics for a recycling drive held on-site.
For more information visit, http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/information/gr2011.asp.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.


Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn



ARRA-IL DCEO Green Industry Business Development & Energy Efficiency Program RFA
Posted 3/7/2011 9:12:48 AM

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Green Industry Business Development and Large Customer Energy Efficiency Program
Request For Applications


IL DCEO is issuing a second Request For Applications for up to $15 million in ARRA funding under the previously announced Green Industry Business Development and Large Customer Energy Efficiency Program solicitation. This RFA is a competitive solicitation for additional projects that can be completed on an expedited timeline (must be completed before February 17, 2012) and meet all ARRA requirements. Applications are due to DCEO on or before 4:30 p.m. on April 4, 2011. Program guidelines and application forms may be accessed from the Illinois Energy Office's website at www.illinoisenergy.org .

Please note, in order to be considered for an award under this solicitation, applicant must have selected a site, completed a feasibility assessment on the proposed project, identified and secured funds for project development and be in the process of securing final financial commitments. All New Construction projects must have substantially completed all NEPA required environmental assessments or environmental impact statements prior to or at the time of application in order to be considered for an award. (See Section 8.4.6 of program guidelines.)

If you have questions regarding the Application package, please call 217-785-3416 (TDD: 217/785-6055).




USFWS Draft Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines
Posted 2/23/2011 10:44:51 AM

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Notice of Availability in today's Federal Register for the Fisheries and Habitat Conservation and Migratory Birds Programs' Draft Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines. The Service is accepting public comments through the end of the day May 19, 2011. This Notice is available online at:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-02-18/pdf/2011-3699.pdf



22nd Annual IIRA Rural Community Economic Development Conference
Posted 2/17/2011 8:43:27 AM

I am pleased to invite you to the 22nd Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference on March 9 and 10, 2011, in Peoria, Illinois.

Given the challenges of the past year, community and economic development practitioners must look for new strategies in addressing the needs of rural areas. At the same time, local governments must continue to deliver services, maintain infrastructure, and position themselves to compete in the global marketplace.

The 22nd Annual Rural Community Economic Development Conference brings together experts who will share their strategies in meeting the challenges facing rural areas today. In addition to informative breakout sessions, the conference offers several opportunities to meet conference speakers and representatives for state agencies and organizations, and to network with other attendees.

Now, more than ever, rural leaders must be innovative when addressing the issues critical to rural Illinois. We believe that this year's conference offers a unique opportunity to learn about new strategies that will help you meet the challenges ahead. We look forward to seeing you in Peoria on March 9 and 10 and to register visit www.iira.org.

Christopher D. Merrett
Director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs


Sustainable Cities News & Updates: February 16, 2011
Posted 2/17/2011 8:40:17 AM


This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.
If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Introduction to the State Electronics Challenge- Feb. 17th
2) Transportation Planning Workshop-Feb. 18th
3) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program-Feb. 24th
4) EPA's 2011 National Building Competition- Feb. 25th
5) Woody Biomass Utilization Grants- March 1st
6) Building a Sustainable Community (Chicago) hosted by the USGBC - Illinois Chapter-March 2nd
7) 2011 Rain Barrel Design Competition-March 7th
8) Constellation Energy Seeks Applications From Nonprofit Organizations for EcoStar Grant Program- March 10th
9) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC-
March 10th, & April 5th
10) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job training Grant Guidelines-March 18th
11) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program- March 22nd
12) Illinois American Water 2011 Environmental Grant Program-March 25th
13) 2011 Sustainable Schools Symposium-April 1st
14) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale-available till April 15th
15) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding- April 15th
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1) Introduction to the State Electronics Challenge
Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
This free Webinar is an opportunity to learn how to decrease the environmental footprint of your computer equipment through participation in the State Electronics Challenge. The Challenge is a free program that provides support to state, tribal, regional, and local governments for lifecycle stewardship of computer equipment.
Reserve your Webinar seat by visiting https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/599061742
For more questions about the SEC contact: Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director, Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. at lynn@nerc.org
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2) Transportation Planning Workshop
Date: Friday, February 18, 2011, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
Location: McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
Delta Institute is facilitating this all-day workshop featuring speakers from the Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County and local experts to discuss all aspects of transportation planning, including funding, engineering and future plans. The fee is $20. For more information, visit: www.delta-institute.org/transpoworkshop.
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3) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program
Application due: February 24, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions (with the exception of Region 6) request proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program, for projects that support pollution prevention and source reduction. Priority areas vary by Region. Examples include developing/implementing green curricula; funding interns to conduct P2/source reduction projects; eliminating toxics by using more benign substitutes in schools, hospitals, or elsewhere; sustainable manufacturing; green chemistry; green economy/green jobs; and environmental justice. $1.17 million expected to be available, 20 awards anticipated.
For more information, including Regional priorities go to: http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/.
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4) EPA's 2011 National Building Competition
Application due: February 25, 2011
EPA is once again hosting a national competition among commercial buildings to save energy and fight climate change. Competitors will work off the waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA's ENERGY STAR program. All buildings that apply and meet eligibility requirements are invited to participate in the first round of the competition. At the midpoint of the competition, the field will be narrowed down to a select group of finalists. At the end of the competition, the finalist that sheds the most energy waste will be recognized as the winner. For more information visit: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=buildingcontest.about.
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5) Woody Biomass Utilization Grants
Application due: March 1, 2011
The USFS Forest Products Laboratory recently issued a call for proposals for woody biomass utilization grants of up to $250,000 per project. The announcement appeared in the Federal Register on December 9, 2010. The proposal process has changed for 2011. Projects from the Northeastern Area that utilize woody biomass from forest health and forest restoration treatments for energy will qualify, as well as projects that use woody biomass from fuels reduction efforts. Grant funds are being provided to
address final project engineering costs. Grant funds will not be provided for equipment.
The information on qualifying projects, proposal components, and due dates is available at:
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/units/tmu/tmugrants.shtml
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6) Building a Sustainable Community (Chicago) hosted by the USGBC - Illinois Chapter
Date: March 2, 2011, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Location: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), 233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 80, Chicago, IL 60606
Join the USGBC - Illinois Chapter, CMAP, Farr Associates and the Congress for New Urbanism for a roundtable program on how to achieve sustainable communities for state and local government representatives. Building a Sustainable Community will help municipal leaders and their teams better understand smart urban planning and smart growth, how LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) is one road map to accomplishing these goals and how GO TO 2040 can help communities in their planning for a greener, livable tomorrow. Program attendees will learn key principles of smart urban planning; the goals and point system that constitute LEED Neighborhood Development rating system; and the specific goals and elements of the GO TO 2040 seven county regional plan. Two LEED-ND case studies will also be featured.
For further information please visit:
http://usgreenbuildingcouncilchicagochapter.roundtablelive.org/ViewEvent.ashx?eventId=266567
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7) 2011 Rain Barrel Design Competition
Deadline: March 7, 2011
The Illinois Department of Transportation as part of its sustainability outreach efforts has rolled out the Illinois Elementary School Rain Barrel Contest. All Illinois elementary school children grades K-5 will have the opportunity to participate in a rain barrel decorating contest that may win their school a rain barrel to decorate and install at the school. The barrels are donated by Illinois Correctional Industries. The school districts were given a pdf and guidelines to distribute to their respective schools for the students to create their design and send it in for judging. There are two age categories for participants, (grades K-3) and (grades 4-5). A total of 45 rain barrels will be given away. The winners will then decorate the barrels and have them installed at the school. Possible media events will be scheduled at winning schools during the week of Earth Day in April of 2011. IDOT has won a Green Government Award from the Green Government Coordinating Council in the Water Conservation and Quality category for this Rain Barrel Contest. Schools interested in receiving more information can contact IDOT's Sustainable Practices Manager, Steve Massey at 815.434.8414 or at steve.massey@illinois.gov.
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8) Constellation Energy Seeks Applications From Nonprofit Organizations for EcoStar Grant Program
Application due: March 10, 2011
The EcoStar Grant program was launched in January 2010 to support environmental projects in five stewardship categories: pollution prevention, education and outreach, energy efficiency, conservation and community activism. The 2010 EcoStar Awards supported 62 projects in 14 states, ranging from urban gardens and wetland restoration projects to innovative programs promoting energy efficiency and improved air quality, among many others. These grants represent another step that we are taking to link our employees with the communities in which they live and work. For more information visit: http://www.constellation.com/portal/site/constellation/menuitem.999b6fed85785a2399084010016176a0.
******************************************************************************
9) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC
Where: I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820
This one day training will address the design and construction of high-performance residential buildings by explaining the construction of efficient building envelopes, the implementation of energy load reduction measures, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation. The training will be of particular interest to architects, developers, contractors, public housing authority staff, public sector code and building officials, and other individuals involved with building design and construction. Registration fees: $35 early bird; $45 regular which includes program materials and lunch.
• March 10, 2011 (early bird registration by February 15)
• April 5, 2011 (early bird registration by March 22)
Visit http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/html/GreenLiving.html for more information.
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10) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines
Application due: March 18, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields or access the RFP at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/grants/epa-oswer-oblr-11-01.pdf.
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11) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program
Application due: March 22, 2011
This request for proposals (RFP) announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities for financial assistance through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program. CARE is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.
For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
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12) Illinois American Water 2011 Environmental Grant Program
Application due: March 25, 2011
Illinois American Water (IAW), a private water supplier serving parts of the greater Chicago area, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2011 Environmental Grant Program to improve and protect local watersheds.Created in 2005, IAW's grant program awards grantees up to $10,000 for "innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in our local communities." Watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects and hazardous waste collection efforts are all cited as examples of eligible activities. To be eligible, the project must be a community initiative and be located within the Illinois American Water service area.
For more information visit: http://www.amwater.com/ilaw/ensuring-water-quality/environmental-grants-program.html.
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13) 2011 Sustainable Schools Symposium
Date: Friday, April 1, 2011
Location: Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 West 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60655
The Governor and Lt. Governor's Offices invites you and your organization to participate as an attendee, sponsor or exhibitor at the 3nd Annual K-12 Schools Symposium, hosted by the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council and Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago on Friday, April 1, 2011.This symposium is an opportunity to exchange ideas with symposium participants such as school and district administrators, regional superintendents, school board members, facilities managers and custodial staff, teachers, school health practitioners, facility planners and architects, school-related non-profits and agencies, and high school student environmental leaders.
Speakers and workshops will cover topics such as sustainable school facility planning and siting, green facilities management, sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and service learning, water conservation, waste reduction, and sustainable school transportation.
To register for the symposium, visit:
http://admin.usgbc-chicago.org/widget/calendar?eventId=271493&EventViewMode=EventDetails.
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14) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale
The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program. The federal government has mandated that T12 lamps be phased out of production in 2012. Approximately 30 percent of all fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are still T12 technology. As a result of the T12 phase out, 70 percent of all T12 fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. will be phased out by July 2012. This means all public facilities will eventually have to upgrade all of their T12 lighting. To help the public sector and public schools, the State's Illinois Energy Now program is offering its best incentives to upgrade to high-efficiency T8 or T5 lamps.
DCEO's Illinois Energy Now special sale is open to municipalities, park districts, fire districts, public k-12 schools, public universities, community colleges and state and federal facilities within ComEd and Ameren electric service areas. The Illinois Energy Now special sale will be available from December 13, 2010 to April 15, 2011. Applicants seeking the Illinois Energy Now Special must submit an addendum along with the standard application and follow the Public Sector Electric Efficiency Program Guidelines and specifications posted at http://www.IllinoisEnergy.org (follow the Illinois Energy Now link). Incentives cannot exceed 100 percent of project cost.
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15) Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Opens F-SCRAP Grant Program for FY2011 Funding
Application due: April 15, 2011
This program is designed to support projects that will divert food scraps and other organic material, excluding yard waste, from Illinois landfills for composting, increasing the quantity of materials composted in Illinois. The Department anticipates that these projects will provide new jobs and other economic and environmental benefits to the State of Illinois as well as advance Illinois' composting infrastructure. The Department encourages the submission of joint projects or applications that address regional or multi-jurisdictional composting approaches from any combination of two or more governmental, for-profit, or not-for-profit organizations. To learn more about the program, or if you would like to be notified on the program's next funding opportunity, please contact: David.E.Smith@illinois.gov. Visit www.illinoisrecycles.com for more information.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.


Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




Sustainable Cities News & Updates
Posted 2/8/2011 9:05:02 AM

Sustainable Cities News & Updates
February 7, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.

