Climate infrastructure grants building solar arrays, electric vehicles, sustainable improvements

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Twenty-two small businesses and nonprofits were selected for Climate Infrastructure Fund grants, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced last week.

Ranging from $75,000 to $250,000, each grant will help pay for renewable energy and fossil-free energy efficiency investments; electric vehicle charging stations; “green” stormwater management upgrades; and other improvements that promote neighborhood resiliency. Total project costs are estimated at $5.1 million.

“These grants mark a significant stride towards a greener, more resilient Chicago, aligning with our city’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 62% by 2040,” Johnson said. “By supporting these innovative projects, we are not just addressing climate change but fostering a healthier and more sustainable future for our communities.”

  • Near West Side – St. Leonard’s Ministries will install heat pump technology along with air sealing and insulation at St. Leonard’s House, a transitional home that serves justice-impacted men.
  • Uptown – solar array at Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church in Uptown will generate 29,100 kWh and completely cover the facility’s annual electricity needs, along with the installation of high efficiency lighting.
  • Woodlawn – Narrow Bridge Arts Club will add a 72-kilowatt solar installation as part of its adaptive reuse of a former synagogue that will bring a woodshop, dance and fiber studios and co-working spaces to the community.

Finalists were selected from 88 proposals submitted during a six-month application period last year. Proposals were reviewed by an advisory committee consisting of climate and nonprofit professionals and City staff, and evaluations were based on a variety of factors including neighborhood equity, climate impact, readiness and community benefits, among others.

Grant awards are distributed incrementally as individual project phases are completed.

A full list of winners and award amounts are available on DPD’s Chicago Recovery Plan website.

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