Bringing the Future to Illinois: Establishing a Renewable Energy Business in Chicago. Stephen J. Hogan, Mark Burger, Caroline Kaufmann, Kent Whitfield, Jodi Sutherland, Spire Solar Chicago, Midwest Center for Green Technology, Chicago, Illinois 60612

The State of Illinois has taken a leadership role in the United States for developing renewable energy applications through the DCCA "Illinois Renewable Energy Resources Program" funding and the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. These programs, along with the support of the City of Chicago and ComEd, have allowed Spire Corporation to establish a successful business in Chicago. The scope of this business has been to establish a local photovoltaic (PV) module production facility, design complete PV systems, and install and maintain these systems within the region. To date the manufacturing process has begun in Chicago, and over 200 kW of clean, renewable PV generation have been installed on Chicago facilities.

These successes in Chicago represent only the beginning of opportunities in Illinois for promotion of clean energy sources that also generate job possibilities for residents. This presentation will outline the systems installed to date, and the issues that address future expansion of the technology, including regulatory and financial considerations. Regulatory issues include: incorporation of State-wide net metering; incorporation of a State Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard; adoption of fair, realistic interconnect requirements; attention to applicable Codes and Standards; and ability to allow intermittent renewable energy to have access to existing power lines. Some of the financial issues include: Green tagging; access to real time pricing; investment tools for financing; tax benefits and exemptions; and providing easy access to funding sources with preferential terms. Consideration of these issues will allow Illinois to maintain it's leading role in promoting clean energy sources for the State's constituents.

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