SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced Tuesday, March 7, more than 50 localities and municipal entities will receive Energy Transition Community Grants — an initiative under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act that provides funding for communities that have been impacted by fossil fuel plant or coal mine closures or significant reductions. Communities in 22 areas impacted by recent or impending plant or mine closures or reductions were eligible to apply for the program.

Among the recipients are Massac County, which will receive $1,182,105, and the Village of Goreville, which will receive $50,199.

“These communities across Illinois are committing to clean energy and a sustainable future, and I’m proud that DCEO is supporting them in this important work,” said Pritzker.

“Transitioning to a cleaner energy system doesn’t have to negatively impact local municipalities — in fact, it should make them stronger and healthier. This grant program ensures that’s possible, equipping communities with the resources they need to make our state the best place in the country to live.”

The $40 million program was designed to meet the needs of individual localities by addressing the economic and social impacts of plant closures. The funding can be used on a variety of initiatives and investments, including workforce investments, housing support, business attraction efforts, and more. Recipients were selected by responding to a Notice of Funding Opportunity with a letter of support from the municipality or county where the plant or mine was located.

As part of the program, the grantees will develop detailed plans for the grant funding — which includes stakeholder engagement, a detailed project design and budget which outlines specific intended uses for the grant funds. The community stakeholder engagement process is a critical element designed to ensure grantees solicit community input and consult with a diverse set of stakeholders to best support those most impacted by energy transitions.

Agreements are anticipated to be executed starting in July, with $40 million available per year for the Energy Transition Community Grant Program until 2045. The following localities were selected to receive an Energy Transition Community Grant.

“Supporting communities and bolstering economic development in energy transition communities is at the heart of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act,” said acting DCEO director Kristin A. Richards. “The Energy Transition Community Grant Program supports dozens of projects in impacted areas — providing communities with the resources necessary to invest in their workforce, infrastructure and economy for decades to come.”

Grant awards were calculated based on the economic impact of plant or mine closure, specifically, property tax losses and jobs lost due to the plant transition, with a minimum award of $50,000.

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