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Illinois sales tax ($40,482 total taxable) $2,530

Total System Cost

* 6.25% sales tax does not apply to these items.


Illinois State Incentive Money for RE

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) of the State of Illinois has begun one of the most RE-friendly incentive programs in the country.

The DCCA administers the Renewable Energy Resources Program (RERP) in order to foster investment in and development of renewable energy resources within the state of Illinois. The RERP will fund projects focused on increasing the utilization of renewable energy technologies in Illinois (estimated at US$5 million per year for five years pending legislative changes). RERP will include wind, solar, thermal energy, photovoltaic systems, dedicated crops grown for energy production, organic waste biomass, and hydropower that does not involve new construction or significant expansion of hydropower dams.

There are two components to the program—grants and rebates. To apply for a grant or rebate, a potential recipient must be within the service territory of an investor-owned electric or gas utility, a municipal gas or electric utility, or an electric cooperative that imposes the Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge (as defined in Public Act 90-561).

Grant funding categories are as follows:

• Wind—50 percent, with a maximum grant of US$300,000

• Solar Thermal—50 percent, with a maximum of US$150,000

• PV—60 percent, up to US$6 per watt with a maximum of US$300,000

• Crops—50 percent, with a maximum of US$150,000

• Organic Waste Biomass—50 percent, with a maximum of US$550,000

• Hydropower—50 percent, with a maximum of US$1,000,000

Rebates are funded as follows:

• Solar Thermal—50 percent, with a maximum rebate of US$5,000

• PV—60 percent, up to a maximum of US$6 per watt, with a maximum rebate of US$5,000

Note: Steve Bell was the first grant recipient in the state. Mark Wilkerson, whose related article is on page 20, was the first rebate recipient. Much hurdle clearing has been done for anyone else in the state interested in this very generous incentive to "go solar."

The inverters get their DC input via two 250 amp DC breakers connected to the positive bus bar with #4/0 (107 mm2) cable. The two inverters (SW4048 and SW5548) are not stacked, although they can be if I have the need. Each inverter powers one side of the AC subpanel (There are no 220 VAC loads on the system). With a minor wiring adjustment, either inverter is capable of powering the entire household should one of them fail.

Each inverter has access to grid power via its own 60 amp breaker in the utility breaker panel. The AC output of the inverters is fed into a manual transfer switch, which then feeds the sub-panel. A separate pair of 60 amp breakers in the main (utility) panel also feeds power to the manual transfer switch. That allows easy transfer of the subpanel (house loads) back onto grid power should the RE act up.


This system provides power for all the 120 VAC loads in our home. These loads include two freezers, a 22 cubic foot (0.62 m3) refrigerator/freezer, 1/3 hp sump pump, 32 inch (81 cm) color TV, 150 watt stereo, microwave, all the lighting loads, and anything else we plug into the wall.

The battery storage bank can supply the household needs for six to eight days of no wind or PV power before it requires recharging from an outside source. The AC power supplied from the inverter is cleaner than the power supplied from the utility; there are no brownouts, surges, spikes, or power outages.


Over the years, many people have asked why we chose to go with RE—what is the payback? I explain that economic payback was not a significant consideration when making this choice. Our choice was based on the desire to be better stewards of the planet, and to increase our sense of self-empowerment (taking more direct responsibility for our lives).


Author: Steve Bell, SunWize Technical Support Specialist, 141 Tamarind Ct. Stelle, IL 60919 815-256-2222 • Fax: 815-256-2221 • [email protected]

Midwest Renewable Energy Association, 7558 Deer Rd., Custer, WI 54423 • 715-592-6595 Fax: 715-592-6596 • [email protected]

Rex Buhrmester, Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) Renewable Energy Resources Program (RERP), 325 W. Adams, Springfield, IL 62704 • 217-557-1925 Fax: 217-785-2618 • [email protected]

Reliable People,

Reliable Products,

Reliable Power

SunWize Dealers are skilled technicians who provide a wide variety of reliable solar solutions for your power requirements. The SunWize Dealer Advantage is:

Competitive Pricing Professional Design Expert Installation Reliable After-Sales Service

Let an authorized SunWize Dealer assist you in choosing the right system or components for your power needs. Call 800-817-6527 today for a Dealer nearest you.


SunWize Dealers are skilled technicians who provide a wide variety of reliable solar solutions for your power requirements. The SunWize Dealer Advantage is:

Authorized SunWize Dealer Independent Power Systems, located in Sparks, NV, with satisfied customer in front of 900 Watt off-grid residential system.



A Besicorp Company nWize


A Besicorp Company

We in the RE community are the "way-showers" of a new way of being and living. We are willing to accept the added economic cost of using RE in order to demonstrate in our lives that RE is a practical choice and a livable reality. We are the future!


Let there be light.

B y providing power to a remote canyon in northern New Mexico, Siemens is helping an ancient order of Benedictine monks thrive in the modern world. The Monastery of Christ in the Desert sought safe, reliable, affordable energy to build and run new facilities and pursue a high-tech livelihood— designing sites for the World Wide Web. Connecting to the nearest electric grid would have cost more than $1 million, but Siemens turned on the lights for a fraction of that. Mounted on trackers that follow the sun throughout the day, eight solar arrays produce enough energy to run everything from computers to kitchen appliances.

The monastery's building program—designed to use cost-efficient, environmentally friendly materials—has attracted global attention from those seeking to renew rather than waste the world's resources. Powered by Siemens technology, this religious community is a model of spiritual devotion and sustainable living.

Siemens Solar Industries

4650 Adohr Lane, PPO. Box 6032 Camarillo, CA 93011 (800) 947-6527 FAX (805) 388-6395

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