If you would like to submit an item to be included in the newsletter please email Sandra.pierzchala@illinois.gov.
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1) Chicago Youth Food Policy Council Kick-off Meeting- Feb. 9th
2) EPA SmartWay Program-deadline Feb. 10th
3) USDA Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants- Feb. 11th
4) Creating Eco-Gardens in your Community- Feb. 12th
5) National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications for Five Star Restoration Program- Feb. 14h
6) Sustainable Forestry Initiative Seeks Proposals for Conservation and Community Partnership Grants- Feb. 15h
7) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC-
Feb. 15th, March 10th, & April 5th
8) Introduction to the State Electronics Challenge- Feb. 17th
9) Transportation Planning Workshop -Feb. 18th
10) Midwest Real Food Summit 2011: Urban Food Systems in Development -Feb. 18th - 20th
11) Free Energy Efficiency Program Workshop: How Much Money is Your Business Wasting on Utilities-Feb. 23rd & March 3rd
12) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program-Feb. 24th
13) Webinar: Power Purchase Agreements to Finance Solar- Feb. 24th
14) EPA's 2011 National Building Competition- Feb. 25th
15) Mantis and National Gardening Association Offer Mantis Awards for Community and Youth Gardening Projects- March 1st
16) Woody Biomass Utilization Grants- March 1st
17) Constellation Energy Seeks Applications From Nonprofit Organizations for EcoStar Grant Program- March 10th
18) 2011 Naturally Illinois Expo-March 11th & March 12th
19) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job training Grant Guidelines-March 18th
20) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program- March 22nd
21) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale-available till April 15th
22) Together Green Invites Applications for Innovation Grants- May 2nd
23) Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program
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1) Chicago Youth Food Policy Council Kick-off Meeting
When: Wednesday, February 9, 2011, 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Where: Iron Street Farm, 3333 S. Iron, Chicago, IL
The Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council (CFPAC) is launching the Chicago Youth Food Policy Council! The Youth Council provides an opportunity for Chicago young people (open to ages 14-22) who are excited to be involved in the food justice movement to learn, discuss, and directly influence Chicago food policy! The council will be youth-run; its members will determine the agenda, methods, and policy recommendations of the group. Additionally, two delegates will have the opportunity to represent their Youth Council in the monthly CFPAC meetings alongside Neighborhood Council representatives and other food-movement leaders. It is our goal to have youth-facilitated presentations at the upcoming annual Chicago Food Policy Conference on March 18th.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the initial goals of the Youth Council, answer questions, brainstorm project topics, and plan next steps.
RSVPs must be submitted no later than February 1st. Please include youths' names and contact information. Questions and RSVPs can be directed to Page May at may20p@gmail.com
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2) EPA SmartWay Program
Application due: February 10, 2011
Eligible Entities: Regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and certain non-profit organizations and institutions
EPA's SmartWay Program and National Clean Diesel Campaign are announcing the availability of funding assistance to create finance programs, such as low-cost leases or revolving loan programs, to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions throughout the United States. The SmartWay Finance Program is soliciting proposals for projects that reduce diesel emissions through the creation of national, tribal, regional, state or local finance program(s). Finance programs include, but are not limited to, those that provide the loan recipient a specific financial incentive (i.e., longer terms or lower rates) to purchase or lease eligible retrofitted vehicles or equipment. The proposed finance program should maximize the total project funds available for financing eligible diesel emission reduction solutions and be sustainable to maintain the program.
To learn more about this opportunity, visit: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
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3) USDA Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants
Application due: February 11, 2011
Eligible Entities: Federally recognized Indian tribes, state or local units of government,
non-governmental organizations, or individuals
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requests proposals for Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants. Through this RFP, the USDA seeks to stimulate the application of greenhouse gas benefitting practices on agricultural land. Targeted projects would secure the participation of agricultural producers, determine baseline values of greenhouse gas emissions and/or carbon sequestration, verify the implementation and maintenance of greenhouse gas benefitting practices, and determining greenhouse gas benefits so that these benefits can be successfully registered in a commonly recognized carbon registry. $5 million expected to be available, up to 60 awards anticipated. For more info, contact Gregorio Cruz at gregorio.cruz@wdc.usda.gov or go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/.
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4) Creating Eco-Gardens in your Community
When: February 12, 2011, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 Cannon Drive
Speaker: Dennis Paige
The Chicago Center for Green Technology's Green Tech U Program has been developed in response to the increasing demand for educational resources in green technology in Chicago. Green Tech U seminars provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people, expand professional networks and increase knowledge of sustainability, green building and public policy. A complete seminar listing is located online at: www.cityofchicago.org/Environment/GreenTech.
Learn how one suburban community turned its lawn into an unfolding range of multi-season color using prairie, woodland and wetland wildflowers, forbs, sedges and grasses, becoming the first residential association in the Chicago Wilderness organization.
Registration for this seminar administered by Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
Please call 773-755-5100 x5028 or email adultprograms@naturemuseum.org to sign up.
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5) National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Accepting Applications for Five Star Restoration Program
Application due: February 14, 2011
Grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded to any public or private entity that can receive grants and is working on wetland, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration projects that have measurable ecological, educational, and community benefits. For more information please visit:
http://www.nfwf.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Charter_Programs_List&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=60&ContentID=17901
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6) Sustainable Forestry Initiative Seeks Proposals for Conservation and Community Partnership Grants
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Inc. is pleased to announce the 2011Building on the success of the 2010 grants, SFI Inc. will continue to fund cooperative projects that illustrate the tangible, on-the-ground benefits of the SFI Program. The deadline is February 15, 2011.
SFI Inc. is looking to fund projects that will support partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the US and Canada and responsible procurement globally, or are working to strengthen communities through SFI related activities. SFI Inc. is inviting applications for projects that address current topics of importance to the SFI program, such as:
• The role of certified forests in the emerging bioenergy markets;
• Avoidance of controversial sources, such as illegal logging in the global supply chain;
• Improved wildlife habitat management and conservation of biodiversity; and
• Community-based projects such as those that address management of culturally important lands.
• Forestry educational programs for children (i.e. forestry field tours)
For more information visit: http://www.sfiprogram.org/conservation-grant/about-grant.php.
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7) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC
Where: I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820
This one day training will address the design and construction of high-performance residential buildings by explaining the construction of efficient building envelopes, the implementation of energy load reduction measures, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation. The training will be of particular interest to architects, developers, contractors, public housing authority staff, public sector code and building officials, and other individuals involved with building design and construction. Registration fees: $35 early bird; $45 regular which includes program materials and lunch.
• February 15, 2011 (early bird registration by February 1)
• March 10, 2011 (early bird registration by February 15)
• April 5, 2011 (early bird registration by March 22)
Visit http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/html/GreenLiving.html for more information.
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8) Introduction to the State Electronics Challenge
When: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST
This free Webinar is an opportunity to learn how to decrease the environmental footprint of your computer equipment through participation in the State Electronics Challenge. The Challenge is a free program that provides support to state, tribal, regional, and local governments for lifecycle stewardship of computer equipment.
Reserve your Webinar seat by visiting https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/599061742
For more questions about the SEC contact: Lynn Rubinstein, Executive Director, Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. at lynn@nerc.org
******************************************************************************
9) Transportation Planning Workshop
When: Friday, February 18, 2011, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
Where: McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
Delta Institute is facilitating this all-day workshop featuring speakers from the Illinois Department of Transportation, McHenry County and local experts to discuss all aspects of transportation planning, including funding, engineering and future plans. The fee is $20. For more information, visit: www.delta-institute.org/transpoworkshop.
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10)Midwest Real Food Summit 2011: Urban Food Systems in Development
When: February 18-20, 2011, Northwestern University
Food is culture, food is community. It is what unites us, sharing a meal together. However, the system that produces and distributes and controls food in this country is flawed. The Midwest is the epicenter of our commodity food system and as students learning in midwest institutions we have the responsibility and the power to educate ourselves and those around us about the issues in the modern U.S. food system. That's where this summit comes in! For more information visit: http://realfoodchallenge.org/mwsummit2011.
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11) Free Energy Efficiency Program Workshop: How Much Money is Your Business Wasting on Utilities
The Delta Institute, a regional leader in energy efficiency and green building technology, has been selected to administer Cook County's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). Delta will provide 100 commercial buildings and 50 industrial facilities with energy audits and energy efficiency strategy implementation assistance at no cost to the building or facility The Delta Institute is hosting free presentations throughout Cook County demonstrating how your business can take advantage of this program. For more information, visit: www.delta-institute.org/cookefficiency.
• February 23, 2011 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. RSVP to vcouto@delta-institute.org
Niles Human Services Building, 999 Civic Center Plaza, Niles, IL 60714
• March 3, 2011 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. RSVP to vcouto@delta-institute.org
South Suburban College, Heritage Room, 15800 South State St., South Holland, IL 60473
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12) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program
Application due: February 24, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions (with the exception of Region 6) request proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program, for projects that support pollution prevention and source reduction. Priority areas vary by Region. Examples include developing/implementing green curricula; funding interns to conduct P2/source reduction projects; eliminating toxics by using more benign substitutes in schools, hospitals, or elsewhere; sustainable manufacturing; green chemistry; green economy/green jobs; and environmental justice. $1.17 million expected to be available, 20 awards anticipated.
For more information, including Regional priorities go to: http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/.
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13) Webinar: Power Purchase Agreements to Finance Solar
When: Thursday, Feb. 24 Time: 2 - 3 p.m. Eastern
Join the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) to learn how cities and towns are installing solar through power purchase agreements (PPAs). We'll discuss how to create a PPA and how PPAs can benefit your community by removing certain cost and maintenance barriers associated with solar. Cost: Free for ICLEI members; $30 for all others.
For more information visit http://www.icleiusa.org/news-events/webinar-using-power-purchase-agreements-to-finance-solar.
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14) EPA's 2011 National Building Competition
Application due: February 25, 2011
EPA is once again hosting a national competition among commercial buildings to save energy and fight climate change. Competitors will work off the waste through improvements in energy efficiency with help from EPA's ENERGY STAR program. All buildings that apply and meet eligibility requirements are invited to participate in the first round of the competition. At the midpoint of the competition, the field will be narrowed down to a select group of finalists. At the end of the competition, the finalist that sheds the most energy waste will be recognized as the winner. For more information visit http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=buildingcontest.about.
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15) Mantis and National Gardening Association Offer Mantis Awards for Community and Youth Gardening Projects
Application due: March 1, 2011
Each year, Mantis presents the Mantis Awards to charitable and educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life in their host communities. NGA selects 25 outstanding applicants to receive Mantis tiller/cultivators. Any nonprofit garden program may apply. In the past, winners have included schools, churches, correctional facilities, parks departments, youth camps, community gardens, and many others. These are groups turning slim resources into bountiful gardens with far-reaching benefits, from increasing their community's access to fresh nutritious foods to educating the public about the importance of gardening in our nation's history.
Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must:
• operate a charitable or educational program that is not for profit in the United States
• not offer the tiller as a prize for fundraising (e.g., auction or raffle)
Visit http://www.kidsgardening.org/grants/mantis.asp for more information.
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16) Woody Biomass Utilization Grants
Application due: March 1, 2011
The USFS Forest Products Laboratory recently issued a call for proposals for woody biomass utilization grants of up to $250,000 per project. The announcement appeared in the Federal Register on December 9, 2010. The proposal process has changed for 2011. Projects from the Northeastern Area that utilize woody biomass from forest health and forest restoration treatments for energy will qualify, as well as projects that use woody biomass from fuels reduction efforts. Grant funds are being provided to
address final project engineering costs. Grant funds will not be provided for equipment.
The information on qualifying projects, proposal components, and due dates is available at:
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/units/tmu/tmugrants.shtml
******************************************************************************
17) Constellation Energy Seeks Applications From Nonprofit Organizations for EcoStar Grant Program
Application due: March 10, 2011
The EcoStar Grant program was launched in January 2010 to support environmental projects in five stewardship categories: pollution prevention, education and outreach, energy efficiency, conservation and community activism. The 2010 EcoStar Awards supported 62 projects in 14 states, ranging from urban gardens and wetland restoration projects to innovative programs promoting energy efficiency and improved air quality, among many others. These grants represent another step that we are taking to link our employees with the communities in which they live and work. For more information visit: http://www.constellation.com/portal/site/constellation/menuitem.999b6fed85785a2399084010016176a0.
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18) 2011 Naturally Illinois Expo
When: March 11, 2011 (9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.), March 12, 2011 (10:00 a.m.-3:00p.m.)
Where: Natural Resources Building, 607-615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois
The 2011 Naturally Illinois Expo—the premier outreach event of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois. Experience fifty exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities of interest to the public, teachers, and students of all levels. Interact with scientists who work on cutting-edge research and solutions to water, energy, ecosystem, mineral resource, natural hazards, climate, cultural resource, and technology issues. For more information visit: http://www.inrs.illinois.edu/expo/.
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19) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines
Application due: March 18, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields or access the RFP at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/grants/epa-oswer-oblr-11-01.pdf.
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20) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program
Application due: March 22, 2011
This request for proposals (RFP) announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities for financial assistance through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program. CARE is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.
For more information visit: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
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21) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale
The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program. The federal government has mandated that T12 lamps be phased out of production in 2012. Approximately 30 percent of all fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are still T12 technology. As a result of the T12 phase out, 70 percent of all T12 fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. will be phased out by July 2012. This means all public facilities will eventually have to upgrade all of their T12 lighting. To help the public sector and public schools, the State's Illinois Energy Now program is offering its best incentives to upgrade to high-efficiency T8 or T5 lamps.
DCEO's Illinois Energy Now special sale is open to municipalities, park districts, fire districts, public k-12 schools, public universities, community colleges and state and federal facilities within ComEd and Ameren electric service areas. The Illinois Energy Now special sale will be available from December 13, 2010 to April 15, 2011. Applicants seeking the Illinois Energy Now Special must submit an addendum along with the standard application and follow the Public Sector Electric Efficiency Program Guidelines and specifications posted at http://www.IllinoisEnergy.org (follow the Illinois Energy Now link). Incentives cannot exceed 100 percent of project cost.
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22) Together Green Invites Applications for Innovation Grants
Application due: May 2, 2011
The TogetherGreen Innovation Grants Program supports creative and ambitious projects that engage diverse communities and find innovative solutions to environmental challenges.
TogetherGreen one-year grants fund projects that:
• Conserve or restore habitat and protect species, improve water quality or quantity, and reduce the threat of global warming;
• Engage new and diverse audiences in conservation actions; and
• Inspire and use innovative approaches and technologies to engage people and achieve conservation results.
Visit http://togethergreen.org/Projects/Grants.aspx for more information.
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23) Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program
Illinois EPA currently has $1 million in funding to help school districts clean up their dirty diesel buses with advanced pollution and anti-idling controls. Funding is currently available for school districts that are located in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will and portions of Kendall and Grundy that own their own bus fleets. There are no match requirements with this funding. For more details and to apply for this funding source, visit the Illinois Green Fleets website and click on "Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program." http://www.illinoisgreenfleets.org/ or contact Ashley Collins, Environmental Health Manager, RHAMC directly at acollins@lungchicago.org or 312-628-0202.
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Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.


Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn




Winnebago County Board Chairman Christiansen Announces Danish Wind Turbines Arrived in Rockford
Posted 2/4/2011 9:14:03 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Chet Kolodziej, Manager, Freedom Field (815) 621-8004
February 3, 2011

Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott H. Christiansen Announces Danish Wind Turbines Arrived in Rockford for Rebuilding

(Rockford IL) - County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen is pleased to announce the arrival of the first three wind turbines purchased from a Danish wind farm operator in the northern-most area of Denmark, on the edge of the North Sea.

Freedom Field working with Northern Illinois University (NIU) and its Rapid Optimization of Commercial Knowledge (ROCK) program, and many local manufacturing companies will completely disassemble these turbines and rebuild them to be "state of the art". Once rebuilt and tested, the turbines will be sold on the free market by private entities called Rockwind to continue providing renewable energy for many years into the future.

Congressman Don Manzullo was responsible for acquiring the initial "seed" money to start Freedom Field and he will be a guest speaker at the press conference.

Details and photo opportunities of the wind turbines will take place at a Press Conference on:

Friday, February 4, 2011
1:30 PM
Rock Wind 12th Street Business Center
(Old Greenlee Special Machine Building)
Entrance: Door #10
North End of the Building
2136 - 12th Street
Rockford IL 61104



Counties Prepare for Wind Farms at Siting, Zoning and Taxing Conference Feb. 9
Posted 1/27/2011 9:44:13 AM

The Illinois Wind Working Group (IWWG) will host their fourth Siting, Zoning,
and Taxing of Wind Farms in Illinois Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, at the
Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, IL. IWWG is administered by Illinois
State University's Center for Renewable Energy, and is affiliated with the U.S.
Department of Energy's Wind Powering America state wind working groups.

"Proper siting and zoning of wind farms is THE issue for Illinois in 2011, and
several counties across the state are re-examining their ordinances and procedures," said
Dr. David Loomis, director of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State
University. "Interest in wind energy continues to grow across the state, so this
conference is designed to provide the latest information and answer the many questions
that county and zoning board members and officials have about this industry."

