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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

A $21 million step toward clean energy in Illinois

The State of Illinois invested $21 million into the Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program, in hopes to improve Illinois’ climate change efforts.

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Acts program, Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Hubs, focuses on improving clean energy businesses, especially small businesses. 

“Illinois’ nation-leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act is the boldest climate action plan in our state’s history, and it’s anchored in equity to ensure no one is left behind,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker in an Illinois e-News Release. 

The funding will help improve 13 community-based contractor incubator hubs across the state of Illinois. The businesses will be selected through a competitive and thorough process called Notice of Funding Opportunity. The businesses that qualify face the chance to apply for grants worth anywhere from $500,000 to $2.5 million. 

“Prioritizing clean energy contractors from underserved areas through the CEJA Contractor Incubator Hubs program is necessary to enact the equitable component of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act,” said Rep. Marcus Evans. 

Illinois passed and Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Acts in 2021 to eliminate the use of carbon power in Illinois by 2045. 

“This $21 million program will provide Illinois’ small businesses with the resources and tools necessary to prepare for a clean energy future.” Sen. Bill Cunningham said. 

This effort is to help Illinois move toward a carbon free and clean energy future. It is to incentivize clean energy small businesses and encourage them.

There will be one hub in each of these 13 different locations in Illinois including Alton, Aurora, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago (South Side), Chicago (Southwest and West Sides), Danville, Decatur, East St. Louis, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Waukegan. 

Applications for the NOFO grant money for businesses will be accepted until Dec. 11, 2023. You can check out more about the application on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website

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