With a giant 115-foot wind turbine blade as a backdrop, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn, City of Chicago Department of the Environment Commissioner Marcia Jim?nez, Commonwealth Edison, and wind energy marketer Community Energy, Inc. joined leading local customers to announce the availability of new, locally generated wind energy for Chicago-area businesses and residents.Chicago, Illinois – November 7, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] For the first time, emission-free wind-generated electricity is available to Chicago-area customers. “It’s time to harness the wind of the Windy City,” said Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn. “By fostering ‘All-American’ power such as wind and solar, especially in these perilous times, we’re less subject to the whims of oil-producing nations.” The American Lung Association of Metropolitan Chicago, the city of Saint Charles, the Delta Institute, and five faith-based institutions all recently announced purchases of wind energy from the ComEd-Community Energy Wind Farm at Crescent Ridge. Located in Bureau County, Illinois, the Crescent Ridge Wind Farm is one of the first Illinois-based wind energy facilities, expected on-line next year. “The city of Chicago applauds the leadership shown by these customers,” said Marcia Jim?nez, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Environment. “The city of Chicago has become the nation’s largest purchaser of wind power, with the exception of major utilities, and has helped spur the development of wind energy in Illinois.” The ceremony ? held in conjunction with the Green Power Marketing Conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ? took place in front of a fiberglass wind turbine blade. This type of blade will soon be installed on 230-foot towers in Bureau County, about three hours west of Chicago. The single blade, a third of a football field in length, is one of three blades that turn atop a state of the art wind turbine. Illinois-based wind turbine manufacturer, NEG Micon and Community Energy, Inc. (CEI), brought it to Grant Park for the event. “The more customers that buy wind energy, the more wind energy we bring online,” said Eric Blank, Executive Vice President of CEI, which is the supplier of NewWindEnergy. “These purchases directly support a clean, sustainable future and move the country a little bit closer to energy independence.” The Crescent Ridge Wind Power Project will be one of the first Illinois wind farms when it comes on-line next year. ComEd has agreed to purchase all of the electricity produced by the wind turbines for 20 years, allowing the project to go forward. Compared to the average electric generation in Illinois, the wind project will offset approximately 317 million pounds of air pollution. This is the carbon dioxide equivalent of planting over 214 million trees or taking 43,000 cars off the road each year.