The one-day conference will feature speaker panels to discuss wind farms topics
for an audience of primarily county board members, zoning board members, government
employees, and developers. Topics will include best practices of county and zoning
boards, county ordinance revisions, roads, school district taxation, property value
guarantees, and decommissioning. A Wind Energy 101 pre-session is also offered for
those new to wind farm projects, providing a general overview and discussion on
economic impacts, anticipated trends, wildlife issues, and sound and setback
requirements.

Panelists include Matt Boss (Mainstream Renewable Power), Phil Dick (McLean
County Building and Zoning), Dr. Larry Dodds (Ridgeview School District 19), Dwight
Farber (Horizon Wind Energy), George Gordon (McLean County Board), James Griffin
(Schain, Burney, Banks & Kenny), Chris Howell (Burns & McDonnell), Dr. David
Loomis (Center for Renewable Energy, Illinois State University), Jim Mathes (Illinois
State Board of Education), Paul Miller (DeKalb County), Neil Palmer (Neil Palmer &
Associates), Mark Pierson (Bureau County Board), Pete Poletti (Poletti and Associates),
Dr. Karen Tyrell (BHE Environmental), and David Winters (Livingston County
Engineer).

The conference is sponsored by Acciona, BHE Environmental, Cultural Resource
Analysis, enXco, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Renewables, Illinois Institute for Rural
Affairs at Western Illinois University, Mainstream Renewable Power, Mayer Brown,
Stantec formerly Natural Resources Consulting, Rock Wind LLC, and TradeWind
Energy.

Please register for the Siting, Zoning & Taxing Wind Farms Conference in
advance. The early bird registration fee is $40 for government employees, county board
members, and zoning board members; $95 for all others. As of Feb. 1st, the rates will
change to $60 and $125 respectively. Online registration details and the full conference
agenda are available at www.RenewableEnergy.ilstu.edu, or by contacting the Center for
Renewable Energy at 309-438-7919, email RenewableEnergy@ilstu.edu.

IWWG is designed to communicate wind opportunities honestly and objectively;
interact with various stakeholders at the local, state, regional, and national levels; and
promote economic development of wind energy in the state of Illinois.
The Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University was approved by the
Illinois Board of Higher Education in August, 2008. The Center has three major
functional areas: supporting the renewable energy major at Illinois State University;
serving the Illinois renewable energy community by providing information to the public;
and encouraging applied research on renewable energy at Illinois State University and
through collaborations with other universities.


Energy Innovation Workshop Rescheduled for Jan. 28
Posted 1/25/2011 4:23:36 PM


KAMPSVILLE, ILLINOIS. - Learn ways to save money, save energy, and save resources at the Energy Innovation Workshop on Friday, January 28,2011. The workshop will start at 9:00 and conclude by 3:00. The program will be held at St. Anselm's Hall in Kampsville. If you are considering a solar, wind or other system, we've got the information you need. Speakers include Matt Aldeman from the Center for Renewable Energy and Jolene Willis from Illinois Wind. Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative and Ameren Illinois will provide information on ways to reduce your electric bill and things to consider with renewable energy. John Tibbs with the Illinois Propane Association will talk about propane issues. Representatives from Federal and State programs will provide information on grants and tax incentives. The afternoon program will be held at the McCully Heritage Project and will include an indoor tour of an older home and ways to save.
Registration is $10 at the door, please call one of our sponsors if you plan to attend to be sure we have plenty of food and handouts. Sponsors include: Calhoun County Farm Bureau 618-576-2233, Calhoun County SWCD and NRCS 618-576-2717 ext. 3, McCully Heritage Project and University of Illinois Extension 618-653-4687.




Sustainable Cities News & Updates
Posted 1/19/2011 8:51:24 AM


January 14, 2011

This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.
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1) School Energy Efficiency Grants- deadline Jan. 15th
2) Achieving Greater Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings-Jan. 18th
3) Sustainable Energy Planning Workshop: Training & Implementation Program-Jan.18th & Jan.27th
4) Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Request for Proposal for FY12-deadline Jan. 19th
5) Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment-Jan. 19th
6) Community Renewables: Wind, Solar, and Model Program Rules-Jan. 26th
7) EPA Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Funding Assistance Program- deadline Jan. 27th
8) Wind Turbine Project Outreach Meeting-Jan. 31st
9) EPA SmartWay Program-deadline Feb. 10th
10) USDA Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants- deadline Feb. 11th
11) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC- Feb. 2nd, March 10th, & April 5th
12) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program- deadline Feb. 24th
13) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job training Grant Guidelines-deadline March 18th
14) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program-deadline March 22nd
15) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale-available till April 15th
16) Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program
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1) School Energy Efficiency Grants
Application due: January 15, 2011
Application materials for the Energy Efficiency Grants are available beginning October 12, 2010 on the IWAS System. Applications must be submitted to the Regional Offices of Education by January 15, 2011. The Energy Efficiency Grants are a dollar for dollar state matching grant program providing up to $250,000 for energy efficiency projects in schools. All school districts, charter schools, vocational center or public university laboratory schools are eligible. The FY 2010 Capital Bill provided $50 million for Energy Efficiency Grants. The grants are planned to be distributed over the next two fiscal years, with $9 million released this fall. The grants can be used for insulation, windows, doors, energy controls, lighting, energy recovery, energy conservation, alternative energy systems and other projects designed to reduce energy consumption. The grant application can be found on the IWAS system. For more information and assistance, please contact Kimberly Beachy with the School Business Services Division (217)785-8779.
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2) Achieving Greater Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings
When: January 18, 2011, 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (EST)
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance Program for state and local officials, this webinar shares strategies to put existing public buildings on the path to becoming high-performance buildings. The webinar will give an overview of a new guide being developed by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) and regional stakeholders filled with low- to no-cost strategies to reduce energy and water consumption, maintain renewable energy systems, commission your existing buildings, select environmentally friendly materials, and more. For more information, or to register, visit: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/solutioncenter/webcasts/default.html
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3) Sustainable Energy Planning Workshop: Training & Implementation Program
When: January 18: Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Peoria
January 27: River Bend Growth Association, Alton
DCEO has contracted with Utilivate Technologies to provide its proprietary 3-step SEP Workshop program to help public and private sector organizations sharply reduce their energy expenditures; and, provide details on how to apply for and win state & utility energy efficiency incentive dollars. The program will "kick off" with a Sustainable Energy Planning workshop that is designed to empower organizations to craft a Sustainable Energy Plan, and achieve immediate and sustained energy cost reductions. After the workshop, energy experts will provide free consulting/coaching support to complete the SEP, conduct energy surveys, or target other actions identified in the sustainable energy planning process. Finally, all participants will be invited to return for a "Lessons Learned & Best Practices" session to be held in May 2011.
The total program fee of $5,500 covers the Sustainable Energy Planning (SEP) Workshop, implementation and consulting/coaching support, and a follow-up networking session. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Ameren Illinois Utilities will underwrite $5,000; your organization pays only $300. Up to three people from each organization can attend for this single fee of $300. There is very limited space for each workshop. Register today by calling 312-558-1683.
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4) Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Request for Proposal for FY12
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, promotes sustainability through resource conservation, pollution prevention, and research efforts. The Center's current research activities are focused on industrial pollution prevention, energy conservation, biofuels, and water quality, use, and reuse. Each of ISTC's new funding cycles begins with a focused solicitation identifying issues of special interest to the State. Pre-proposals are being requested at this time for funding in FY12. Pre-proposals are due to ISTC by January 19, 2011.
Eligible Applicants: Researchers associated with both the public and private sectors may apply. Principal investigators may be from colleges, universities, industry, non-profit organizations, and the consulting community. Researchers are encouraged to partner across departments, units, colleges, and with external organizations as appropriate. Collaborative proposals with ISTC staff are also encouraged. In addition to new projects, proposals to supplement an outside project or additional research for ongoing programs will also be considered.
For more information visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/research/research_fund_docs/FY12-ISTC-REQUEST-FOR-PROPOSALS.PDF.
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5) Purchasing and Procuring Efficient Equipment
When: January 19, 2011: 1:00-2:00 PM (EST)
ENERGY STAR will host this webcast covering resources to help your organization purchase products with superior energy performance, guidelines that define energy performance for numerous products, sample procurement language, and software that calculates the life cycle costs of products.
ENERGY STAR offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. To register for any of these trainings or to see other upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, visit: https://energystar.webex.com.
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6) Community Renewables: Wind, Solar, and Model Program Rules
When: January 26, 2011, 3:00-4:15 PM (EST)
Sponsored by DOE's Technical Assistance Program for state and local officials, this webinar will feature presentations on community renewable programs, with a focus on wind projects, and how these can be models for communities interested in owning and developing wind projects to provide locally produced clean energy. For more information, or to register, visit: http://www.nrel.gov/applying_technologies/state_local_activities/webinar_20110126.html
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7) EPA Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Funding Assistance Program
Application Due: January 27, 2011
Eligible Entities: Regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and certain non-profit organizations and institutions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests proposals for the Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Funding Assistance Program. This RFP will support projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas. Eligible diesel emission reduction solutions are listed on the Emerging Technologies List at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/prgemerglist.htm. For more info, contact Michael Wolfe at wolfe.michael@epa.gov or go to: http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
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8) Wind Turbine Project Outreach Meeting
When: Monday, January 31, 2011, 7pm-9pm
Where: Urbana Civic Center, 108 East Water Street, Urbana, IL 61801
The University of Illinois Facilities & Services will host a Wind Turbine Project outreach meeting. Monday, January 31, 2011, 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Urbana Civic Center meeting is to update the community on the project and respond to questions raised at the initial information session held December 16, 2010. The press is invited to attend.
Contact Morgan Johnston mbjohnst@illinois.edu or Andy Blacker blacker@illinois.edu for more information.
*****************************************************************************
9) EPA SmartWay Program
Application Due: February 10, 2011
Eligible Entities: Regional, state, local, or tribal agencies or port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, and certain non-profit organizations and institutions
EPA's SmartWay Program and National Clean Diesel Campaign are announcing the availability of funding assistance to create finance programs, such as low-cost leases or revolving loan programs, to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions throughout the United States. The SmartWay Finance Program is soliciting proposals for projects that reduce diesel emissions through the creation of national, tribal, regional, state or local finance program(s). Finance programs include, but are not limited to, those that provide the loan recipient a specific financial incentive (i.e., longer terms or lower rates) to purchase or lease eligible retrofitted vehicles or equipment. The proposed finance program should maximize the total project funds available for financing eligible diesel emission reduction solutions and be sustainable to maintain the program. To learn more about this opportunity, visit http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
*******************************************************************************
10) USDA Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants
Application Due: February 11, 2011
Eligible Entities: Federally recognized Indian tribes, state or local units of government,
non-governmental organizations, or individuals
The U.S. Department of Agriculture requests proposals for Greenhouse Gas Conservation Innovation Grants. Through this RFP, the USDA seeks to stimulate the application of greenhouse gas benefitting practices on agricultural land. Targeted projects would secure the participation of agricultural producers, determine baseline values of greenhouse gas emissions and/or carbon sequestration, verify the implementation and maintenance of greenhouse gas benefitting practices, and determining greenhouse gas benefits so that these benefits can be successfully registered in a commonly recognized carbon registry. $5 million expected to be available, up to 60 awards anticipated. For more info, contact Gregorio Cruz at gregorio.cruz@wdc.usda.gov or go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/.
*******************************************************************************
11) Efficient Living -Designing and Building Sustainable Zero-Energy Homes hosted by SEDAC
Where: I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820
This one day training will address the design and construction of high-performance residential buildings by explaining the construction of efficient building envelopes, the implementation of energy load reduction measures, and the use of on-site renewable energy generation. The training will be of particular interest to architects, developers, contractors, public housing authority staff, public sector code and building officials, and other individuals involved with building design and construction. Registration fees: $35 early bird; $45 regular which includes program materials and lunch.
• February 15, 2011 (early bird registration by February 1)
• March 10, 2011 (early bird registration by February 15)
• April 5, 2011 (early bird registration by March 22)
Visit www.sedac.org to register.
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12) EPA Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program
Application Due: February 24, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions (with the exception of Region 6) request proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program, for projects that support pollution prevention and source reduction. Priority areas vary by Region. Examples include developing/implementing green curricula; funding interns to conduct P2/source reduction projects; eliminating toxics by using more benign substitutes in schools, hospitals, or elsewhere; sustainable manufacturing; green chemistry; green economy/green jobs; and environmental justice. $1.17 million expected to be available, 20 awards anticipated. For more info, including Regional priorities, go to: http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/.
****************************************************************************** *
13) EPA FY11 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Guidelines
Application Due: March 18, 2011
Eligible Entities: State and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations, other
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities, including non-profit organizations, to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup-associated activities, as referenced in Section I.B., Use of Grant Funds. While Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grants focus on hazardous and solid waste remediation and health and safety, including required core training in HAZWOPER, applicants may design their own curriculums by choosing what types of supplemental environmental training they want to provide. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields or access the RFP at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/docs/grants/epa-oswer-oblr-11-01.pdf.
****************************************************************************** *
14) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program
Application due: March 22, 2011
This request for proposals (RFP) announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from eligible entities for financial assistance through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) competitive grant program. CARE is a unique community-based, community-driven, multimedia demonstration program designed to help communities understand and reduce risks due to toxic pollutants and environmental concerns from all sources. The CARE grant program works with applicants and recipients to help their communities form collaborative partnerships, develop an understanding of the many local sources of toxic pollutants and environmental risks, set priorities, and identify and carry out projects to reduce risks through collaborative action at the local level. CARE's long-term goal is to help communities build self-sustaining, community-based partnerships that will continue to improve human health and local environments into the future.
For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html.
****************************************************************************** *
15) Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Illinois Energy Now Special Lighting Sale
The State Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is announcing a special lighting sale for public sector buildings through its Illinois Energy Now program. The federal government has mandated that T12 lamps be phased out of production in 2012. Approximately 30 percent of all fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. are still T12 technology. As a result of the T12 phase out, 70 percent of all T12 fluorescent lamps sold in the U.S. will be phased out by July 2012. This means all public facilities will eventually have to upgrade all of their T12 lighting. To help the public sector and public schools, the State's Illinois Energy Now program is offering its best incentives to upgrade to high-efficiency T8 or T5 lamps.
DCEO's Illinois Energy Now special sale is open to municipalities, park districts, fire districts, public k-12 schools, public universities, community colleges and state and federal facilities within ComEd and Ameren electric service areas. The Illinois Energy Now special sale will be available from December 13, 2010 to April 15, 2011. Applicants seeking the Illinois Energy Now Special must submit an addendum along with the standard application and follow the Public Sector Electric Efficiency Program Guidelines and specifications posted at http://www.IllinoisEnergy.org (follow the Illinois Energy Now link). Incentives cannot exceed 100 percent of project cost.
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16) Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program
Illinois EPA currently has $1 million in funding to help school districts clean up their dirty diesel buses with advanced pollution and anti-idling controls. Funding is currently available for school districts that are located in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will and portions of Kendall and Grundy that own their own bus fleets. There are no match requirements with this funding. For more details and to apply for this funding source, visit the Illinois Green Fleets website and click on "Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program." http://www.illinoisgreenfleets.org/ or contact Ashley Collins, Environmental Health Manager, RHAMC directly at acollins@lungchicago.org or 312-628-0202.
******************************************************************************
Subscription Information
If you no longer wish to receive Sustainable Cities updates from the Office of the Governor, or wish to add a colleague to this list, please reply to this email. For more information about Governor Pat Quinn's sustainability initiatives and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, please visit www.green.illinois.gov.


