Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn announced over $4 million stimulus grant award for 62 MW Rockford Solar Project, the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar development in the Midwest and one of the largest in the United States at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Wanxiang America Corporation's newly built solar panel manufacturing plant in Rockford, IL on August 17, 2010.
62 MW PV system operating an average of 5hrs a day for 365 days will produce approximately 113,150,000 kWh of electricity and reduce the impact on the environment in comparison to traditional power plants burning fossil fuels.
62 MW Rockford Solar Project will generate enough electricity to power over 10,000 homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at a rate of 113,000 tons annually, equivalent to the emissions from nearly 12,000,000 gallons of gasoline consumed and the sequestration of 24,000 acres of established forest per year. The Project will decrease ultra-fine particulate emissions, such as Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Sulfurous Oxides (SOx), Mercury and Soot that cause adverse health effects and acid rain in the amount of 51 tons per year. Rockford Solar Project will also contribute to the fresh water conservation in the amount of about 113 million gallons annually. Moreover the project will significantly help utilities achieve the required 0.5% solar target by 2012.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the Green House Gases (GHG), main contributors to the global warming. GHG’s form in the atmosphere, trap the heat and the infrared radiation and cause warming the earth like in a greenhouse. The majority of the GHG soar is from human activity, like burning fossil fuels, industrial production, transportation, deforestation, etc. The GHG emissions has to be seriously reduced to protect our environment, our health and economic well-being.
The reduction of 113,000 tons of carbon dioxide CO2 is an equivalent to an annual greenhouse gas emissions from circa 20,000 passenger vehicles, or carbon sequestered by around 3,000,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years, or greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling nearly 35,000 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.
More equivalents of the 113,000 tons of CO2 reduction:
CO2 emissions from 238,400 barrels of oil consumed
CO2 emissions from 1,369 tanker trucks’ worth of gasoline
CO2 emissions from 12,441 the electricity use of homes for one year
CO2 emissions from 8,724 the energy use of homes for one year
Carbon sequestered annually by 21,858 acres of pine or fir forests
Carbon sequestered annually by 973 acres of forest preserved from deforestation
CO2 emissions from 4,271,328 propane cylinders used for home barbecues
CO2 emissions from burning 535 railcars’ worth of coal
Annual CO2 emissions of 0.027 coal fired power plants
The Project is an effort of Rockford Solar Partners, LLC, a joint venture between Wanxiang America, the U.S. subsidiary of one of the largest non-state owned companies in China with $8 billion in revenues worldwide, and Chicago-based renewable energy developer, New Generation Power to develop and operate an up to 62 MW photovoltaic solar generation facility in Rockford, Illinois.
“The state’s investment will help ensure Illinois remains a leader in renewable energy development, while continuing to build on the state’s energy independence goals,” said Governor Quinn. “With partnerships with companies like Wanxiang and New Generation Power, we’re creating hundreds of sustainable, green-collar jobs and providing an economic boost to the entire state.”
Earlier that day, Governor Quinn has signed House Bill 6202 into law, which establishes interim solar targets to help Illinois successfully scale up to reach the state’s solar renewable portfolio standard of 6% by 2015. The new law marks a landmark achievement for solar energy in Illinois and will create over 5,000 solar panel installation, manufacturing, and maintenance jobs and significantly reduce Illinois’ carbon footprint.
“We thank Wanxiang for their investment in its North American solar panel manufacturing facility,” said City of Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey. “We are equally enthusiastic about New Generation Power’s potential Solar Farm at Chicago Rockford International Airport. Investments in green technology such as these will help reinvent Rockford’s economy.”
“Thank you to Wanxiang and New Generation Power for its investment in our region. This is the perfect example of how the city and county came together to create jobs and promote the renewable energy industry. Currently we have locally made Wanxiang solar panels, purchased by Winnebago County, producing energy at Freedom Field,” said Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.
The Rockford Solar Project not only creates jobs in construction, installation and servicing but also countless additional jobs are generated in the sale and marketing of green power. The Project will also source PV solar panels locally from the Wanxiang solar panel plant.
“We are helping to establish Illinois as one of the largest producers of solar energy in the country and generating much-needed jobs for the Rockford area” said Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, President of New Generation Power.
Production has already started on Wanxiang’s solar panels in the flagship manufacturing facility located in the Rockford Global Trade Park adjacent to the Rockford International Airport. Rockford officials have indicated the facility is designed for expansion on the 10-acre Wanxiang campus.
“Solar energy is becoming more and more popular in America, and in the world as well. We believe the market is poised for rapid growth,” said Pin Ni, President of Wanxiang America. “We appreciate the State and City governments to support the solar business. Our goal is to expand the plant threefold to meet the demand of Illinois’s new solar energy mandate.”
In March 2010, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) awarded a grant of $4,025,000 to Rockford Solar Partners, equivalent to 1.26% of the Project’s total cost. 68% will be financed by nongovernmental sources. The federal funding was awarded pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Community Renewable Energy Program to create and retain jobs.
ILLINOIS SOLAR RAMP-UP LAW
House Bill 6202, the Solar Ramp-Up Bill, passed the Illinois General Assembly on May 27, 2010 and established interim solar targets to help Illinois successfully scale up the solar portion of Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard: 0.5% in 2012, 1.5% in 2013, 3% in 2014 to reach 6% in 2015.
Wanxiang America Corporation, headquartered in Elgin, IL, is the U.S. subsidiary of Wanxiang Group Companies, one of the largest companies in China with $8 billion in revenues. Wanxiang currently has 4,100 employees in the U.S. and over 45,000 worldwide. Wanxiang Solar is a major player in renewable energy production, including wind and solar, and is the largest manufacturer of medium/large size silicon ingot and wafer cutting in China. http://www.wanxiang.com/
NEW GENERATION POWER
New Generation Power is a renewable energy company that develops and manages projects across the USA. Headquartered in Chicago, New Generation Power was founded by renewable energy experts and experienced entrepreneurs to expand clean energy generation in the United States and increase access to alternative power in response to the growing need for green energy solutions. Committed to meeting our country’s energy needs, New Generation Power supplies affordable green energy to commercial, utility and REIT customers with an abiding sense of our environmental responsibility for future generations. http://www.newgenerationpower.org/