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Friday, August 14, 2009

Feds OK $101M green grant funds for Ill. | Crain's Chicago Business

Ugh.. I feel like such a broken record. I don't know what compels me to make the same posts over and over and over again. BIM and LEED are here to stay. You must use Revit Architecture and Revit MEP. You need to invest in Ecotect and IES. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

By: Paul Merrion Aug. 14, 2009

(Crain’s) — An Illinois proposal that would use federal stimulus money to jump-start manufacturing of wind turbine components and create other green energy businesses was approved by the Energy Department Friday.

The state will get $40.5 million for energy-efficiency grants and another $50 million later on to fully fund the program after demonstrating its performance, plus administrative expenses, for a total of $101 million.

In addition to helping local manufacturers retool, the state will offer grants to large industrial facilities, schools and other public buildings for projects that reduce their energy consumption. The program also will fund development of green roofs and recycling centers as well as increased use of recycled materials in manufacturing.

“We’re hoping to get some help somewhere from the stimulus package,” said Jim Slanina, president of Chicago-based Opus Environmental Inc. “It’s hard to find start-up capital.”

The maker of food-waste elimination equipment, which uses an accelerated composting process developed for the Japanese navy, has been seeking working capital and recently hired a grant writer to go after the Illinois energy-efficiency funding and other grant programs.

States have been scrambling to come up with good projects after the economic recovery act created a one-time, 50-fold increase in annual federal funding for state energy-efficiency grants. Illinois targeted manufacturing, partly because the Chicago area is home to many makers of gears and other industrial components that could be used in wind turbines and other kinds of renewable energy.

“The plan is our most comprehensive and innovative program to date to address the state’s energy production needs,” said Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in a statement.

With the Energy Department’s go-ahead, the Illinois Energy Office plans to post requirements and applications for the program next week on its Web site, , a state spokeswoman said.

Although the state can spend up to 10% of its $101-million allocation on administrative costs, it plans to keep overhead to 1% and use as much funding as possible for energy-efficiency grants, she added.

The state plans a two-track application process. Short-term projects, such as green roofs and energy-efficiency retrofits, will have 45 days to file applications, with awards expected by early November. Applications for large-scale, long-term projects, such as retrofits of biofuel manufacturing facilities, will be due around the end of October, with awards by the end of November.

The Illinois Energy Office also plans to reserve an unspecified amount for high-impact projects that will be awarded early next year, the spokeswoman said.


Original post: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=35139
Feds OK $101M green grant funds for Ill. | Crain's Chicago Business

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