Green Power Partnership
|Village of Oak Park, IL|
|Location||Oak Park, IL|
|Organization Type||Govt. (Local, Municipal)|
|Percentage Green Power||5.7%|
|Purchasing Third-Party Certified Green Power Product?||Yes|
|Environmental Web Page|
The Village of Oak Park, Illinois is internationally known as being the home of Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio, and the birthplace of Nobel Prize author Ernest Hemingway. It is also known nationally as the most culturally diverse and integrated community thanks in large part to its long standing commitment to fair housing. With the turn of the century came a new benchmark era for Oak Park as residents embraced an urban sustainability lifestyle, and asking local government agencies to incorporate sustainable standards in all parts of Village life. In 2010 Oak Park partnered with its neighbor the Village of River Forest to create a community-wide sustainability vison plan. The plan identified cost-effective investment in renewable energy as one of the top energy priorities. Village staff researched and recommended two cost effective approaches to Oak Park's Board of Trustees: municipal aggregation and applying for an ARRA renewable energy grant. Illinois' Deparrtment of Commerce & Economic Opportunity awarded the Village of Oak Park a 75 percent grant to build a 99-KW solar PV array on The Avenue Garage, a Villagle-owned public parking structure. The solar panels were installed this spring and the power generated will offset about 30 percent of the garage's electric use. The system will net meter back to grid system and also generate about 130 renewable energy credits each year. These financial benefits provide a reasonable ROI of 10-12 years. "The Avenue Garage's solar array is among a range of initiatives that have helped make Oak Park a leader in environment consciousness, said K.C. Poulos, Oak Park's Sustinability Manager. Along with its aggregation program and designation as a Smart Grid Testbed by its local utility, Oak Park is poised to become a national demonstration community for the feasibility and benefits of clean, efficient and reliable energy.