Sandra Pierzchala
Dunn Fellow
Office of Governor Pat Quinn



Illinois Energy Now Lighting Sale; Free Informational Webinar Available
Posted 12/9/2010 8:39:01 AM

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) State Energy Office announces a special lighting sale through its Illinois Energy Now program. The Illinois Energy Now program offers a portfolio of electric efficiency programs to achieve targeted annual energy savings goals.

These special sale incentives are available to local governments, public schools, community colleges, public universities and State and Federal government facilities in the Ameren Illinois and ComEd's electric service areas.

The Illinois Energy Now special sale incentive will be available from December 13, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

Please register today to attend our webinar and learn all about the additional savings offered through this exciting sale!

DATE: Monday, December 13, 2010
TIME: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM CST
COST: Free, though space is limited.

Reserve your webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/757011286

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. A recording of the webinar will be provided to registrants following the live event.

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees: Windows 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Macintosh®-based attendees: Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger) or newer

Webinar/Technical Questions:
Please email Jessica@SEDAC.org and we will help however we can. We look forward to meeting with you at the webinar!



IIRA at WIU Sponsoring Wind-Monitoring Program at SIUE
Posted 12/7/2010 11:22:29 AM

MACOMB, IL - The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University has entered into an agreement with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) to develop a test site for monitoring wind velocity. According to Jolene Willis, wind-energy program assistant at IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, the center works with schools, farmer- and rural-electric cooperatives, municipalities and others in exploring the wind potential in their locales.

She noted that staff members at the IIRA are pleased to begin the next phase of the wind-monitoring project with SIUE.

"In hosting a meteorological (met) tower, the SIUE test site will be gathering information regarding wind potential for its own site, as well as contributing to a statewide wind database and map that will provide valuable information to people throughout Illinois."

Willis explained that a 60-meter (197-foot) met tower will be temporarily installed on or near the site, which could potentially be used for a wind turbine.

"The tower will be installed for 12-14 months, transmitting real-time data via a cellular modem. The data is available for viewing at Illinois Wind at www.illinoiswind.org," Willis said. "To accurately forecast how much electricity may be generated at a particular site, wind velocity must be measured for at least a year. The tower will then be moved to a new test site."

SIUE Director of Facilities Management Robert B. Washburn noted the campus is located in an area that has been historically considered marginal for wind generators.

"SIUE's unique location on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River bottoms potentially results in a more promising wind pattern," he said. "SIUE officials are excited to have the opportunity to partner with IIRA and WIU to test that theory. If there is a significant impact on potential wind energy due to the bluffs, the tower is located to measure that effect. We're already installing a small wind turbine and photovoltaic array (solar panels) at SIUE's Environmental Resource Training Center to demonstrate the potential for the use of renewable energy at waste-treatment plants for those who attend that unique facility for training. The meteorological tower will provide solid data to allow decision makers at SIUE to evaluate whether wind turbines are a sound investment at our location. When we are talking investments of this magnitude, the better the data, the more comfortable we feel making recommendations."

IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center is offering organizations and landowners throughout the state an opportunity to assess the wind at a site under consideration for wind power, Willis noted. The program is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. She added that a limited number of sites will be selected each year to undergo monitoring of wind velocity; sites will be selected from applicants interested in erecting either a small-scale or utility-scale wind turbine.

To learn more about the wind-monitoring program, contact Willis at the IIRA Value-Added Sustainable Development Center at (800) 526-9943. Visit the Illinois Value-Added Sustainable Development Center online at www.value-added.org.

Posted By: WIU, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606



DCEO Solar and Energy Rebate Program Closed Dec 1
Posted 12/6/2010 4:17:11 PM

The Fiscal Year 2011 program is closed. Due to the large number of applications we have received, program funds have run out. The program will be opened when additional program funds become available.

Solar and Wind Rebate Program contact:



Wayne Hartel
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
217/785-3420
Wayne.hartel@illinois.gov




Midwestern Governors Association Applauds the Midwest ISO for the Release of the Regional Generator
Posted 12/6/2010 4:13:58 PM



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Emily Marthaler
(202) 624-5460
December 1, 2010

Midwestern Governors Association Applauds the Midwest ISO for the Release of the Regional Generator Outlet Study

Washington, D.C.- The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) applauds the Midwest Independent System Operator (ISO) for the recent release of its Regional Generator Outlet Study (RGOS), which shows what upgrades and expansions of the region's transmission system are necessary for Midwestern states to meet state standards of 25,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. The projects outlined in the RGOS will also assist the MGA in meeting its regional goal of producing 30 percent electricity from renewable resources by 2030, which governors agreed to in 2007 through their Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform for the Midwest.

The RGOS drew upon the Midwest ISO's initial phases of the study that designated high-capacity Renewable Energy Zones in Midwestern states. Identifying these zones and the corresponding transmission needs provide a greater understanding of where to focus projects and initiatives in order to meet the renewable energy goals.

"The Midwest has tremendous renewable energy resources and has emerged as a leader in the new energy economy," said Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, current MGA chair. "Expanding the region's transmission infrastructure is an important part of our plan to ensure the Midwest's continued growth and that domestic and renewable energy sources will be brought to the marketplace. Midwest ISO's study identifies both the best places to cultivate these resources and the right projects to develop."

The study presents three scenarios that would expand the transmission grid to meet the infrastructural needs associated with the region's increased generation of wind power. This expansion would allow the region's energy prices to remain competitive and ensure regional economic growth.

The RGOS also proposes initial "multi-value transmission projects" that have been proposed by the Midwest ISO for its members to consider as the best options for the first phase of regional transmission development.

Jesse Heier with the MGA stated, "The MGA looks forward to working with the Midwest ISO on their next steps to develop projects and initiatives that meet our region's long-term transmission needs and create jobs in the new energy economy."

In 2009, Midwestern governors affirmed their commitment to the development of a robust energy infrastructure through their Midwestern Energy Infrastructure Accord, which called for the expansion of electric transmission capacity in support of renewable energy development and distributed generation. At that time, governors expressed their appreciation to the Midwest ISO for their ongoing collaboration with the MGA and the Southwest Power Pool on analyses of regional transmission.



The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings together the governors of Midwestern states to work cooperatively on public policy issues of significance to the region. The current members of the MGA are Gov. Pat Quinn (Ill.), Gov. Mitch Daniels (Ind.), Gov. Chet Culver (Iowa), Gov. Mark Parkinson (Kansas), Gov. Jennifer Granholm (Mich.), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.), Gov. Jay Nixon (Mo.), Gov. Ted Strickland (Ohio), Gov. Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Gov. Jim Doyle (Wis.). Secretariat services are provided by The Council of State Governments.







SNL Energy Analysis: Wind Industry Q3'10 Update
Posted 11/30/2010 11:25:15 AM

SNL Energy Analysis: Wind Industry Q3'10 Update
By Jesse Gilbert and John Catillaz, SNL Energy | November 23, 2010

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/11/snl-energy-analysis-wind-industry-q310-update?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-November24-2010


Washington, DC, United States - Commercial wind development has dropped sharply so far in 2010, according to SNL Energy data and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Data from AWEA showed wind installations in the third quarter dropping to their lowest level of any quarter since early 2007. AWEA attributed this to continued weak demand in U.S. power markets, as well as continued lack of certainty surrounding U.S. energy policy.

According to project data from SNL Energy, 2,180 MW of wind capacity came online in the first three quarters of 2010, representing a roughly 64% drop from the 6,125 MW placed online in the first three quarters of 2009. A total of 1,308 turbines were placed in service through nine months of 2010, compared with 3,393 turbines in the 2009 period. The average size of turbines coming online dropped from 1.81 MW in the first nine months of 2009 to 1.67 MW over the same period in 2010.

Overall, 20 states had at least 1 MW of wind capacity come online in the first three quarters of 2010, compared to 24 states for this period in 2009.

Illinois led all states for wind capacity brought online at 716 MW and 427 turbines, representing a 256% increase from the 201 MW installed in the first nine months of 2009. Illinois was one of only three states to see a jump in 2010 installations over 2009 levels. The 716 MW came from three projects, the largest of which was the 300-MW Streator Cayuga Ridge South wind farm.

Oregon took the second spot among states for wind capacity coming online in the first three quarters of 2010, with 337 MW and 186 turbines, down from 638 MW seen for the same quarters of 2009, when Oregon also took the second spot.

Among the top 10 states for wind installed in the first three quarters of 2010, Texas saw the largest drop. Wind capacity brought online in Texas dropped 84%, from 1,880 MW during the period in 2009 to just 305 MW during the nine months ended Sept. 30. Texas had just three projects brought online during the year, the largest being the 202-MW Penascal II Wind. The project, owned by Iberdrola Renovables, was brought online in February and uses 84 2.4-MW Mitsubishi turbines.

Forty wind plants had come online in 2010 through the third quarter, with the largest being the 300-MW Streator Cayuga Ridge South project. The project uses 150 Gamesa 2-MW wind turbines, and the Tennessee Valley Authority has a power purchase agreement for the full capacity of the plant through 2030.

NextEra Energy Inc.'s 218-MW DeKalb Wind Energy Center in Illinois was the second-largest project brought online during the first nine months of 2010. The project uses 145 1.5-MW GE wind turbines. Illinois Municipal Electric Agency has agreed to purchase 70 MW of the plant's output through 2030. American Electric Power Co. Inc. subsidiary Kentucky Power Co. filed in 2009 for Kentucky regulators' permission to purchase a 100-MW share of DeKalb's output.

To see a spreadsheet that pulls a current list of all plant generation developments, click here.

There are only two operating wind farms in the U.S with at least 500 MW online, the 736-MW Horse Hollow and the 663-MW Capricorn Ridge Wind farms, both owned by NextEra. However, nine wind projects were announced with plans for at least 500 MW of new capacity through the end of September.

One of the largest projects announced was the 600-MW Cimarron Bend Wind in Kansas, owned by TradeWind Energy LLC. The project is estimated by SNL Energy to cost $1.3 billion and is the second-largest project planned in Kansas. Cimarron Bend also represents the largest planned wind farm for TradeWind, which currently has no wind plants in operation.

Another 600-MW project was announced during the period when Duke Energy Corp. announced plans for the Las Palmas Windpower Project in Cameron County, Texas. The project is the largest of eight wind projects currently planned by Duke.

Riverstone Holdings LLC's Ocotillo Express Wind in Imperial County, Calif., was the third-largest wind plant announced in the first three quarters of 2010 with a combined nameplate capacity of 552 MW spread out over two phases.

The 500-MW Lake Michigan Offshore (Aegir II) project made the list of the top 10 wind plants by capacity announced during the first nine months of 2010 and is one of only three offshore wind projects announced so far in 2010. The $2 billion project is jointly owned by Havgul Clean Energy AS and Scandia Wind Offshore. Those companies also plan to develop an additional 250-MW of offshore wind in Michigan through the Lake Michigan Offshore Wind (Aegir I) project.

The first three quarters of 2010 brought a steady amount of wind capacity placed under construction, driven by the Dec. 31 deadline for plants to commence construction to qualify for the U.S. Treasury cash grant program. More than 4,000 MW of wind capacity was been placed under construction in the first three quarters of the year, according to SNL Energy data.

The largest wind project with capacity placed under construction during the period is the Lower Snake River (Garfield) project, with 343 MW, under construction by the end of September. The project is one of two in the works for owner Puget Sound Energy Inc., which already has almost 430 MW of wind currently operating. The plant will use 149 2.3-MW Siemens SWT turbines, carry an estimated price tag of $850 million and come online in mid-2012. An additional 557-MW are planned at the plant but not yet under construction.

The 290-MW Shepherds Flat Central project in Oregon, ultimately owned by Caithness Energy LLC, was the second-largest project with capacity placed under construction during the first nine months of the year. The plant will use 116 of the larger GE Energy 2.5-MW turbines. The project is one of three Caithness has in development in Oregon.

Wind turbine manufacturer financial profiles

GE Energy


General Electric Co., well known for its 1.5-MW turbine model, is a dominant player in the U.S. market. In 2009, GE ranked first in AWEA's turbine installation rankings, and it continues to perform well in 2010. For the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, GE remained the top manufacturer by U.S. installations with 755 turbines installed, down from 2009's nine-month period, when GE had 1,556 turbines installed.

GE's energy infrastructure segment, less oil and gas, revenues in the first three quarters of the 2010 fiscal year fell by 10% compared to 2009 nine-month figures, falling from $24.45 billion to $22.04 billion. GE noted decreased sales of wind equipment in its energy infrastructure segment in the nine months ended Sept. 30. Energy infrastructure profits, less oil and gas, increased in the 2010 period by 6% over the 2009 period, to $4.39 billion from $4.15 billion.

Siemens

Siemens AG U.S. wind turbine installations dropped off significantly in the 2010 nine-month period compared to the 2009 period, falling from 241, totaling 554 MW, to 76, totaling 175 MW. Despite low installations in the U.S., Siemens has maintained its renewable division order intake, at $5.73 billion for the 2010 nine-month period, on par the with 2009 period order figures of $5.71 billion. The renewable division of the company's energy segment reported increases to both revenues and profits from the 2009 to 2010 nine-month periods.

Vestas

Expecting strong demand from European clients in 2010 and 2011, Vestas Wind Systems A/S had increased its wind turbine manufacturing capacity. However, as the European market fell short of its expectations, Vestas cut 3,000 jobs, mostly in Europe, to adjust the balance. Vestas had only two turbines installed in the U.S. in the first nine months of 2010, compared to the 2009 period, when 409 Vestas turbines were installed. Turbine shipments into the global market were down 43% in the first nine months of 2010, falling to 1,180 actual turbine shipments. Revenue fell 19%, to $4.58 billion, and earnings fell into the negative for the first nine months of 2010. Despite a lower performance in the first three quarters, the company has said it remains optimistic about the future. Orders have increased 175% from the 2009 nine-month period, growing from $2.87 billion a year earlier to $7.89 billion as of Sept. 30.

Suzlon



India-based wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy Ltd. continues to be an up-and-coming player in the global market. Suzlon has most of its manufacturing capacity in China and India, which enables the firm to reap the benefits of lower production costs. The first nine months of 2010 proved to be a slower period in terms of installing Suzlon turbines in the U.S., with 64, totaling 132 MW, installed, compared to the corresponding period in 2009, when 189 Suzlon turbines, totaling 397 MW, were installed.

