Illinois is one of four states chosen by the National Governors Association (NGA) for a prestigious “Best Practices Policy Academy” grant to boost industrial productivity through use of energy efficiency and Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
The bipartisan NGA said Illinois earned the award due to its, “…approach to advancing industrial energy efficiency by engaging a wide range of stakeholders across the state to develop solutions linked to the state’s energy efficiency goals.”
“Industry is part of Illinois’ heritage, from the stockyards and blast furnaces of our parents’ generation to the high tech corridors of today,” Governor Quinn said. “Manufacturers can trim energy costs and sharpen their competitive edge by using CHP and other homegrown measures.”
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is an efficient and clean approach to on-site power generation. Under conventional CHP, fuel is burned in a “prime mover” such as a gas turbine, with the waste heat “recycled” to provide heating, cooling and/or dehumidification. Under “Waste Energy Recovery” (WER), the fuel is burned in a furnace or boiler to provide heat to an industrial process, with excess heat “recycled” to generate electricity on-site.
Following a national trend, energy expenditures by Illinois’ 14,700 manufacturers have increased by 25 percent since 2000.
The NGA grant will address ways to enhance Illinois industry through energy efficiency and CHP in nine manufacturing sectors: primary metals, petroleum and coal products, chemical, food, nonmetallic mineral products, paper, fabricated metal products, machinery, and plastic and rubber products.
There are currently 139 CHP units in Illinois – accounting for 1,367 MW of electricity generation – powering factories, farms, schools, hospitals, museums, wastewater treatment plants and more. Large CHP facilities include the Archer Daniels Midland plants in Decatur and Peoria, University of Illinois campuses in both Champaign and Chicago, Eastern Illinois University and U.S. Steel’s Granite City Works. Others include the Brookfield Zoo, M&M Mars Candy Company, Great Lakes Naval Training Center and three veterans’ facilities.
Among the newer Illinois CHP installations is a 3 MW CHP system at the Illinois River Energy Ethanol Plant in Rochelle which was installed with the help of Federal stimulus funds and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The DCEO also provided assistance to build CHP plants at a Stephenson County dairy farm, and at wastewater treatment plants in Danville, Decatur, Downers Grove and Fox Lake.
Illinois is a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency, with efforts like the Green Governments Coordinating Council, ‘Illinois Energy Now Trade Ally Program’ and other energy-saving initiatives. In addition to the $12,000 grant, NGA will provide specialized assistance and work closely with the “Illinois team” to develop an action plan by April 2013 for use in other states. The Illinois team – still in formation – will include the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Energy Resources Center, Illinois Commerce Commission, Illinois DCEO’s State Energy Office, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pollution Prevention, Office of the Governor and representatives of the State’s manufacturing and power utilities sectors.
The bipartisan National Governors Association has been the voice of the nation’s Governors since 1908. The NGA’s Center for Best Practices is the research and development arm of NGA that directly serves the nation’s governors. Through the Center, governors may learn what does (and doesn’t) work, obtain tailored assistance in designing new policy programs and receive timely information about cutting-edge programs in other states.