The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) was established in December 1999 as an independent foundation with a $225 million endowment provided by Commonwealth Edison. The ICECF invests in clean-energy development and land-preservation efforts, working with communities and citizens to improve environmental quality in Illinois. The ICECF provides competitive grants to programs and projects that improve energy efficiency, develop renewable-energy resources, and preserve and enhance natural areas and wildlife habitats in Illinois. Since 2001 the Foundation has awarded approximately 3,600 grants totaling $212 million.
Grants support both energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, like wind, solar (both solar thermal and solar electric applications), biomass, fuel cells and other forms of distributed generation. Award amounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account cost-effectiveness of the project, project innovation, simple project payback, other sources of funding and owner contribution. Visit the [http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/how-to-apply/ ICECF grant application website] to find out about currently available and upcoming grants.
Grant cycles and application deadlines vary depending on the project. Beginning in June 2011, ICECF uses an online application process. The ICECF will notify all applicants whether to submit a full proposal. When applicants are invited to submit a full proposal, the ICECF will specify what information to include, as well as the supporting documents that must be submitted.
'''Illinois Solar Schools Program'''
The ICECF also administers the Solar Schools Program (in addition to the K-12 Wind Schools Program). These programs are targeted grant programs with separate guidelines, deadlines, and application forms. Since 2006, ICECF has awarded over $2,100,000 in grants to over 220 schools to support the installation of 1-kW solar PV systems. ICECF has developed a dedicated website for this program: [http://www.illinoissolarschools.org/ http://www.illinoissolarschools.org/]