This week, we’re bringing you a short update on exciting energy efficiency news from our home state.
As usual, kids are way ahead of us, as one elementary school in Chicago goes to show. At Skinner North Classical Elementary School, kids are learning how solar technology works, by building their own solar powered systems. The solar kit they used to build the system is provided by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation’s Illinois Solar Schools program, which has projects in other Chicago public schools, too. Among the organizations supporting this educational outreach is the local electrician’s union, IBEW, which has a state of the art renewable energy training center on Chicago’s South Side, where teachers can go to get hands on training that they can share back in their classrooms. (Smart Power Illinois featured the center on the blog last year. Read about it here.) One of the goals of the program is to support children’s interest in clean energy career paths. With the interest and ingenuity these kids are already showing in clean energy, we can’t wait to see what they do as they grow up. Did you know that some of Smart Power Illinois’ partners also provide energy education? Check out this post to learn more.
Imagine if the power went down in your neighborhood after a big storm. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could get back up and running without having to wait for the utility company to reach you? ComEd recently installed a medium-sized lithium ion battery in Beecher, Illinois, where they plan to pilot a community-based energy storage program for the next year. In the event of an outage, the battery could provide about an hour of energy to the three houses connected to it. ComEd chose Beecher because it experiences more outages than other communities on average — and the hope is that the battery will help mitigate this problem. In the future, batteries like these could also help provide storage for clean energy, like solar, that could help take pressure off of the grid during peak energy usage.
Read more about these projects at Midwest Energy News.