Massachusetts and Illinois Support Large Renewable Energy Projects
Both Massachusetts and Illinois have recently launched new programs to encourage large, on-site renewable energy projects. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) released a solicitation in late October for feasibility studies and design and construction of renewable energy projects at commercial, industrial, institutional, and public facilities. The project must be greater than 10 kilowatts in capacity, with at least half of the renewable power consumed on-site, and can include fuel cells, hydropower, or wind, solar, or biomass power. The MTC is providing $8.9 million over the next three years for its new Large Onsite Renewables Initiative, and the deadline for this first round of applications is January 12th, 2006. See the MTC solicitation.
Illinois launched a Renewable Energy Development Fund on November 7th to support community-scale wind energy projects throughout the state. Under the $4 million program, the Illinois Finance Authority will work with community banks and lenders to provide loans and loan guarantees to qualified farms and farmer cooperatives that construct wind turbines. Borrowers must contribute a minimum of 10 percent equity and are limited to community-scale projects that are under 20 megawatts. See the press release from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.