News & Announcements

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  • 18 Sep 2014 12:20 PM | Anonymous

    Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools is the first nationwide assessment of how solar energy helps to power schools in communities across America. Most importantly, the report shows that thousands of schools are already cutting their utility bills by choosing solar, using the savings to pay for teacher salaries and textbooks. What’s more, the report estimates that more than 70,000 additional schools would benefit by doing the same.



    Key Findings:
    • An analysis performed for this report found that 450 individual school districts could each save more than $1,000,000 over 30 years by installing a solar PV system.
    • Of the 125,000 schools in the country, between 40,000 and 72,000 can “go solar” cost-effectively.
    • There are 3,752 K-12 schools in the United States with solar installations, meaning nearly 2.7 million students attend schools with solar energy systems.
    • The 3,727 PV systems at all U.S. schools with solar installations have a combined capacity of 490 megawatts (MW), and generate roughly 642,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity each year.
    • The electricity generated in one year by all 3,727 PV systems represents a combined $77.8 million per year in utility bills ‒ an average of almost $21,000 per year per school. This combined energy value is roughly equivalent to 155,000 tablet computers or nearly 2,200 new teachers’ salaries per year.



    More information and a call to action from Ken Johnson, VP of Solar Energy Industries Association on our Schools for Solar Page.

  • 04 Sep 2014 10:16 AM | Anonymous


    Earlier this year, EPA announced a new initiative under the Green Power Partnership: the On-site Renewables Challenge. The Partnership is tracking all Partners’ annual combined on-site renewable energy use, updated quarterly. As part of the Challenge, EPA invites Partners to increase the amount of energy they produce and use from on-site renewables by the end of the decade.


    Currently, more than 250 Green Power Partners are using more than one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of on-site green power annually. The Challenge aims to double this amount to two billion kWh by the end of 2020. And, we need your help to get there!

    We want to hear about what your organization is planning in terms of launching or expanding your on-site green power use. Are you adding solar panels to your facilities? Have you set a goal to produce a percentage of your electricity use from on-site resources?


    Partners that have made tangible commitments to increase the deployment of on-site renewable energy systems by 2020 are featured on our website. And, we plan to highlight Partners’ on-site green power commitments in our upcoming monthly Program Updates. If you have news to share, please contact Mollie Lemon, Partnership Program Manager, at lemon.mollie@epa.gov by September 5.


    If you’re not already a Partner, we invite you to join us today!


    For more information on the On-site Renewables Challenge, please visit: epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/onsite_challenge.htm


    Since 2001, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has worked with businesses, local and state governments, schools, NGOS and Federal agencies to expand the use of clean, renewable energy. More than 1,300 Green Power Partners are currently purchasing more than 28 billion kWh of green power annually, which has the equivalent impact of avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than three million homes each year.


  • 25 Aug 2014 12:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) recently released its 2014 Environmental Scorecard.


    IEC has been producing this scorecard for over forty years and it is an incredibly important tool to measure how a legislator voted on environmental issues.


    Click here to view the 2014 Environmental Scorecard online.


    Congratulations to the 35 legislators recognized for their votes on the 2014 scorecard!  View the scorecard to find out how your legislator voted and go to the IEC website for a summary of this year's scorecard.


  • 22 Aug 2014 2:15 PM | Anonymous

    Check out this story about solar power used on an Illinois farm!


    Tim and Austin Ridgely installed panels on Tim's Southeast Illinois 2,700 acre farm in Richland County. 

    Tim's solar system powers his entire farm.


    "Sun catchers" in Illinois Farmer Today


    "So, why aren’t more farmers choosing solar energy?

    'I don’t think people realize how cheap it has gotten,' Austin says."

  • 22 Aug 2014 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    The FY15 Large-Distributed Solar and Wind Grant Program is now open!


    Program guidelines and application forms are available from the Illinois Energy Office’s website at http://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/KeyIndustries/Energy/Pages/01aCommunitySolar.aspx  


    This RFA is a competitive solicitation, with applications due to DCEO on or before 4:30 p.m. on October 17, 2014.  Eligibility is limited to solar and wind energy projects over $100,000 in total project costs.  The expected budget for the grant program is approximately $2.5 million.

  • 20 Aug 2014 11:36 AM | Anonymous

     DCEO will accept applications until October 10th, 2014.  Applications will be assigned a number as they are received, and we will have a pre-selected list of random numbers that we will use as the order we will consider applications.  Any applications received after the deadline will only be consider if program funding is still available or becomes available later in the program year.


    The guidelines and application are available at http://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/KeyIndustries/Energy/Pages/01-RERP.aspx

     

    One clarification  - all solar PV and wind energy systems, except those that are self-installed, must be installed by a certified distributed generation installer.

     

    Good luck!

  • 18 Aug 2014 11:43 AM | Lesley McCain (Administrator)

     

    The program guidelines and application will become available within the next week or so on the DCEO website at http://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/KeyIndustries/Energy/Pages/01-RERP.aspx

     

     All applications must be submitted, without exception, on these new forms for Fiscal Year 2015 and must be filled out completely and signed and dated by both the applicant and the installer/project manager. Any applications received under previous application forms will be rejected.

     

    DCEO will accept applications for the random selection until October 10th, 2014.  Applications will be assigned a number as they are received, and there will a pre-selected list of random numbers that will be used as the order we will consider applications.  DCEO will keep moving down the list of applications based on the random numbers list until all rebate funds have been allocated.  The remaining applications will be on a waiting list and will be considered (again, based on the random number list) as projects are cancelled or if additional funds become available.

     

    DCEO is continuing to require that the application be submitted by the applicant.  While the installer/developer may assist in filling out application and organizing the required documents, the application cannot be sent to us by the installer.
     
    All solar PV and wind energy systems must be completed by a certified distributed energy installer (Illinois Commerce Commission’s certified list is available at http://www.icc.illinois.gov/utility/Certified.aspx?type=24).  DCEO will not approve an application until it can be confirmed that the installer has been certified by the ICC.

    The Final Documentation Checklist (Section 4.2 and Appendix C of new guidelines) has also been updated to require that applicants provide the approved interconnection application or the Certificate of Completion from the utility (if applicable).
     
    DCEO prefers that applications be submitted via email (ceo.rerp@illinois/gov), though applications may be sent through regular mail.  However, please do not submit both ways – just need one copy of the application.  If you send applications by email, you will receive a response that your application has been received. 

    Approximately $2.5 million has been allocated to the rebate program this fiscal year.

     

    ISEA will announce the opening of the rebate program as it is released.

  • 13 Aug 2014 12:21 PM | Anonymous

    You’re Invited...


    The Illinois Solar Tour, on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 is a FREE PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE to demonstrate how home and business owners are utilizing solar, wind, geothermal heat pumps, passive solar design, and energy efficiency to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to be energy independent.

    You can visit any site at any time between 10 am and 2 pm. Homeowners will be available at each site to provide information, share experiences and answer questions. 


    Attend the Solar Tour to:
    • meet people who have renewable energy installations, learn why they did it, the process, what they love about it and lessons learned.
    • learn about the different technologies and see how they are installed
    • hear about how different renewable energy technologies can work together
    • find out all of the ways you can use renewable energy to power your life

    Attend the tour and get all of your renewable energy questions answered!

     
    Sign up to volunteer your home as a host site or sign up to attend one or more of these open houses! Sponsorships available.


    Visit our Solar Tour page for more information.

  • 04 Aug 2014 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    Invitation for Bid: Turnkey Solution Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels


    First published Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Sealed bids will be accepted at the address below until 2:00 PM, Thursday August 21, 2014:


    Purchasing Division
    212A Illini Plaza
    1817 South Neil Street
    Champaign, IL 61820 


    The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Illinois is requesting bids to complete a turnkey installation of a 300 kW dc photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system at their facility. 


    Please see Section A.5 of the bid document for information of the site visit scheduled for August 12, 2014 at 9 a.m. (local time)


    For additional information, contact:


    Jacob Shaw

    212A Illini Plaza

    1817 South Neil Street

    Champaign, IL 61820 

    Phone: (217) 300-7035

    FAX: (217) 239-6880

    Purchasing Website


    Purchasing Officer - Cathy Link


    The University reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses or parts thereof. Vendor may expect payment thirty to sixty days after receipt of invoice, unless otherwise stated in the bid documents. Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) eligibility number is required on all proposals, if applicable. This procurement may be contingent on Board of Trustees approval. There is no BEP goal for this procurement.


    This transaction is subject to the State Board of Elections registration and certification requirements of Public Act 095-0971.

    The State of Illinois has a policy to encourage prospective vendors to hire qualified veterans, minorities, females, persons with disabilities and ex-offenders.


  • 25 Jul 2014 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    Workshop Announcement: Supplemental Photovoltaic Procurement Plan


    August 7, 2014 10 am to 3 pm

    160 N. LaSalle Street, 5th Floor Chicago, IL


    On August 7, 2014 the Illinois Power Agency (“IPA”) will hold a public workshop pursuant to Section 1-56(i)(1) of the Illinois Power Agency Act.1


    The IPA will be developing a supplemental procurement plan to purchase solar renewable energy credits using up to $30 million from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund. This workshop will provide an opportunity for the IPA to present an overview of Section 1-56(i), discuss key issues, and receive feedback from interested stakeholders.2


    A full agenda will be released prior to the Workshop. The IPA expects the Workshop will have two sessions, one from 10am to noon, and one from 1pm to 3pm.


    Please RSVP to Anthony Star at: Anthony.star@illinois.gov. Pleases note that a government- issued photo ID is required for entry into the building. A call-in number will be available upon request.

    Section 1-56(i) Timeline:


    August 7, 2014 : Public workshop

    September 29, 2014 : IPA releases draft plan

    October 14, 2014  : Deadline for comments on draft plan

    October 28 2014 : IPA files revised draft plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission Deadline for Illinois Commerce 

    January 26, 2015 : Commission approval of plan


    1 Section 1‐56(i) of the Illinois Power Agency Act is a new subsection enacted pursuant to Public Act 98‐0672 which has an effective date of June 30, 2014. Subsection 1‐56(i)(1) reads in part, “In developing the supplemental procurement plan, the Agency shall hold at least one workshop open to the public within 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly and shall consider any comments made by stakeholders or the public.”

    2 Please note that the IPA held a workshop on June 12, 2014 regarding matters related to Distributed Generation and subsequently issued a Request for Comments. Materials from that workshop and the responses to the Request for Comments are available on the IPA website under “Energy Procurement/Plans Under Development.” 

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