Suzlon total revenues fell 29%, from $3.8 billion in the first nine months of 2009 to $2.7 billion for the 2010 period. On a segment level, the wind turbine generator business holds the most weight, accounting for 98% of the revenue stream for the 2010 nine-month period.

Mitsubishi heavy Industries


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. experienced a decrease in U.S. turbine installations in the 2010 nine-month period, with 147 actual turbine installations totaling 265 MW, compared to 231 installation totaling 554 MW in the same period of 2009. MHI's power systems segment performed well in the 2010 period, with increases in operating income, sales and orders. Operating income increased 72%, while sales were up slightly. Orders increased 43%, from $6.28 billion for the first nine months of 2009 to $9 billion for the same period of 2010.



http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2010/11/snl-energy-analysis-wind-industry-q310-update?cmpid=WNL-Wednesday-November24-2010

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Cuba High School Site for Wind-Velocity Testing via Partnership with the IIRA
Posted 11/18/2010 10:02:44 PM

MACOMB, IL - The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University has entered into an agreement with Community Unit School District #3, Fulton County school district in Cuba (IL), to develop a test site for monitoring wind velocity. According to Jolene Willis, wind-energy program assistant at IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, the center works with schools, farmer- and rural-electric cooperatives, municipalities and others in exploring the wind potential in their locales. She noted that staff members at the IIRA are pleased to begin the next phase of the wind-monitoring project with the school district.

"In hosting a meteorological (met) tower, officials at Cuba Middle-Senior High School test site will be gathering information regarding wind potential for their own site, as well as contributing to a statewide wind database and map that will provide valuable information to people throughout Illinois," Willis said.

She noted that a 60-meter (197-foot) met tower will be temporarily installed on or near the site, which could potentially be used for a wind turbine.

"The tower will be installed for 12-14 months, transmitting real-time data via a cellular modem, which is available at www.illinoiswind.org. To accurately forecast how much electricity may be generated at a particular site, wind velocity must be measured for at least a year. The tower will then be moved to a new test site," Willis added.

CUSD #3 Superintendent Brad Kenser noted that he and others in the district are excited about continuing the district's efforts to study sustainability in many areas of the curriculum and to implement those ideas of sustainability in the design of its facilities.

"The IIRA program will provide students with an opportunity to learn about another form of 'green technology' along with the geo-thermal heating and cooling system and photo-voltaic solar panels already in place here. We are excited to partner with WIU and the IIRA in the wind-assessment program and hope to expand this avenue of sustainability in our district in the future," he said.

IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center is offering organizations and landowners throughout the state an opportunity to assess the wind at a site under consideration for wind power, Willis noted. The program is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. She added that a limited number of sites will be selected each year to undergo monitoring of wind velocity; sites will be selected from applicants interested in erecting either a small-scale or utility-scale wind turbine.

To learn more about the wind-monitoring program, contact Willis at the IIRA Value-Added Sustainable Development Center at (800) 526-9943. Visit the Illinois Value-Added Sustainable Development Center online at www.value-added.org.

Posted By: WIU, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606


ELPC Releases New Report on the Wind Energy Supply Chain in Illinois
Posted 11/8/2010 1:51:20 PM

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Study Shows Wind Energy Supply Chain Means Manufacturing Jobs and Corporate HQs for Illinois

Chicago - The Environmental Law and Policy Center has released a new study of Illinois' wind energy supply chain showing more than 100 Illinois companies with a total of over 15,000 employees. From old-line manufacturers who are retooling to build wind turbine components for the new clean energy economy to corporate headquarters for major wind power developers, to software, financial and support services, the wind industry means real business for Illinois.

"Wind energy is spurring both manufacturing jobs and corporate headquarters in Illinois," said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. "Long-time manufacturers across the state are retooling to produce wind power equipment and create jobs. We need targeted public policies to keep this business growing."

"From manufacturing to engineering to finance, Illinois companies have the wide range of skills that the wind industry requires," said Jerry Roper, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. "We need to support the growing wind power business in Chicago and across our state."

The report highlights 104 supply chain companies across the state as well as the 13 corporate headquarters of wind power businesses located in the Chicago area.

The report explains that supportive federal and state policies are key throughout the energy sector, and the wind industry is no exception. Making the current Illinois Renewable Energy Standard work well and enacting a federal renewable energy standard are important policies to drive more Illinois manufacturing of wind turbine components, corporate headquarters and professional services.

To download a copy of the report, visit www.elpc.org/windreport.




Clean Energy Challenge 2011 Business Plan Competition
Posted 11/8/2010 12:10:04 PM

Applications for the inaugural Clean Energy Trust business plan competition are due December 3, 2010. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this exciting new opportunity is seeking transformative business ideas from Illinois entrepreneurs working in: renewable energy, next generation transportation, smart grid, advanced batteries, energy efficiency, green buildings, carbon abatement, water conservation and contaminant mitigation, energy information systems, and alternative fuels. Winners will receive up to $100,000 in cash prizes provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, plus select business services. For more information, including eligibility details, visit http://www.cleanenergytrust.org/events/.

Content provided by:
Sustainable Cities News & Updates
November 8, 2010
This resource is provided by the Office of the Governor to Illinois elected officials, municipalities, counties, organizations, and individuals interested in pursuing sustainability in their communities. For more information on sustainability resources, please visit our website, www.green.illinois.gov, or contact our office at (312) 814-1552.



DCEO Solar and Energy Rebate Program is now open
Posted 10/22/2010 1:52:30 PM

Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program

The focus of the Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program, through the State's Renewable Energy Resources Program, is to encourage utilization of smaller-scale solar and wind energy systems in Illinois.

Eligibility applicants include homeowners, businesses, public sector and non-profit entities who are customers of an electric or gas utility that impose the Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge.

The program offers incentives up to 30% of total project cost for residential and business applicants, and 50% for public sector and non-profit entities. The maximum rebate is $50,000.

The Fiscal Year 2011 program is now open. Applications will be considered on a first come, first serve basis. Applications will be accepted until April 30th or until program funds run out, whichever comes first. Please download the guidelines and application form here - Solar and Wind Rebate Program Guidelines and Application Form. http://www.illinoisbiz.biz/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Energy/Clean+Energy/01-RERP.htm

Solar and Wind Rebate Program contact:

Wayne Hartel
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
217/785-3420
Wayne.hartel@illinois.gov




Meteorological tower erected at high school
Posted 10/20/2010 3:06:10 PM

By Free Press Advocate
10/19/2010 11:57:00 PM
Meteorological tower erected at high school
Data collection is prerequisite for wind turbine
by Pam Monson,Editor

http://freepressnewspapers.com/main.asp?SectionID=18&SubSectionID=18&ArticleID=6338

School District 209-U is exploring the possibility of generating electrical power for its schools with a wind turbine.

The Board of Education approved a lease-grant agreement with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University on Sept. 13 for a meteorological (MET) tower.

The 197-foot (60-meter) tall tower was erected in the field in front of the high school Tuesday, creating a test site for monitoring wind velocity. Best of all, it won't cost the District a thing.

"It's either going to tell us, no we shouldn't have any interest in a turbine, or ... which size turbine will be beneficial," explained district finance manager Larry Macari.

"There is no question we want to eventually build a turbine to power our schools," added superintendent Jay Plese. The MET tower is step one in the district's research.

The Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, a unit of IIRA, works with schools, farmer and rural electric cooperatives, municipalities and others in exploring the wind potential in their locales.

According to Jolene Willis, wind-energy program assistant at the center, Wilmington's Board of Education has committed the district to becoming a more environmentally conscious member of the community in an effort to reduce its $250,000 annual electric bill.

"The IIRA grant for a meteorological, or met, tower will allow the district to move toward reducing costs, while conserving energy," Willis said. "The district is dedicated to demonstrating to students and the community the need for clean, renewable energy.

"The opportunity to partner with Western Illinois University and IIRA on the met tower, and potentially a wind-turbine project, is very intriguing," said Dr. Matt Swick, assistant superintendent. "We are looking forward to observing the weather and wind-related data collected and are hopeful to bring this new form of green energy to Wilmington for the benefit of our students and taxpayers."

Speedwash

Under Illinois Wind, the center's wind monitoring program, the wind velocity of a site is measured for at least one year in an effort to forecast how much electricity might be generated there. The terrain and geography of the site influence wind quality.

The tower will be in place for 12 to 14 months. It will transmit real-time data via a cellular modem to the university. All data collected is accessible by the public at the Illinois Wind website, www.illinoiswind.org and Macari said it may be posted to the district website, www.wilmington.will.k12.il.us/

At the end of the test period, the tower will be moved to a new test site and the School Board will determine whether or not to pursue electric generation via turbine. The data collected will indicate how tall a tower the site can sustain, and consequently how many kilowatts of electricity a tower at that location can generate.

Fred Iutzi, program manager of the IIRA's Valued-Added Sustainable Development Center, said that staff members at the IIRA and the center are excited to begin the next phase of the wind-monitoring project with School District 209-U.

"In hosting a MET tower, the Wilmington test site will be gathering information regarding wind potential for their own site, as well as improving a statewide wind database and wind map that will provide valuable information to people throughout Illinois," he said.

IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center is offering organizations and landowners throughout the state an opportunity to assess the wind at a site under consideration for wind power. This program is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Willis noted that a limited number of sites will be selected each year to undergo monitoring of wind velocity; sites will be selected from applicants interested in erecting either a small-scale or utility-scale wind turbine. To qualify, the applicant has to have an interest in installing a wind turbine, the site has to be free of trees and shrubs and easily accessible for construction and removal - and about 1.5 acres in size.

To learn more about the wind-monitoring program, contact Willis at the Value-Added Sustainable Development Center at (800) 526-9943. Visit the Illinois Value-Added Sustainable Development Center online at www.value-added.org.

Plese envisions a public-private partnership for potential construction of a turbine.




SEDAC Public Sector Retro-Commissioning Program Available
Posted 10/20/2010 2:39:45 PM

RETRO-COMMISSIONING

As part of the Smart Energy Design Assistance Program administered by the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), Retro-Commissioning (RCx) services will be delivered to the public sector, providing in-depth energy analyses that will achieve significant demand and energy savings. These savings will be realized through a systematic evaluation of facility systems and the program participant's implementation of cost-effective measures targeted to improve facility operations that, in many cases, also improve occupant comfort and production efficiency.

The RCx services are delivered through a "service-incentive" program. This means the retro-commissioning analysis is the incentive to the customer and is fully funded by Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Participants are expected to cover the costs associated with implementing the measures recommended by the retro-commissioning analysis, attending meetings, and assisting Retro-commissioning Service Providers (RSPs) in acquiring facility information. Incentives for capital improvements such as lighting or HVAC may be available under DCEO's Standard Incentive Program or Custom Incentive Program (www.ILEEPS.org).

ELIGIBILITY: The program will be targeted to Public Sector customers in ComEd and Ameren Illinois Utilities service territory, including units of local government, K-12 school districts, community colleges, public universities and State buildings.

Applicant eligibility is limited to existing buildings over five years old that exceed 150,000 square feet and have the potential to produce electrical savings through retro-commissioning. To participate, applicants must submit an application for RCx, one to two year's energy bills and up-to-date as-built drawings to be considered for the program.

The facility owner must express a willingness to commit funding for participating in the process, completing the project plan, and implementing measures. The owner must be prepared to assume costs and expenses of at least $10,000 for agreed-upon measures that result in an estimated simple payback of 18 months or less based upon electrical savings. If at least $10,000 worth of measures recommended are not implemented within one calendar year from receipt of recommendations, the owner will be responsible for reimbursing the program for the cost of the analysis.










PROCESS: The RCx provider will conduct a facility assessment to diagnose problems and make recommendations for minor low-cost adjustments that can be made immediately, as well as recommendations for more substantial improvement opportunities. This will include an assessment of cost, savings and payback. Where applicable, the RCx study may involve an assessment of energy savings opportunities eligible for incentives through Ameren's and DCEO's program offerings, and in all such cases the incentive levels established by those programs will be used.


HOW TO APPLY: To learn more about this program, please download and review the SEDAC RCx Program Participant Manual. Once you have reviewed its contents and before completing the application in the manual, please call Jessica Commins at 312-962-3102 to determine your eligibility. Then submit it to SEDAC at 312-264-2379 (fax) OR email to RCx@SEDAC.org (email)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Jessica Commins, 360EG SEDAC Program Manager
(voice) 312-962-3102 or (email) Jessica@SEDAC.org


ISBE Energy Efficiency Grants for Schools
Posted 10/20/2010 2:37:36 PM

School Business Services
Energy Efficiency Grants

Application materials for the Energy Efficiency Grants are available beginning October 12, 2010 on the IWAS System. Applications must be submitted to the Regional Offices of Education by January 15, 2011.

The Energy Efficiency Grants are a dollar for dollar state matching grant program providing up to $250,000 for energy efficiency projects in schools. All school districts, charter schools, vocational center or public university laboratory schools are eligible. The FY 2010 Capital Bill provided $50 million for Energy Efficiency Grants. The grants are planned to be distributed over the next two fiscal years, with $9 million released this fall.

The grants can be used for insulation, windows, doors, energy controls, lighting, energy recovery, energy conservation, alternative energy systems and other projects designed to reduce energy consumption. An instruction manual for completing the grant application can be found at http:www.isbe.net/sbss/pdf/ee_grant_inst.pdf.

The on-line application will be created on IWAS website under Energy Efficiency Grants, by the district architect or engineer. The grant application process is much like the health/ life and safety system on IWAS.

Once the application is completed it will be submitted to the school district. The school district will review and submit the application to the Regional Office of Education. The Regional Office of Education will review the application and submit to the Illinois State Board of Education. The grant application can be found on the IWAS system.

Pursuant to Public Act 96-1064 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=096-1064&GA=96), each award of a grant of State funds of $250,000 or more for capital construction costs or professional services is conditioned upon the recipient's written certification complying with the business enterprise program of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act," Public Act 88-597, and the equal employment practices of the Illinois Human Rights Act. The business enterprise program only applies to the State-funded portion of the capital project and requires a ten percent participation for minority and female firms. A directory of certified Minority and Female Business Enterprises can be found at the following CDB website, http://www.cdb.state.il.us/CDBWEB_MBEFBE.nsf/websearch?OpenForm.

For additional information and assistance, please contact Kimberly Beachy with the School Business Services Division (217)785-8779.


IIRA to Sponsor Wind-Monitoring Program at Wilmington (IL) School District
Posted 10/19/2010 9:46:30 PM

MACOMB, IL - The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University has entered into an agreement with Wilmington (IL) Community Unit School District #209 to develop a test site for monitoring wind velocity. The Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, a unit of IIRA, works with schools, farmer and rural electric cooperatives, municipalities and others in exploring the wind potential in their locales.

