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Scrapbook: Illinois' Second Windy City

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Sierra Club Scrapbook

June 19, 2009

Illinois' Second Windy City

Springfield IL wind signing
The signing ceremony in the Illinois Governor's office. Left to right: Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, Governor Pat Quinn, CWLP General Manager Todd Renfrow, CMS Director James Sledge, Illinois Chapter Vice-Chair Will Reynolds.

This post is written by Will Reynolds of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Thanks to an agreement with the Sierra Club, state buildings in Illinois' capital city will be powered by renewable energy.  Governor Pat Quinn announced a contract with Springfield's public utility, City Water Light & Power (CWLP), to deliver 100% wind power to most state buildings.

Additionally, CWLP will spend up to $1.86 million over seven years to make state facilities more energy efficient.

Governor Quinn invited the Sierra Club to a signing ceremony where he called the effort to curb global warming the great cause of our time and repeated his goal to widely expand renewable energy sources in Illinois.

Springfield IL wind 2
The press conference announcing the contract. Left to right: Will Reynolds, Vice-Chair Illinois Chapter Sierra Club. James Sledge, State CMS Director, Todd Renfrow, CWLP General Manager, Governor Pat Quinn is speaking.

The state's commitment is part of a clean energy agreement with the Sierra Club, in which CWLP agreed to purchase 120 megawatts of wind power capacity.  That equals about 18% of energy use for their customers.  Half of that is designated for state government buildings. 

To help conserve energy, the agreement also provides for investments in energy efficiency programs to increase more than ten times previous spending levels.  They're further reducing pollutants by shutting down Springfield’s dirtiest coal plant built in the 1960's.

Before the Sierra Club agreement, the city of Springfield only asked how big their coal fired power plant should be.  Today, the utility is bringing global warming emissions for its customers down to Kyoto Protocol levels, new efficiency programs are creating jobs, local sources of renewable energy are being developed, and Mayor Davlin signed onto the Cool Cities program.   A capital city in the heart of coal country is now a clean energy leader.

Photos courtesy of Illinois Information Service.


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