ISEA Blog

Welcome to the ISEA Blog. Catch up on the latest issues related to the adoption of solar and small wind energy in Illinois. We welcome your feedback and referral of newsworthy developments. 

  • 10 Sep 2010 9:11 AM | Michelle Hickey

    The "Windy City" lives up to its name as Chicago’s newest parking garage becomes the first to generate it's own energy with spinning vertical wind turbines.


    You might generally associate parking garages with the stark cement-colored monotony that most people despise about urban life. Thanks to a new design by the architects of HOK however, parking garages are being viewed in a whole new green light. (more)

  • 07 Sep 2010 8:34 AM | Michelle Hickey
    InterPark is installing charging stations at 12 of its downtown Chicago facilities to help provide infrastructure for electric vehicles.

    InterPark is going "greener!" To meet the changing needs of customers, InterPark is the first operator of parking garages in Chicago to do a multi-facility, citywide charging station installation program at 12 of its downtown Chicago facilities to help provide infrastructure for EVs. "We believe EVs are the next big thing in environmental friendliness and we want to provide leadership and support," said InterPark CEO Marshall Peck.

    On Wednesday, September 8 at 10:30 a.m., you're invited to join us on the rooftop at InterPark's Traders Garage, 329 South Franklin Street in Chicago to view the new chargers, as well as check out the new Tesla Roadster 2.5, just one of the prizes in a sweepstakes that will run from now through 10/31/10. And, there's "no charge to charge" your EV at any participating InterPark facilities through 12/31/10.

    InterPark CEO, Marshall Peck, will be available to answer questions about the company’s green initiatives and plans to install additional charging stations at facilities nationwide beginning in 2011. (more)
  • 07 Sep 2010 8:21 AM | Michelle Hickey
    Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that create new jobs between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 may be eligible to take advantage of a $2,500 tax credit. Eligible businesses may include new businesses hiring their first Illinois employee(s). To learn more visit JobsTaxCredit.illinois.gov. This policy targets the 500,000 small businesses in Illinois, and is expected to support 20,000 new jobs.
  • 03 Sep 2010 9:04 AM | Michelle Hickey
    Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation to extend property tax relief for wind farms in Illinois and give local governments the authority to finance renewable energy projects in unincorporated areas of the state.

    H.B. 4797 keeps wind farms’ property tax assessments uniform by extending a sunset provision of the property tax code through 2016, giving the industry the ability to anticipate operating costs. Without the provision, property taxes on wind farms would be based on location. (more)
  • 02 Sep 2010 3:02 PM | Michelle Hickey
    ComEd said will letters go out this week to single family homeowners in the innovation corridor along I-290 – which includes 130,000 customers in Melrose Park, Bellwood, Maywood, River Forest, Oak Park, Forest Park, Broadview, Hillside, Berwyn and the Humboldt Park section of Chicago – asking for single-family homeowners to test solar panels.
    ...
    The three-year photovoltaic pilot is partially funded by a $5 million U.S. Department of Energy grant and allows ComEd to install 100 solar arrays on residential homes in the corridor. The arrays produce enough electricity to power a small home and at the end of the pilot, the homeowners keep the panels, said Maryl Freestone, senior engineer and project manager for the PV pilot.

    Chicago Breaking Business
    Chicago Tribune
  • 20 Aug 2010 3:36 PM | Michelle Hickey
    There has been a lot of interest in understanding the details of the recently signed into law HB 6202 Solar Ramp Up.  These resources should provide clarification:

    DSIRE - IL Renewable Portfolio Standard



       YEAR      

    RPS
    requirement

    Solar Requirement
    (as % of RPS)            
    Solar Requirement
    (as % of total
    power supply)    
     Estimated Annual
    New Solar MW
    (DC)       
     2012-2013 
     7% 0.5% 0.04% 40
     2013-2014 
     8% 1.5% 0.12% 99
     2014-2015 
     9% 3.0% 0.27% 178
     2015-2016 
     10% 6.0% 0.60% 397
    Created by Vote Solar
  • 12 Aug 2010 2:07 PM | Michelle Hickey

    Governor Quinn Signing HB 6202 &

    Wanxiang Solar Plant Grand Opening


    The City of Rockford and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, in conjunction with Wanxiang America Corporation are coordinating an Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, August 17, 2010. 

    The ceremony will celebrate the grand opening of the Rockford Solar Panel plant and Governor Patrick Quinn’s signing of House Bill 6202 in Rockford.

    Address: Wanxiang, 5985 Logistics Parkway, Rockford 61109
    Time:  TBD
  • 15 Jul 2010 11:58 AM | Michelle Hickey
    Commonwealth Edison customers will see an increase of about $9 to monthly bills effective immediately.

    The Illinois Commerce Commission said electricity bills include charges for electricity and charges for delivering power. The end user cost increase is the result of changes in the wholesale price of electricity in the market. The ICC does not regulate or set the price of electricity; the ICC reviews and sets the price of the utility's delivery services.

    "This is the price of electricity, which is changed every spring," Beth Bosch of the ICC told The Times.

    Jeff Burdick, ComEd company spokesman, said ComEd does not procure the electricity, the Illinois Power Agency does on behalf of ComEd and the cost is passed on to the consumer without markup. (read full article)

    Take ISEA Solar & Wind 101 and Learn how you can stop Renting from ComEd and Own your Electricity with Solar.
  • 15 Jul 2010 11:49 AM | Michelle Hickey
    At a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side, more than 32,000 solar panels slowly tilt every few minutes, following the sun as it moves across the sky.

    Operated by Exelon Corp. (NYSE:EXC) , the 40 acres of panels in West Pullman is the nation's largest urban solar plant, generating 10 megawatts of clean power and hope for an Illinois industry that has long waited for its moment in the sun.

    "We have been frustrated over the years that solar has not become more mainstream," said Kevin Lynch, who trains electricians to install solar panels for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "We understand it's still a relatively expensive technology, but the cost is much less than it was a few years ago."

    Indeed, the biggest obstacle to the growth of solar energy -- its cost -- has started to decline. The price of photovoltaic solar panels dropped more than 40 percent last year due to a glut in global supply, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.(read full article)

    NOTE:  ISEA is planning a tour of the Exelon West Pullman solar plant.  Stay tuned to the events calendar for more information soon!
  • 15 Jul 2010 11:05 AM | Michelle Hickey

    Governor Pat Quinn today (July 14) signed legislation to encourage investment in Illinois’ renewable energy sector and further build the state’s green economy. The new laws extend property tax relief for wind farms and give local governments the authority to finance green projects in unincorporated areas of the state. (read full press release)

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