United States

United States

Illinois trust fund for clean energy

A trust fund of $250 million for clean energy and efficiency is to be set up in Illinois. The state's General Assembly voted on May 27 to establish the landmark fund, strongly supported by local environmentalists and the American Lung Association. The Clean Energy Community Trust funds come from a one-time payment from Illinois utility Commonwealth Edison, which agreed to give the money because of the proposed sale of its coal plants at a profit of $3.5 billion. From the fund, $200 million is for venture capital, grants, loans and other incentives for renewable and efficiency projects by Illinois companies as well as preservation of natural resources. The remaining $50 million is for clean coal projects and the Citizens Utility Board, which will get $1 million yearly for seven years. "This fund reflects years of work by Illinois environmentalists," says Howard Learner of the Environmental Law and Policy Centre. Learner notes Illinois already has a wind company, NEG Micon, employing 30 people, which uses local companies for gears and towers. "Clean energy technology delivers both environmental and economic benefit, and creates jobs for the future."

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