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. 

  • 14 Sep 2010 10:14 PM | Michelle Hickey
    WASHINGTON, D.C. (press release) -- Nearly two million jobs were left on the table when the U.S. Senate went on recess this summer without taking action on clean energy and climate legislation, according to an analysis that will be released on Tuesday, September 14. The report is sponsored by Small Business Majority, Main Street Alliance, American Businesses for Clean Energy and We Can Lead.

    The report will look at the number of jobs lost in 20 states due to the Senate's inaction. Eleven of the 20 states with 10 percent unemployment or higher lost more than half a million jobs in total, according to the new report. The 20 states are: Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. (continue)

  • 14 Sep 2010 9:47 PM | Michelle Hickey
    Western Illinois University's Horn Field Campus has gone "green" thanks to a gift from Western's Green Energy Team.

    On Sept. 9, Western's Green Energy Team donated an off-grid, portable, solar energy generator to the Horn Field Campus.

    The generator works to collect solar energy during the day, storing that energy, then converting it to electronic power to help power devices such as lights and telephones.

    "It's very important to us to donate this generator because our team is a part of the school that helps emphasize how important it is to live a green lifestyle," said Steve Wright, senior communications major and president of the Green Energy Team. (continue)

  • 14 Sep 2010 9:37 PM | Michelle Hickey

    JERSEYVILLE – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) today celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony for 32 single-family affordable rental homes which will use solar and wind power to reduce energy bills. The development, known as Lexington Farms Subdivision in Jerseyville, will house qualified working families. An estimated 81 jobs will be created.

    IHDA invested more than $2.5 million to build Lexington Farms, providing federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to finance the development located at Fairgrounds and Cemetery avenues. The federal tax credits, which were a result of a special allocation for counties hit by severe flooding, generated an additional $6.7 million in private equity for the development. On behalf of the administration of Governor Pat Quinn, IHDA has invested federal stimulus funds to jumpstart construction on nearly 2,500 affordable rental homes, creating an estimated 3,000 jobs in Illinois.(continue)

  • 14 Sep 2010 9:34 PM | Michelle Hickey
    Chicago, IL -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/10/2010 -- MicroLink Devices, Inc. (, a Niles, IL-based semiconductor manufacturer, has been awarded a $5 million grant from the State of Illinois to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant to produce high efficiency, light weight solar cells.

    “We are thrilled with, and humbled by, this award,” says MicroLink President and CEO Dr. Noren Pan. “It says a lot about the potential for our technology to contribute to the important role that solar energy must play in the future of the U.S.”

    MicroLink’s proprietary epitaxial lift off manufacturing process (ELO) allows their high efficiency solar cells to be more competitive with existing lower efficiency products. (continue)
  • 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 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



    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

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