A proposal by local governments around Chicago, Illinois, to buy cheaper power includes a request for at least 20% of the electricity, or 80 MW, to come from renewables like wind and solar. The City of Chicago and 47 local governments are joining to make 400 MW bulk power purchases for government facilities. The governments expect to sign three year contracts for the power in 2001. The request was sent to all 13 licensed power providers in Illinois, a state that deregulated in 1997. Commonwealth Edison has been serving the Chicago area. The bidders must say how they plan to reduce the pollution caused by the power they generate. Chicago's mayor, Richard Daley, says, "We can and should use our purchasing power to get cleaner power, as well as cheaper power." Michael Vickerman of RENEW Wisconsin, an advocacy group, says the Chicago request would be a good use of the output from FPL Energy's stalled wind project in Addison, Wisconsin (story page 28). If developed, that project will be only 140 miles from the metropolis.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol