The Foundation's Board of Trustees consists of six voting members, who serve five year terms. Trustees are appointed one each by the Governor of Illinois, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the State House, the President and Minority Leader of the State Senate and Commonwealth Edison.
A MESSAGE FROM THE TRUSTEES
On December 31, 2012, we completed our 13th year of grant-making. Our mission is to improve energy efficiency, advance the development of renewable energy resources and protect natural areas for people in communities all across Illinois.
During 2012, we awarded 295 grants totaling over $14.1 Million. These grants were distributed among all our program areas as follows:
- Energy Efficiency
- 234 Grants for $7.89 Million
- 189 grants for lighting upgrades equivalent to removing the need for over 5.5 MW of electric generating capacity.
- Natural Areas
- 10 Grants for $3.66 Million
- 9 Grants helping acquire over 1,100 acres of land for preservation.
- Renewable Energy
- 51 Grants for $2.57 Million
- 39 grants supporting over 440kW of Solar and Wind generating capacity
- 2 grants for $500,000 supporting biogas conditioning equipment for over 250kW of heat and electrical generating capacity.
Over thirteen years, the Foundation has distributed more than $165 Million through 3,936 Grants to support projects in its three program areas. Currently, we have $26 Million in outstanding commitments for projects still in progress.
Our Energy Efficiency Program is the largest of the three programs. We awarded 3,244 Grants in this program and have given financial assistance totaling more than $99 Million to numerous governmental bodies, school districts, colleges and universities and other institutions throughout the public and nonprofit sectors. The Foundation has made 2,769 grants for over $84 Million for lighting upgrade projects. Schools have been the leading beneficiaries of these grants, receiving approximately $36 Million to complete lighting upgrades. In total, our lighting upgrade grants, have resulted in over $323 Million in energy savings and an environmental impact equivalent to removing an average of 36,000 cars off the road each year.
We have also awarded 141 grants for over $11 Million throughout the state to help grantees install geothermal technology for heating and cooling.
Our Green Building Design Program has provided 170 grants to assist with the design and commissioning of LEED certified buildings that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. In addition, some of these grants also support the installation of energy efficient and renewable energy technology in these facilities.
Our Renewable Energy Program has supported the installation of 10 megawatts of wind turbine capacity and over 1 megawatt of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity across the state. Our largest single turbine installation was 2.5 megawatts and the largest Solar PV installation will be 360 kilowatts. All of our renewable energy grants have had the effect of reducing the need for grid supplied energy by over 11 MW.
Through our Illinois Solar Schools Program, we have supported small scale solar PV installations at over 200 schools in 59 counties, paid out over $2.4 Million. Through our new Illinois Wind Schools Program Pilot, we have awarded six grants for the installation of small 1-5kW wind turbines. These installations greatly enhance science, math, and environmental lessons, helping to inspire Illinois students in these key areas of study.
To date, our Natural Areas Program grants have resulted in over $45 Million of financial assistance to support the protection of close to 24,000 acres of natural area and wildlife habitat. The program has helped organizations throughout the state acquire natural areas to make them accessible to the public in many different ways. Some land acquisitions have been expansions of existing state or federally-owned preserves. Others have been new preserves that were subsequently transferred to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or U.S Forest Service for long-term ownership and management. Still other properties were acquired by local forest preserve districts and conservation districts for long-term management. Finally, some preserves are owned by not-for-profit land trusts and cared for with the help of dedicated volunteers. Ultimately, all of these different properties will be preserved and protected for Illinois residents to enjoy for generations to come.
As we begin 2013, we look forward to continuing to support the implementation of energy efficient building systems, renewable energy technology and the protection of Natural Areas statewide.
Trustees of the Foundation
- Katie McClain
- Henry Gianvecchio
- Wilson Frost
- Tom Pence
- Jerry Adelmann
- Peter P. Peters