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Investment Tax Credit

The ITC will provide 30% of project costs in the form of a federal tax credit, which is based on tax liability and can be distributed over a 2-year period. The existence of the ITC through 2016 provides market certainty for companies to develop long-term investments that drive competition and technological innovation, which in turn, lowers costs for consumers. Please view the SEIA website for more info.

State of Illinois Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program

The focus of this grant is to encourage utilization of smaller-scale solar and wind energy systems in Illinois. Eligible applicants include homeowners, businesses, public sector and non-profit entities. The maximum rebate is 25% of eligible project costs or $10,000 for homeowners, $20,000 for businesses and $30,000 for public sector and non-profit entities. The grant is typically distributed via lottery once per year; applications are due in October. The grant is distributed by the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Please view the DCEO website for more info.

Large-Distributed Solar and Wind Grant Program

This grant is also issued by the DCEO and is designed to support the development and implementation of distributed community and commercial-scale solar thermal, solar PV and wind energy technologies in Illinois. PV projects are eligible for grants up to 25% of eligible project costs for businesses and 40% for local government and non-profit entities. The maximum grant award is $250,000; there are typically 2 rounds of funding with applications due in November and April. Applications are rated and judged much like an RFP and involves a more-detailed business plan than the smaller grant listed above. See the DCEO website for further details.

Illinois Solar Schools 1-1.5 kW Grant

This is non-profit funded grant designed for Illinois public or private schools that teach any level of K-12 students. The school would receive a grant of $7,000 and pay approximately $1,000-$2,000 out-of-pocket for a 1-1.5 kW PV installation, which will provide real-time energy data and serve as an educational resource. Funds are distributed once per year; applications are due February 20th, 2014. For more info, click here.

Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

This is a non-profit fund designed for public entities such as schools, museums, community centers and municipal buildings. The grant provides up to $2.00/watt or 60% of the system and its installation costs, whichever is less, inclusive of state funding and has no maximum cap. For more info, please click here.

Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund

The SBIF program uses local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties and/or tenants within specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities. Program participants can receive reimbursement grants to cover 25%, 50%, or 75% of the cost of remodeling work, with a maximum grant amount of $150,000 depending on the applicant. The grant can be used for any building improvements including solar PV, solar thermal and lighting retrofits and does not have to be repaid. Each TIF district has unique application due dates and overall fund levels. For more information, please visit the SomCor website for further info.

Charging Station(s) for Electric Vehicles (Illinois)

This DCEO grant provides incentives for electric vehicle infrastructure by providing rebates toward the installation of Level II charging stations. Rebates cover 50% of materials and labor costs up to the following caps: $3,750 per networked single station; $3,000 per non-networked single station; $7,500 per networked dual station and $6,000 per non-networked dual station. The maximum potential rebate award is $49,000 or 50% of the total project cost for up to 15 stations, whichever is less. Eligible applicants for this rebate program include: units of government, businesses, educational institutions, non-profits and individual residents. EV charging stations must be purchased and installed prior to submitting a rebate application. Applications for this year’s program are due on December 19th, 2013. For more info, click here.

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