According to Jolene Willis, wind-energy program assistant at IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center, Wilmington's Board of Education has committed the district to becoming a more environmentally conscious member of the Wilmington community.

"Superintendent Jay Plese encouraged Larry Macari, business manager, to pursue the possibility of a wind turbine to lower the annual expenditure of $250,000 for energy-related costs," Willis explained. "The IIRA grant for a meteorological, or met, tower will allow the district to move toward reducing costs, while conserving energy. The district is dedicated to demonstrating to students and the community the need for clean, renewable energy," she added.

"The opportunity to partner with Western Illinois University and IIRA on the met tower, and potentially a wind-turbine project, is very intriguing," said Matt Swick, Wilmington CUSD #209 assistant superintendent. "We are looking forward to observing the weather and wind-related data collected and are hopeful to bring this new form of green energy to Wilmington for the benefit of our students and taxpayers."

Willis explained that a 60-meter (197-foot) met tower will be temporarily installed on or near the site, which could potentially be used for a wind turbine.

"The tower will be installed for 12-14 months, transmitting real-time data via a cellular modem," Willis said. "To accurately forecast how much electricity may be generated at a particular site, wind velocity must be measured for at least a year. The tower will then be moved to a new test site."

Fred Iutzi, program manager of the IIRA's Valued-Added Sustainable Development Center, said that staff members at the IIRA and the center are excited to begin the next phase of the wind-monitoring project with the Wilmington CUSD #209.

"In hosting a met tower, the Wilmington test site will be gathering information regarding wind potential for their own site, as well as improving a statewide wind database and wind map that will provide valuable information to people throughout Illinois," he said.

IIRA's Value-Added Sustainable Development Center is offering organizations and landowners throughout the state an opportunity to assess the wind at a site under consideration for wind power. This program is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Willis noted that a limited number of sites will be selected each year to undergo monitoring of wind velocity; sites will be selected from applicants interested in erecting either a small-scale or utility-scale wind turbine.

To learn more about the wind-monitoring program, contact Willis at the Value-Added Sustainable Development Center at (800) 526-9943. Visit the Illinois Value-Added Sustainable Development Center online at www.value-added.org.

Posted By: WIU, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606


Explosion in Installed Wind Capacity Brings Big Benefits
Posted 9/29/2010 9:37:33 AM

Date: 9/28/2010
Location: IL
Source: Stacia Cudd, National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.

Audio with Dave Loomis, Illinois State University Professor of Economics and Center for Renewable Energy Director (MP3 2.7 MB) Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:02:56

In less than a decade, the state of Illinois has gone from zero megawatts of installed wind power capacity to more than 1800 megawatts.

According to Illinois State University Professor of Economics Dave Loomis, a number of factors have contributed to this leap. He notes the state has a good wind resource and relatively unconstrained transmission. But he says policy has definitely played a big role as well.

"The biggest of that is our Renewable Portfolio Standard. We passed a 25% Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2025, and of that, 75% of those renewable resources have to be met through wind generation. And so that policy really was a stimulus to help get us moving in a strong way to build more wind capacity right here in Illinois."

Doing so, Loomis says, will pay dividends for the state. He says there are a number of non-economic benefits that come with wind development but there are also big economic development benefits. His university has conducted an economic impact study for the past two years — looking at the existing wind capacity in Illinois.

"We found that that impact over the life of those wind farms would lead to close to 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs during the construction period. We found close to 500 new permanent jobs created from these wind farms. The wind farms helped support the local economies by generating over 18-million dollars in annual property taxes, and then 8.3-million dollars in extra income to Illinois landowners who would lease their land to the wind farm developer. And so, overall, over the 25 year life of these projects, we would see a total economic benefit to the state of 3.2-billion dollars."

Perhaps even more impressive is that Illinois is really just tapping into the vast wind resource it has. The state has enormous wind potential. To unlock this potential — and reap the benefits — Loomis says it's important to extend the in-state preference provision of the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard and build new transmission.

"We've grown to this point so rapidly because there was unconstrained transmission resources available, but we're starting to bump up against resource constraints on the transmission grid. And so to really unlock more of that potential, we need more transmission to be built in pockets where it's really windy and we can connect those really windy areas with high demand areas such as Chicago."

Loomis also sees the need for better wind maps and better technology to capture wind at lower speeds.

For more information visit: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/filter_detail.asp?itemid=2839


PSC to Host Wind Energy Summit
Posted 9/21/2010 2:02:20 PM

[Released 9/20/10] According to American Wind Energy Association, wind power can play a major role in meeting the U.S. demand for electricity. It is the world's fastest growing energy source with an annual average growth rate of 20 percent. Wind power is a clean and renewable energy source with many environmental and economical benefits.

Prairie State College (PSC) and the Chicago Southland Wind Council are hosting a wind energy summit for organizations interested in wind energy. The summit will be held on October 11 and 12 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Business and Community Education Center located on the college's main campus, 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights.

The purpose of the wind summit is to provide a forum to educate organizations about wind energy, encourage involvement, and develop business relationships. Eize de Vries, journalist and university lecturer from the Netherlands; Laura Mueller, vice president of human resources for Germany-based Nordex Energy; Joe Coleman, sourcing leader, Acciona Windpower North America, LLC; Jeff Anthony, director of business development for American Wind Energy Association; and Dr. John Galiotos, director of the energy institute at Houston Community College Northeast are among the keynote presenters.

Registration is $175, which includes the summit, breakfast and lunch on both days, and a vendor expo. Sponsorship opportunities also are available. For more information, contact, Julie DeLong, coordinator, continuing and professional education, at (708) 709-7919 or jdelong@prairiestate.edu or Harry Holtz, Chicago Southland Wind Council, at holtz@theriseabove.com.


Tour Illinois Wind Farm, October 9th
Posted 9/13/2010 10:03:48 AM

The Illinois Wind Energy Association and FPC Services are providing an opportunity for the general public to tour an Illinois Wind Farm, Saturday, October 9th near Sublette, IL.

The following information provided by IWEA:

Wind turbines are an increasingly common sight on the Illinois landscape, and interest in learning about this revolutionary technology has been growing. To teach the public about the benefits and the science behind wind energy, IWEA
is hosting this hands-on tour of a wind farm in Lee County, Illinois.

Visitors will enjoy a educational lecture on wind power from original project developers Bruce & Joyce Papiech, see an operating 2.5-megawatt turbine upclose, and even touch a 140-ft wind blade!

Attendees can also see a small wind turbine and solar panels in operation near the site, and will have the opportunity to get information about installing their own small renewable energy system.

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Arrive any time)
Sublette, Illinois
(Map available through www.windforillinois.org)

Just $10 per person!

(Discounts available for schools and large groups)
Reservations Required.

To RSVP, email info@windforillinois.org or call (773) 878-WIND

Attendees Must RSVP by September 30

Ideal for:
Elementary & high school field trips, college groups,scout troops, 4H, FFA, church groups,
environmentalists and others!


2010 Sustainable University Symposium Opens Today
Posted 8/27/2010 9:27:42 AM

2010 Sustainable University Symposium

This year's Green Governments Coordinating Council Symposium will be hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Friday, August 27th at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL.

Join us in learning how to make your university or college campus more sustainable. This symposium is an opportunity for college and university administrators, engineers, architects, professors, and student leaders to exchange ideas in the effort to enhance sustainability at Illinois institutions of higher learning and identify new programs to apply at your university. The annual event also seeks to empower young adults to pursue careers in the environmental sciences and make an investment in the sustainability of our state and our planet.

Speakers, workshops, and panel discussions will cover topics such as sustainable renovation and construction, energy efficiency and conservation, environmental education and service learning, water conservation, and waste reduction.

For the agenda click here, for a list of speaker's panels click here, and for a list of the speakers at the Symposium click, here.

Learn more by visiting www.green.illinois.gov


GACCoM's Annual Renewables & Energy Efficiency Roadshow - Sept. 27-29, 2010
Posted 8/24/2010 10:42:52 AM

The Roadshow is organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest (GACCoM), and each stop will feature an afternoon conference with panels on Supply Chain in the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Industry, followed by a networking reception.

The primary objective of the Roadshow is to present opportunities for co-operation between the U.S. and Germany. A key focus will be on demonstrating how companies can take advantage of recent developments in the U.S. market for renewables technology.
• The Roadshow stop in Chicago will take place on September 27th, 2010, from 1pm-6pm.
• Link to our website/Roadshow section: http://www.gaccom.org/ roadshow/

• Topic of Roadshow stop: Supply Chain in the Renewable Energy Industry with focus on the wind and solar industry

• Location of the event: Hilton Rosemont/ Chicago O'Hare, 5550 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018

• Costs: $65 members, $75 non-members

• Registration is now open

German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. - GACCoM
401 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 3330 | Chicago, Illinois 60611-4212
Tel.: (312) 644-2662 | Fax : (312) 644-0738
E-Mail: jess@gaccom.org
URL : www.gaccom.org | www.ahk-usa.de | www.ahk.de





Wind Power Basics Course Offered in Glenview, IL
Posted 8/10/2010 9:34:58 AM

There will be an evening wind power class through the Alliance for Lifelong Learning continuing education courses at Oakton Community College this fall.

The class will be held over 4 Thursday evenings at Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, Illinois

WIND POWER BASICS FEE: $75

This challenging course will give you a basic understanding of wind power generation. Topics include how a wind turbine works; knowledge of wind resources; how to estimate the production at a given site; making economic calculations; understanding the issues on siting and installing a wind power system.

TEC C16-01, GLBRK S, 4 Thu., 9/23, 7-9 pm, Overeem CRN 60125

For more information or to register, visit: www.oakton.edu


USDA Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies Grants Now Available
Posted 8/9/2010 11:44:19 AM

SECTION 9007
Rural Energy For America Program Grants
(REAP Feasibility Study Grants)

The REAP/Feasibility Grant Program provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to conduct feasibility study for a renewable energy system.

How much are the grants?
The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up to 25% of total eligible project costs. Grants are limited to $50,000 for renewable energy feasibility studies.

Who is eligible?
The program is designed to assist farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses. All agricultural producers, including farmers and ranchers, who gain 50% or more of their gross income from the agricultural operations are eligible. Small businesses that are located in a rural area can also apply. Rural electric cooperatives may also be eligible to apply.

What types of projects are eligible?
Eligible feasibility studies for renewable energy systems include projects that will produce energy from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro power and hydrogen-based sources. The energy to be produced includes, heat, electricity, or fuel.
For all projects, the system must be located in a rural area, must be technically feasible, and must be owned by the applicant.

Deadline
The deadline for applications is 4:30 PM CST on October 5, 2010.

How to Apply
To apply for funding for the REAP Grant Program please contact your Rural Development State Office.
Illinois:
Molly Hammond, USDA Rural Development
2118 West Park Court, Suite A
Champaign, IL 61821
(217) 403-6210
Molly.Hammond@il.usda.gov

For more information, visit: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_ReapGrants.html


U.S. Department of Energy today released its “2009 Wind Technologies Market Report”
Posted 8/6/2010 11:03:55 AM

August 4, 2010

New Study Sheds Light on U.S. Wind Power Market

Allan Chen (510) 486-4210 a_chen@lbl.gov (media contact)
Ryan Wiser (510) 486-5474 RHWiser@lbl.gov (technical contact)
Mark Bolinger (603) 795-4937 MABolinger@lbl.gov (technical contact)


The U.S. was one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2009, second only to China, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Energy and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Wind power additions in the United States set a new record in 2009, with 10 gigawatts of new capacity installed, representing a $21 billion investment. "At this pace, wind power is on a path to becoming a significant contributor to the U.S. power mix," says co-author Ryan Wiser, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD). "Wind power projects accounted for 39 percent of all new electric generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2009, and wind energy is now able to deliver 2.5 percent of the nation's electricity supply."

The 2009 edition of the "Wind Technologies Market Report" provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the rapidly evolving U.S. wind power market. The need for an annual report of this type has grown as the wind power industry has entered an era of unprecedented expansion, both globally and in the United States.

At the same time, as the report documents, the past year has been one of upheaval. The global financial crisis and lower wholesale electricity prices have negatively impacted the near-term growth prospects for the wind power industry, while new federal policies are pushing the industry towards continued aggressive expansion.

"With the market evolving at such a rapid pace, keeping up with the latest developments has become increasingly difficult," says co-author Mark Bolinger of EETD. "Yet, the need for timely, objective information on the industry and its progress has never been greater…this report seeks to fill this need."

The report analyzes trends in wind power capacity growth, industry and manufacturing trends, turbine size, turbine prices, installed project costs, project performance, wind power prices, and how wind prices compare to the price of conventional generation. It also describes trends among developers, project owners, and wind power purchasers, and discusses financing issues. Finally, the report examines other factors impacting the domestic wind power market, including grid integration, transmission issues, and policy drivers. It concludes with a preview of possible near-term market developments.

For the first time, the report presents estimates of the proportion of U.S. wind turbine equipment costs that have derived from imports from other countries, finding that a growing percentage of equipment is being manufactured domestically. "The overall fraction of wind turbine equipment manufactured domestically grew from 50 percent in 2008 to roughly 60 percent in 2009," notes Wiser.

