Biomass materials such as wood, energy crops, food and animal waste, can be turned into useful energy using a variety of processes, including combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion, etc. Use of biomass resources can often help lower waste disposal costs and address odor and water quality issues. The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation supports biomass projects, with incentives being determined on a case-by-case basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Program Officer for Renewable Energy before submitting a Letter of Inquiry.

Please see How to Apply to learn about preparing your Letter of Inquiry and to get the latest information on deadlines.

Application Deadlines:Letters of Inquiry are due January 21, or July 19, 2016.  

Review Process:

4 months. The Foundation evaluates Letters of Inquiry against the funding criteria below. Within two months of the above deadlines, a committee of the Foundation's Board of Trustees will decide whether to invite applicants to submit Full Proposals for consideration by the Board of Trustees that announces grants in early May and early November. The Foundation's review process is competitive.

Available Support:The Foundation reviews and funds grant requests in this category on a case-by-case basis.

Restrictions: The Foundation does not fund the planting and propagation of energy crops or biomass handling and storage facilities. The project must be wholly owned by an eligible applicant and cannot include ownership by private investors or commercial interests. If awarded a grant, the grantee must retire any environmental attributes (i.e. renewable energy credits, emission offsets, etc.) associated with the project.


Funding Guidelines


The Foundation adheres to the definition of renewable energy adopted in the Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Coal Development Law of 1997: The Law states that: "renewable energy resources" includes energy from wind, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic cells and panels, dedicated crops grown for energy production and organic waste biomass, hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower dams, and other such alternative sources of environmentally preferable energy. "Renewable Energy resources" does not include, however, energy from the incineration, burning or heating of waste wood, tires, garbage, general household institutional and commercial waste, industrial lunchroom or office waste, landscape waste, or construction or demolition debris.

Foundation funding for biomass projects is limited to the purchase and installation of project hardware needed to convert the biomass into useful energy through processes including combustion, gasification, and anaerobic digestion. For biogas projects at water treatment facilities, please click here.


The Foundation is accepting grant applications on all biomass projects using an eligible biomass fuel resource (see Criteria).

The Foundation gives priority to biomass projects that:

  • have secured all additional funding

  • feature a strong education and outreach component, including permanent educational signage and other publicity materials

  • complement the implementation of significant energy efficiency measures at the
    facility(ies) planning to use the biomass project's generation