Chicago, Illinois [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Last month, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced over $1.5 million in grants for businesses and other utility customers in Illinois to install solar thermal energy systems. The Solar Thermal Grant Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), covers up to 30 percent of the costs for installation of a system.The Solar Thermal Grant Program focuses on systems that produce heat energy for large scale applications with a significant heat load such as car washes, commercial laundries, high-density housing developments, and public swimming pools.
Businesses and community organizations are already utilizing the grants to install solar hot water systems.
Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission, which provides beds and rehabilitation programs for 950 homeless people a night, used its Solar Thermal Grant of $132,198 to install a solar thermal hot water system at its new facility. The new facility features an energy efficient design, a green roof, greenhouses, and solar energy.