ISEA Policy Blog

Welcome to the ISEA Policy 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. 

  • 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



    Solar Requirement
    (as % of RPS)            
    Solar Requirement
    (as % of total
    power supply)    
     Estimated Annual
    New Solar MW
     7% 0.5% 0.04% 40
     8% 1.5% 0.12% 99
     9% 3.0% 0.27% 178
     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)

  • 07 Jul 2010 9:25 AM | Michelle Hickey

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $125 million in grants to 41 community colleges and organizations. This round is the fifth and final of Community-Based Job Training Grant awards. Awardees were chosen from among 323 applications received in response to a competition first announced on March 15. Of the full amount, nearly $74 million is dedicated to applicants that have never received a Community-Based Job Training Grant.

    "The $125 million awarded today will create opportunities for working Americans to train for high-demand occupations with the help of our nationwide community college system," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Our goal is to help workers across the country prepare for and secure good jobs, and with support from these colleges and other critical stakeholders, we'll ensure we reach a broad base of individuals in need." (more)

    Lake Land College



    Green-Building, Retrofitting and Solar


  • 01 Jul 2010 12:33 PM | Michelle Hickey
    Solar car races have existed for a number of years, with many such as the “American Solar Challenge” that runs a 1,100 mile course from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma to Naperville, Illinois having gone on for roughly 20 years now.

    These races have even become so well known in many media cultures to have become the focus of some movies, such as the 1996 comedy-drama “Race the Sun”.

    Beyond simply being an interesting pastime, however, these races have a very real benefit to many alternative energy industry personnel and have played an active role in helping to shape the modern solar power industry.

    Focusing on the most efficient and effective usage of energy possible from solar photovoltaic cells available today, solar car participants must use their engineering skills to develop a vehicle that is both light weight and energy efficient enough to allow them to achieve both speed and endurance into a small craft to make the substantial run between cities. (more)
  • 01 Jul 2010 12:26 PM | Michelle Hickey

    CARPENTERSVILLE – District 300 is one step closer to becoming one of the first Illinois school districts to use a wind farm to reduce energy costs.

    Gov. Pat Quinn recently signed into law the School District Intergovernmental Cooperation Renewable Energy Act, which authorizes school districts to acquire and build facilities that convert wind or solar power to energy.

    Last year, Carpentersville District 300 joined a School Wind Consortium with Keeneyville District 20 and Prospect Heights District 23.

    With the new law that went into effect Friday, the three districts are onto Phase II of their project. (more)

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