Illinois Governor Creates Climate Change Advisory Group, Joins CCX, Grants $2.2 Million for Wind Farm
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced a multifaceted global warming initiative in Chicago on October 5 that includes increasing energy efficiency in state facilities and allows farmers to sell credits for greenhouse gas reductions. Blagojevich formed a commission that will develop a series of long-term recommendations for the state to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. One of the first actions of the commission will be to meet later this month with the California Environmental Protection Agency about that state's greenhouse gas reduction program.
The governor also announced that Illinois has become the second state to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). The exchange requires members to make mandatory and enforceable commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. CCX also functions as a market exchange where member companies can sell and other companies can bid for and buy credits for carbon reduction. Blagojevich said these commitments will save taxpayers money because the state will limit its use of electricity and reduce imports of petroleum based transportation fuels.
Blagojevich said, "By joining the Climate Change Exchange, the State of Illinois is taking a meaningful step to reduce global warming caused by our own facilities and vehicles, and we're setting an example for others to follow. I believe in market-based approaches to climate change, and CCX is at the forefront of this movement." For details, see the governor's October 5 press release.
Two days later, Blagojevich announced a $2.2 million grant to Horizon Wind Energy to develop the Twin Groves Wind Farm in McLean County. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) awarded the grant for Twin Groves, which will be rated at 400 megawatts. When it is completed in 2010, the wind project will be one of the largest in the world and will represent an investment of more than $700 million.
DCEO has structured the grant to reward power plant performance, so payments will be in proportion to the number of kilowatt-hours generated at the facility. The grant is part of the DCEO Wind Energy Production Development Program.