The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation is offering a pilot program to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure through the installation of solar photovoltaic/energy storage systems. Grants are available to first responders and public agencies supplying water.
Photovoltaic (PV) panels with battery energy storage (BES) can provide electricity during power outages and emergencies. Facilities providing critical services can dramatically increase their resilience and ability to continue operating during emergencies if they have a PV/BES system in place. During non-emergency periods, the PV/BES system can reduce electricity purchases from the grid and utility demand charges; in some cases, PV/BES systems can also participate in the demand response and frequency regulation markets.
- Municipal Police Stations and Fire Stations
- Public agencies supplying water
Applicants are required to provide a letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirming their Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Must install PV/BES system that will allow continuing operations during emergencies/disasters
- Feature a strong education and outreach component that includes highly visible, permanent signage
- Located in Illinois
- Must not have started construction
- Train current and future facilities staff to operate and maintain the PV/BES system
- Must retire any environmental attributes (i.e. renewable energy credits, emission offsets, etc.) associated with the project
- The Foundation favors projects at facilities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving their energy efficiency
Eligible applicants can receive up to $1.50/Watt for the PV System (or 60% of the PV system cost, whichever is less) and up to $400/kWh for the battery energy storage system (or 60% of the BES cost, whichever is less) as well as $1,000 towards highly visible, permanent signage. Payment is made upon successful completion of the project.
The grant award process is competitive. Some applicants will receive funding at the requested level, others at lesser amounts than originally requested, and some may be declined altogether.
- February 23, 2021 – CLOSED
- August 24, 2021 – CLOSED
Complete the online application, the required attachments, and submit. Clarity, thoroughness, and accuracy of the application will be considered.
- Please download, complete, and save the First Responders Resilience Pilot Application Form
- Please download, complete, and save the Standard Line Item Budget Form
- Estimate/Bid with costs, equipment specifications, and warranty information
- Copies of the most recent 12 months of electric utility bills
- Current Year Summary Budget
- Financial Statements for the most recent fiscal year, including a Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activities. Include any notes on the financial statements.
- IDNR EcoCat Information Request Form if installing Ground-Mounted Solar Systems
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documentation confirming your Employer Identification Number (EIN), usually a 147c letter
A confirmation e-mail is sent after the application is received. The Foundation may follow up with additional questions for applicants.
The Foundation’s First Responders Resilience Pilot Program review process can take three months or longer. The grant award process is competitive. Some projects may be awarded at lower levels than requested; others may be declined altogether.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a document on valuing the resilience provided by PV/BESS.
- A decision support model to recommend the optimal mix of renewable energy and energy storage is available through NREL.
- The Illinois Finance Authority provides financing for local units of government to finance essential purpose infrastructure projects.