Press Release - Friday, March 17, 2023
Illinois Climate Bank Announces over $250 Million in Climate Finance Achieved in First Year
Community input meetings ongoing for up $1.3 billion in federal grant opportunities
CHICAGO — The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA), in its role as the State Climate Bank, today announced a landmark year of deploying over $250 million in private capital to further clean and sustainable development projects. Additionally, the IFA Climate Bank is holding public hearings and stakeholder meetings as it crafts applications for up to $1.3 billion in federal funds to advance clean energy, climate, and equity goals as outlined by Illinois' Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) through climate finance and program deployment.
During the first year of the IFA's Climate Bank designation, the institution mobilized and deployed $256 million in private capital for clean energy projects across the state, including $233 million for public water quality infrastructure and $23 million for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) projects. Sixty-five percent of these projects, funded by private capital, were made in or benefited disadvantaged communities. The IFA Climate Bank is further implementing clean energy goals through the development of new standardized financial tools to reduce the cost of decarbonization for all Illinoisans and ensuring that marginalized businesses are supported in fair and equitable manner.
"The advancements that we're accomplishing through CEJA and supported by the IFA Climate Bank are leading us into the clean energy future," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Through CEJA, Illinois has become a national leader in becoming a 100 percent clean energy state that prioritizes climate justice and equity."
"Under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly charged the Illinois Finance Authority Climate Bank with accelerating the investment of private capital for climate finance purposes in a manner reflective of the geographic, racial, ethnic, gender, and income-level diversity of Illinois," said IFA Climate Bank Executive Director Chris Meister. "In close partnership with local government leaders, private property owners, and private lenders, the Authority mobilized and deployed just over a quarter billion dollars to advance the clean energy economy in 2022. With the vast federal resources available through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, legislation which fits hand-in-glove with CEJA, we expect to have even greater positive benefits to the people of Illinois allocated in an equitable manner."
The IFA Climate Bank has held four public hearings and eight stakeholder workshops, reaching approximately 90 organizations, since November 2022. Stakeholder engagement is ongoing through the end of April in advance of the release of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expected in summer 2023, and for other federal funding opportunities as they become available. The next stakeholder engagement workshop will occur on Friday, March 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Stakeholders are encouraged to participate by visiting https://www.il-fa.com/programs/cb.
In support of its goal, and incorporating stakeholder feedback, the IFA Climate Bank is developing proposals on how best to deploy the federal funding focused on the following issue areas:
• Seed funding for the Illinois Climate Bank to support through financing low-income families transition to clean energy, minority-owned clean energy business with capital, transition mass-transit and school districts to clean energy, support building and industrial electrification across private and public sectors, and create long-term financing for solar and energy efficiency at schools, non-profits, and city buildings
• Funding and financing to support electric vehicle adoption and grid integration in rural and small-town communities
• Creating an energy efficiency revolving loan fund to leverage private capital to invest in energy efficiency retrofits in homes and buildings
• Funding to prevent power outages in disadvantaged rural and small communities
• Supporting and training contractors in energy efficient buildings
• Funding and financing to support community-driven climate projects
CEJA was enacted by Governor JB Pritzker in September 2021 and has positioned Illinois as a national leader in the fight against climate change. Under Governor Pritzker, Illinois is prioritizing climate justice and equity, while working to become 100 percent clean energy reliant by 2050 through the following goals and actions:
• Putting 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on Illinois roads by 2030 and providing EV rebates for consumers
• Shifting to 40% renewable energy by 2030 and 50% renewable energy by 2040
• Phasing our coal and natural gas by requiring emissions reductions
• Creating multiple new workforce development programs to prepare workers and support communities as we transition to a clean energy economy
• Making equitable investments in Illinois' new clean energy economy and advancing environmental justice
• Creating the strongest-ever ethics requirements and oversight for public utilities, state officials, and state employees
• Establishing transition programs and assistance to support the impacts of the clean energy shift