Some of the key findings from the just-released 2009 edition include:
• The U.S. is the second-fastest-growing wind market worldwide. After leading the world for the past four years, the U.S. lost its top-market status in 2009, being overtaken by China as the country with the fastest pace of new wind power additions. Nonetheless, despite earlier grim predictions due to the financial crisis, the U.S. market continued to expand in 2009 and shattered its 2008 record for new wind power additions.
• Growth is distributed across much of the U.S. Texas led the nation with 2,292 MW of new wind power capacity, but 28 states saw new wind power plants constructed within their borders in 2009. Wind power now provides more than 10 percent of in-state electricity generation in four states: Iowa (20 percent), South Dakota (13 percent), North Dakota (12 percent), and Minnesota (11 percent). Offshore wind power project and policy developments also accelerated in 2009.
• Market growth is spurring manufacturing investments in the U.S. Wind turbine manufacturers with modern wind turbines installed in the United States now hail from not just the United States, Europe, and Japan, but also from India and, for the first time in 2009, China. Seven of the 10 wind turbine manufacturers with the largest share of the U.S. market in 2009 now have one or more manufacturing facilities operating in the United States, and two of the remaining three have announced plans to open facilities in the future.
• A growing percentage of the equipment used in U.S. wind projects is domestically manufactured. Trade data show that the United States remained a large importer of wind turbine equipment in 2009, with $4.2 billion of imports, up from $2.5 billion in 2006, but down from $4.6 billion in 2007 and $5.4 billion in 2008. Wind power capacity growth has outpaced growth in imports in recent years, and a growing amount of the equipment used in wind power projects is therefore being sourced domestically as domestic and foreign companies seek to minimize transportation costs and currency risks by establishing local manufacturing capabilities.
• Wind power project costs continued to increase into 2009, but reductions may be on the horizon. Installed wind power project costs in 2009 averaged $2,120/kW, up by 9 percent over the 2008 figure. There are expectations that costs will drop in the near future as past cost pressures ease and work their way through to average installed costs.
• Wind project performance has improved over time but dropped off in 2009. The longer-term improvement in project performance has been driven in part by taller towers and larger rotors. The drop in 2009 is, in part, attributable to a relatively poor wind resource year in many parts of the country along with increasing amounts of wind power curtailment—particularly in Texas, where 17 percent of all potential wind energy generation was curtailed in 2009 because of transmission inadequacy.
• Rising wind power prices and sharply lower wholesale prices make the near-term economics of wind energy more challenging. Although some of the cost pressures facing the industry in recent years have eased, 2009 was another year of rising average wind power prices. The average 2009 sales price from projects built in 2009 was roughly $61/MWh.
• Looking ahead, expectations are for a slower year in 2010. Lower expectations stem from a combination of the financial crisis, lower wholesale electricity prices, and lower demand for renewable energy. Projections among industry analysts range from 5,500 MW to 8,000 MW of wind power capacity likely to be installed in the United States in 2010, a drop of 20 to 45 percent compared to the nearly 10,000 MW installed in 2009. After a slower 2010, most predictions show market resurgence in 2011 and 2012, as programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act mature and as financing constraints ease. Beyond 2012, however, the picture is considerably less certain, because of the scheduled expiration of a number of federal policies at the end of that year.
Berkeley Lab's contributions to this report were funded by the Wind & Water Power Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides solutions to the world's most urgent scientific challenges including clean energy, climate change, human health, novel materials, and a better understanding of matter and force in the universe. It is a world leader in improving our lives and knowledge of the world around us through innovative science, advanced computing, and technology that makes a difference. Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory managed by the University of California for the DOE Office of Science. Visit our website.

Additional Information:
The report, "2009 Wind Technologies Market Report", can be downloaded from: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/re-pubs.html

A PowerPoint presentation summarizing key findings from the report can be found at: http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ems/emp-ppt.html

The Department of Energy's press release is available at:
http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=376



WSST Maintenance Schedule
Posted 8/4/2010 10:45:01 AM

Notice: The two versions of the IIRA's Wind Site Selection Tool will be down for maintenance August 13-15, 2010.


Wind Energy as a High Impact Business: The First Year in Review
Posted 7/27/2010 2:52:50 PM

Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 7:46PM

by Kyle Barry, McGuire Woods Consulting LLC

July 1st marked the one-year anniversary of Illinois Public Act 96-28, which permits qualifying wind farms to be certified as "High Impact Businesses" under Illinois law. A coalition including IWEA, environmental and labor groups advocated for the legislation because it streamlines and expedites the approval process for wind projects to receive certain tax exemptions. With the first year of the law behind us, it's time to take stock of the program and how it has worked thus far.

About the HIB Program and Wind Energy

The HIB program was created to help boost certain businesses with significant benefit to the state's economy, including new or reopened coal mines, coal power plants and other large energy facilities. PA 96-28 (formerly Senate Bill 1923) simply adds wind farms to that list in an effort to encourage wind development in Illinois.

More specifically, PA 96-28 permits qualifying wind projects to take advantage of certain benefits associated with Illinois' Enteprise Zone program without having to go through the process of locating inside an Enterprise Zone. In effect, a wind project that is certified as a High Impact Business creates its own limited Enterprise Zone.

The key Enterprise Zone benefit available for a wind project that qualifies as a High Impact Business is a sales or use tax exemption for the building materials and equipment associated with the construction of the wind project. This typically means that the project saves 6.25% on the purchase of those qualifying materials and equipment.

Streamlining Existing Incentives

Before PA 96-28, Illinois wind energy projects were required to go through an often costly and time-consuming process to expand existing Enterprise Zones to include the project's footprint. That process also could yield an awkward result, since the expanded Enterprise Zone often has a spider web look to it, since a Zone's space limitations mean that it is typically expanded to connect the dots between the individual wind turbines as opposed to drawing a circle around the entire wind farm.

A High Impact Business designation permits a qualifying wind energy project to avoid these costs and potential delays by leap-frogging over the local government approval process. High Impact Business applications are instead submitted directly to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), which reviews them for certification, then tranmits the certification to the Illinois Department of Revenue. PA 96-28 gives wind energy project developers a choice since they can still pursue the Enterprise Zone route as well.

Limited Experience

Although the new law gives developers a choice of two avenues, sources with DCEO report that through June, only one wind energy project developer had successfully exercised that choice, and the Department had only certified one wind project as a High Impact Business.

The reason the High Impact Business program has only been successfully used by one Illinois wind project probably is attributable to tight credit markets for wind projects and the overall economic slowdown. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that some local government officials are attempting to steer wind projects toward the Enterprise Zone route by holding up approvals on other project issues, such as building permits. Reportedly, some local officials are disappointed in missing out on the fees associated with Enterprise Zone expansions when wind projects elect to pursue the High Impact designation.

If this alleged steering by local officials is occurring, the strategy is risky and ill-advised. Delays in project approvals can place the financing of a project in jeopardy. Moreover, each day spent on approval delays is a day that other local economic benefits associated with the project, such as millions of dollars in property taxes and building permit fees, are correspondingly delayed.

Kyle Barry is a co-founder of the Illinois Wind Energy Association and an attorney at McGuireWoods LLP. Kyle works with IWEA on policy and legislative issues, and provides legal advice to wind energy project developers on project throughout Illinois.

For more information, visit www.windforillinois.org


Willis Named Program Assistant for the IIRA's Wind Energy Program
Posted 5/13/2010 2:53:17 PM

The Wind Energy Program at the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University has a new program assistant. Effective Monday, May 17, Jolene Willis will serve as the assistant for the program, a project of the IIRA. (Information about wind energy in Illinois is available through the IIRA's www.IllinoisWind.org website.)

"IIRA plays leadership roles in Illinois on many wind energy issues, including wind resource assessment, wind turbine zoning issues and strategies rural communities can use to develop their own wind projects," Fred Iutzi, manager of the IIRA's renewable energy program, explained. "Jolene will help bring these themes together for our communities."

According to IIRA Director Chris Merrett, Willis' background in community development gives her a unique perspective on wind energy.

"Wind projects are about renewable power," he noted. "But they are also about creating a sustainable economic future for rural areas."

Prior to her position at the IIRA, Willis served as the community and economic development professional for the University of Illinois Henderson-Mercer-Warren Unit and the Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership (WIEDP). She was involved in a number of wind energy outreach projects at WIEDP and through the Illinois Wind Working Group, of which WIEDP and IIRA are members. Willis has seven years of community and economic development experience, with 14 years in community-based non-profit management and organizational experience.

Merrett noted that the IIRA, which is housed at WIU, was created to improve the quality of life in rural areas by developing public-private partnerships with local agencies on small business development and community development projects. The IIRA's more than 40 professional and support staff members work on a variety of rural economic and community development projects, including value-added agriculture and renewable energy, health care, education, public transportation, public management policies, housing and technology.

For more information about the IIRA, see www.IIRA.org. For more information about the IIRA's renewable energy program, contact Iutzi at (800) 526-9943 or (309) 298-1453.


USDA REAP Program application resources
Posted 5/13/2010 2:47:17 PM

The NOSA just came out for the part of the USDA REAP program that deals directly with grants for renewable energy systems, called "Renewable Energy System / Energy Efficiency Improvement" or RES/EEI.
For RES/EEI, see the attached NOSA and the following link:

http://www.farmenergy.org/tools/tools-and-templates


Illinois Wind Working Group Fourth Annual Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference
Posted 5/12/2010 1:27:22 PM

The Illinois Wind Working Group (IWWG) will host their fourth annual Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference, July 14 - 15, 2010, at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, IL. The conference covers many aspects of wind energy including large, community, and small wind. Plenary speakers include Michele DesAutels of the U.S. Department of Energy and Larry Flowers of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Within 13 panel sessions, eight breakout seminars, and more plenary sessions, 50 additional speakers will share their expertise in a variety of important areas of wind energy. Topics include economic development, what landowners need to know about wind farms, small wind "how to," commercial and community wind, net metering, wind assessment and forecasting methods, siting and zoning, construction issues, wind for schools, the Indiana Bat, wildlife and environmental issues, how to get a job in wind energy, residential property value guarantees, state grant programs and more. The conference is open to the public and will be of special interest to landowners interested in wind turbines or leasing their land, county board members, zoning board administrators, economic development officials, wind development companies, policy makers, environmental groups, contractors, manufacturers and schools interested in wind energy. The cost to attend the two-day conference is $90 per person for early registration through June 23, 2010. The rate will change to $125 as of June 24, 2010. An optional wind farm tour and dinner is also offered for an additional $30, with a choice to visit Horizon Wind Energy's Rail Splitter Wind Farm, or the small wind turbine at Illinois State University's Horticultural Center. Register to attend or sponsor online at http://www.RenewableEnergy.ilstu.edu, click on Annual Conference in the Upcoming Events list. For questions, please call 309-438-7919.



IWWG Siting, Zoning, & Taxing of Wind Farms in Illinois Conference
Posted 1/29/2010 2:58:20 PM

IWWG Siting, Zoning, & Taxing of Wind Farms in Illinois Conference



Date: February 24, 2010 (Wednesday)


Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: Peoria Civic Center, Peoria, IL

Register online: http://www.RenewableEnergy.IllinoisState.edu/events/SZT2010.shtml



The Illinois Wind Working Group (IWWG) will host a Siting, Zoning, and Taxing of Wind Farms in Illinois Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2009, at the Peoria Civic Center, in Peoria. IWWG is administered by Illinois State University's Center for Renewable Energy, and is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America state wind working groups.

This conference is designed to answer the many questions that county and zoning board members and officials have about the wind energy industry. The one-day conference will feature speaker panels to discuss the responsibilities and best practices of county and zoning boards, taxation of wind farms, property value guarantees, roads and decommissioning. A Wind Energy 101 pre-session will also be offered for those new to wind farm projects.

Panelists include Fred Iutzi (Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University), Ben Hoen (subcontractor to Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory), Dan Litchfield (Iberdrola Renewables), Ruth Anne Tobias (DeKalb County), Todd Weegens (Fehr-Graham & Associates), Chuck Schopp (Livingston County), Kyle Barry (McGuire Woods), Wendy Ryerson (Lee County), Kevin Borgia (Illinois Wind Energy Association), Jerry Hicks (LaSalle County), Jim Griffin (Schain, Burney, Banks & Kenny), and Jim Webster (Winnebago County).

The event is sponsored by Acciona Energy, enXco, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Renewables, Mainstream Renewable Power, Natural Resources Consulting, and TradeWind Energy.

Register for the IWWG Siting, Zoning & Taxing Wind Farms Conference by Friday, Feb. 19. The early bird registration fee is $30 for government employees, county board members, and zoning board members; $75 for all others. As of Feb. 11, the rates will change to $50 and $100 respectively. A detailed agenda and registration information are available online at http://www.RenewableEnergy.IllinoisState.edu/events/SZT2010.shtml , or by contacting the Center for Renewable Energy at 309-438-7919, email RenewableEnergy@ilstu.edu



Affinity Wind, LLC Announces an Investment
Posted 12/14/2009 1:20:34 PM

Affinity Wind, LLC, a St. Louis based wind energy development company, announced an investment by the Biliken Angel Network, a Saint Louis University affiliated angel capital funding network. For more information http://www.affinitywind.com/news/11202009-pr/


GobNob Wind Turbine Project
Posted 10/8/2009 3:14:20 PM

The turbine tower was constructed in late December of 2008, and commercial start-up was completed in early March of 2009. Follow this link to see the video http://www.illinoiswind.org/resources/video.asp



Building the Wind Turbine Supply Chain Workshop - Oct 22
Posted 9/11/2009 2:05:47 PM

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Spoon River College Community Outreach Center
MidAmerica National Bank Conference Hall
2500 East Jackson Street, Macomb, Illinois

This workshop will enable manufacturers to evaluate their capabilities relative to customer requirements,
and begin to develop their plan for penetrating the market.

Experts in the field of renewable energy will highlight market opportunities in the wind sector for attending manufacturers.
The goal of the workshop is to help build a new industry of wind turbine components that will create new jobs and investments throughout Illinois.

The workshop will also feature information on growing trends in wind power, major supply chain needs in the wind energy systems industry,
retooling investments, and process upgrades that suppliers must address in order to comply with wind industry standards.

Cost to attend: $95 Early Bird Registration by October 7, 2009. $125 as of October 8, 2009. Includes lunch.


REGISTER NOW!

http://renewableenergy.illinoisstate.edu/events/SupplyChainOct2009.shtml


Questions? Call the Center for Renewable Energy at 309-438-7919, or email RenewableEnergy@ilstu.edu.


Quinn Administration Announces Guidelines for State Energy Grants
Posted 8/24/2009 9:17:10 AM

IIRA Staff members are available to be a resource in your grant development. Contact us at 309.298.2684

Organizations can apply for grants in the following program areas:
·Renewable Energy Production: Supports the development and implementation of large solar photovoltaic, biomass/biogas to energy, hydroelectric, and other renewable energy technologies in Illinois.
·Community Renewable Energy: Supports smaller scale solar, wind and other renewal energy projects.
·Green Industry Business Development: Supports the development or expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency component manufacturers, dedicated biomass crops, the manufacturers of recycled content products, and recycling processing centers, among others.
·Green Roof Grants: Supports development of cost-effective green roof projects that increase energy efficiency, clean and retain rainwater, and reduce "Urban Heat Island Effects."
·Electric Energy Efficiency Program for Public Facilities: Will provide incentives for projects that increase the energy efficiency of public sector entities outside of the Ameren Illinois and ComEd service territories.
·Thermal Efficiency Program for Public Facilities: Supports projects that produce thermal energy savings through efficiency improvements in buildings, equipment or process.
·Large Customer Energy Efficiency: Provides incentives for projects that reduce operating expenses through energy efficiency improvements for Illinois companies that use large amounts of energy.
·Next Generation Biofuels Production: Provides incentives for next generation biofuel technologies that will reduce production costs by increasing production efficiency and reduce potentially harmful greenhouse gas emissions from these facilities.

For additional information, including how to apply for SEP grants, interested parties should visit: www.illinoisenergy.org.




USDA accepting applications for Renewable Energy systems
Posted 5/26/2009 1:09:32 PM

To all of those who may be interested in the announcement of the 2009
Rural Energy for America Program:

USDA published a notice today in the Federal Register announcing it is
accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to purchase renewable
energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements for agriculture
producers and rural small businesses in eligible rural areas. Funding
will be available in the form of grants, guaranteed loans, and combined
guaranteed loans and grant applications. Grant applications for
feasibility studies on renewable energy projects to the same eligible
applicants are also being accepted.

The deadline for submitting applications is July 31, 2009. If your
project involves construction, please contact me right away to begin the
environmental review process.

Please find below the website with a copy of today's Federal Register
Notice.
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-12178.pdf

A copy of the regulation is available at this link:
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/regs/pdf/4280b.pdf

Application templates and other useful items can be found at the
Environmental Law and Policy Center website. Please note that this is
not a USDA Rural Development website.
http://farmenergy.org/tools/tools-and-templates

I look forward to working with you and feel free to contact me with any
questions. If I am unavailable, please contact Matt Harris at (217)
403-6211 or Ron Firkins at (217) 403-6217.


Advancing Wind Power in Illinois Conference - July 15th & 16th, 2009
Posted 5/13/2009 2:18:13 PM

This conference covers many aspects of wind energy including small wind, community wind and large wind farms. Sessions will include wind assessment methods, economic development, siting and zoning, net metering, construction issues, wind farms and aerial application, wind for schools, how manufacturers can join the supply chain, wildlife and environmental issues, how to get a job in wind energy, and more. The event brings to Illinois nationally recognized experts and local policymakers to discuss wind energy.

Landowners interested in wind turbines or leasing their land, county board members, zoning board administrators, elected officials, policy makers, wind development companies, environmental groups, economic development officials, contractors, manufacturers, universities, and schools interested in wind energy should attend. The conference is open to the public.

For the complete conference agenda and to register online, please visit http://www.renewableenergy.ilstu.edu/wind/conferences/.



AWEA WINDPOWER 2009 in Chicago
Posted 4/13/2009 11:15:34 AM

Illinois has the unique opportunity of hosting the national wind conference in Chicago May 4-7th. If you are interested in more information or attending, visit their website at www.awea.org




Wind Supply Chain Workshop April 20th
Posted 3/27/2009 9:25:58 AM

The Quad City Development Group, in partnership with the American Wind Energy Association, Alter Barge Line, Ryan Companies US, Acciona North America, EICCD, The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at WIU, Scott County, The University of Iowa, and others is presenting a Wind Energy Supply Chain Workshop Monday April 20th 2009 from 8 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. at the QC Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, IA. The event will focus on the opportunities that exist for regional businesses in the wind energy supply chain, either through retooling or for startup manufacturing. The event also highlights the unique benefits of the Quad City Region including transportation, workforce, and education. The event is the product of the Quad City Development Group's Wind Energy Discovery Group consisting of regional businesses, city officials, and educators focused on enhancing the area economy through wind energy growth and sustainability.

You may now access sign-up at http://qcenergizedandsupplied.eventbrite.com





New Wind Site Selection Tool
Posted 1/8/2009 1:51:25 PM

The Wind Site Selection Tool is an interactive GIS program that allows users to view selected areas within Illinois and create layers of information in a dynamic map. http://www.illinoissiteselectiontool.org/windsiteselection/


New Maps: Wind Farm Locations-Transmission lines-Substations
Posted 1/8/2009 1:49:50 PM

We have added new maps to illinoiswind.org. These maps are in PDF and can be downloaded. The maps consist of Current Wind Turbine locations, Transmission Lines, and Substations. They can be found at http://www.illinoiswind.org/resources/maps.asp


Siting, Zoning & Taxing Wind Farms in Illinois Conference
Posted 12/18/2008 10:56:14 AM

Illinois Wind Working Group is hosting a conference on Siting, Zoning & Taxing Wind Farms in Illinois. Topics include County & Zoning Board duties and Taxation of Wind Farms. February 4, 2009 at Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria, Illinois. Register at www.wind.ilstu.edu


Regional Wind Power Supply Chain Initiative
Posted 10/17/2008 8:22:46 AM


http://www.jane-addams.org


"Wind power is one bright spot in the American economy, helping to lower home energy bills, strengthen our energy security, create thousands of new manufacturing jobs and reduce global warming emissions while meeting growing demand for electricity across the nation."

— Randall Swisher, American Wind Energy Association

As a technical training provider to the metalworking trades we are optimistic about the potential wind power has to add to the customer base of the companies we serve and to create manufacturing jobs here in Illinois. We believe that supply chain development is the most rational response.

In an effort to leverage the resources that are available, JARC is working with several other organizations and government agencies to facilitate buyer-supplier relationships within the Chicagoland region and beyond, attract foreign direct investment, and encourage local manufacturers to invest in new equipment and technical training.

Through identification of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), first tier suppliers, and the regional suppliers able to meet their needs, we intend to match supply to demand and bring business to the region. We will market the capacity of regional manufacturers and make the case to foreign manufacturers that the Chicago metropolitan area has much to offer.

If you are
# a supplier engaged in this market
# a manufacturer seeking to enter this market
# an OEM seeking strategic sourcing assistance
# a machine tool manufacturer seeking to market your products
# or seeking regional investment opportunities in manufacturing
…we want to hear from you.

JARC is cosponsoring a regional wind power supply chain workshop with the Illinois Wind Working Group and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest. This event will be held on:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 from 1 to 6 PM at the Sofitel Chicago O'Hare

Speakers will address:
# OEM sourcing strategies
# supply chain development
# technical trends and standards
# automation technology
# private equity buyouts
# and growth capital


For more information including an agenda and list of relevant industries and components contact Dylan Tuttle at (773) 728-9769 x37 or dylant@jane-addams.org./wind_power_initiative.html
http://www.jane-addams.org/wind_power_initiative.html


PTC Extended
Posted 10/7/2008 9:46:36 AM

PTC Extended and good news for small wind



Great news: This past Friday, Congress made two great achievements for wind energy!

- Congress extended the renewable energy production tax credit, a vital component of financing all utility-scale wind energy projects, through December 31, 2009.

- Congress created an investment tax credit for residential-scale wind turbines that will last through 2017.


Senate overwhelmingly passes PTC Extension.
Posted 9/24/2008 12:19:48 PM

The U.S. Senate just voted overwhelmingly, 93 to 2, to approve legislation containing a one-year extension of the crucial wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) through December 31, 2009. The bill, H.R. 6049, also would create a new investment tax credit for purchases of small wind systems used to power homes, farms and small businesses. It will be voted on by the house later this week.



Wind Maps Will be Updated!
Posted 8/22/2008 11:43:06 AM

New 50 meter & 80 meter wind maps will be available in the coming days. Please check back often.


Wind Maps Now Available
Posted 7/9/2008 8:03:00 AM

Wind maps are now available in PDF form. Simply click on the Wind Monitoring Program below Illinois Wind and click on Wind Maps or click on the link above the Illinois map.


Section 9006 Program Funds for Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements
Posted 3/7/2008 1:56:33 PM

This message is from Molly Hammond, USDA Rural Development- Illinois, April 7,2008

USDA published a notice yesterday (4/6/08)in the Federal Register announcing it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2008 to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements for agriculture producers and rural small businesses in eligible rural areas. Funding will be available in the form of grants, guaranteed loans, and combined guaranteed loans and grant applications. For FY 2008 there is approximately $15.9 million in funding for competitive grants and $205 million in authority for guaranteed loans. Funding for grant and loan combination packages will be funded from the same allocation as loan guarantees.

I have attached the Federal Register document to this email. Please read it carefully. Pay particular attention to the mention of the Environmental Assessment. The environmental process should begin right away. Please contact me for information on environmental requirements for specific projects.

This year there will be two competitive grant cycles. The first deadline is April 15, 2008. Applications that are not funded in the first competition will automatically be considered under the second competition. Grant applications in the second cycle are due no later than June 16, 2008. Loan applications and grant/loan combination applications will be evaluated on a bi-weekly basis until June 16. These will be funded on a first-come first-serve basis. I would suggest submitting a combination application as soon as possible. Please note that combination applications must score at least 84 points to remain eligible.

Please see the following websites for more information on the program:

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/farmbill/index.html - Section 9006 website

A copy of the regulation can be found at the above website, but a more reader-friendly version is available at this link: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/regs/pdf/4280b.pdf

Application templates and other useful items can be found at the Environmental Law and Policy Center website. Please note that this is not a USDA Rural Development website.

www.farmenergy.org

http://www.agmrc.org/agmrc/provider_search.asp - Link to a list of grant writers.

I look forward to working with you, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Molly K. Hammond
USDA Rural Development - Illinois
Business Cooperative Specialist
Phone: 217-403-6210
Fax: 217-403-6215





New Legislation - Renewable Energy
Posted 10/17/2007 10:52:02 AM

A number of wind energy related acts have been
created to facilitate development. Below are summaries of significant policy. These summaries were prepared from information available at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/default.asp

Financial Assistance for School Renewable Energy Projects
Public Act 095-0046 An ACT concerning education
• Subject to appropriation of funds.
o Renewable energy grant program - solar, geothermal, and wind
o Installation, acquisition, construction, and improvement of renewable energy resources in public schools
• Grant coverage
o 50% of cost
o Maximum grant of $1,000,000
o School must demonstrate 50% cost share
o School may fund its portion with private funds


Zoning of Wind Turbines and Farms
Public Act 095-0203 An ACT concerning local government

County
• may establish standards for wind turbines and wind farms
o Including height, number
o Including the siting of wind turbines in unincorporated areas
• does not regulate siting in municipality jurisdiction and a 1.5 mile radius surrounding its jurisdiction
• shall hold at least one public hearing not more than 30 days prior to a siting of a wind turbine decision by county board
o Notice of hearing published in newspaper with general circulation in county
• may allow siting of test wind towers without formal approval
• Test wind towers must be dismantled within three years of installation
• Provisions of county zoning ordinance pertaining to wind farms, already in effect prior to effective date of this act may continue.

Municipality
• may regulate wind turbines and wind farms within its jurisdiction and a 1.5 miles radius surrounding its zoning jurisdiction.
• shall hold at least one public hearing not more than 30 days prior to a siting of a wind turbine decision by county board
o Notice of hearing published in newspaper with general circulation in the municipality
• may allow siting of test wind towers without formal approval
• Test wind towers must be dismantled within three years of installation



School Ownership of Wind Farm
Public Act 095-0390 An Act concerning education
• A school district may own/operate a wind farm
o Individually or jointly
o Must reduce directly or indirectly energy or other operating costs of school district
• School district may ask for assistance of any State agency in obtaining financing options.
• A community college district is covered by the same provisions as a school district



Net Metering of Electricity
Public Act 095-0420 An ACT concerning regulation
• For retail customers that own or operate electric generation from renewable energy on their premises
• Electricity providers must offer by April 1, 2008
• Up to rated capacity of 2000 kilowatts per customer
o Customers meeting requirements must be accepted into the program until electricity provider has achieved 1% of total peak demand (based on previous year experience), however
o Systems rated at 40 kilowatts or less are limited to 200 new customers for a one year period beginning 4/1/08
• Intent is to offset customer's own consumption
• Generation offsets consumption monthly
o If consumption exceeds generation then billed for the net deficit
o If generation exceeds consumption then a credit for the net surplus is carried forward until needed for another net deficit month
o Each monthly credit must be used within 12 months at which time it expires
• Retail customer owns any credits that may become associated with production of renewable energy
• Pro rating for multiple customers such as in a community wind project is at discretion of electricity provider


Utility Electricity
Public Act 095-0481 An ACT concerning Renewable Portfolio Standards
• Minimum percentage of utility's total supply to serve the load of eligible retail customers.
• At least 2% by June 1, 2008
• At least 4% by June 1, 2009
• Increasing by 1% per year thereafter to 10% by June 2015
• Increasing by 1.5% each year thereafter to at least 25% by June 1, 2025
• At extent that it is available, at least 75% of the renewable energy resources used shall come from wind generation.




Ameren's Guide on Home Renewable Energy and Policy on Purchasing Excess Power
Posted 5/16/2007 10:43:11 AM

You can review Ameren's guide on Photovoltaic and Wind Generator Systems and the policy for purchasing excess electricity at http://www.ameren.com/ENVIRONMENT/ADC_EV_WindSystemsFactors.asp (see section F).


Other Wind Energy Incentives
Posted 2/2/2007 4:21:57 PM

Follow the link provided here to view incentives available for Illinois wind energy projects. Click on the state of Illinois and see the latest information
http://www.dsireusa.org/




Find elevation for your proposed site
Posted 8/10/2004 8:30:31 AM

If you need approximate elevation information, you can view topographic maps of your area at http://www.topozone.com


WIU Receives Grant for Wind Monitoring Project
Posted 6/22/2004 11:41:50 AM

MACOMB, IL - Wind power production presents an opportunity to diversify the agricultural economy, the backbone of many rural communities, and it also helps protect the environment by making use of a clean and green renewable source of energy. To promote and assist with wind energy projects throughout the state, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University has been awarded a $419,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.


The foundation is the sole sponsor of the four-year project in which the IIRA, in cooperation with Western's geography department, will record wind velocity from sites throughout Illinois. Landowners interested in knowing if their location has adequate wind to power a turbine can apply for the instruments used for measuring wind; a limited number of sites will be selected. According to Roger Brown, IIRA research associate and wind program coordinator, the data will be used to create a more detailed wind resource map for the state.


"We anticipate that locally-owned wind power projects could be developed as a result of the data," Brown explained. "This project will also contribute to a better understanding of wind quality throughout the state which could lead to more interest in community-based and individual projects."


According to the American Wind Energy Association, a wind energy system transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be "harvested" for practical use. Mechanical energy is most commonly used for pumping water in rural or remote locations, while wind electric turbines generate electricity for homes and businesses and for sale to utilities. A 10-kilowatt wind turbine can generate about 16,000 kilowatt-hours annually, more than enough to power a typical household.


"This grant allows the Institute for Rural Affairs at Western to provide essential wind information to communities and landowners interested in installing wind turbines," said James Mann, executive director of the Clean Energy Foundation.


The foundation also recently awarded $175,000 to the Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative in Pike County for a local wind power project. The cooperative is installing a 1.65 megawatt turbine to generate pollution-free power for its members. Mann noted thqat in the last two years, the foundation has awarded a dozen grants totaling more than $1.5 million to advance community-based wind projects throughout Illinois.


For more information on the wind energy project, contact Brown at 309/298-1453. A website (www.illinoiswind.org) to promote the project and house wind data is currently under construction.


Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs
Phone: 800/526-9943
Fax: 309/298-2142
E-mail: JS-Willis@wiu.edu

The information provided at this website including but not limited to maps, data, links, and other printed material is provided without warranty or any representation of accuracy, adequacy, timeliness, and/or completeness. The burden for determining accuracy, adequacy, completeness, timeliness, and fitness for or the appropriateness for use, rests solely on the user accessing this information. The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and the Western Illinois University GIS Center make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to the use of the maps and data available for access at this website. The data, maps, and other information contained herein may be modified at any time to reflect additions to, deletions from, or other changes without public notice. No liability is assumed for the accuracy of any data, map, and other information either expressed or implied.

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IIRA Western Illinois University