Governor’s Mansion Getting Solarized

October 12, 2010

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is going greener.

Governor Pat Quinn announced that solar panels will be installed at the Illinois Executive Mansion in Springfield.

Illinois Executive Mansion

The Illinois Executive Mansion, 410 E. Jackson Street in Springfield, is the official residence of the Governor.

The announcement came on Sunday — 10/10/10 — as part of the Global Work Party, which is a day of action celebrated around the world to help find solutions to fight climate change.

Organized by 350.org, events to stop global warming were held in 188 countries this year.

“I am pleased to announce plans to bring the Illinois Governor’s Mansion into the 21st century with a new set of solar panels,” said Governor Quinn. “We must do everything we can to increase our use of solar energy, which will help us protect natural resources and reduce our reliance on traditional energy sources.”

The solar panels are expected to reduce green house gas emissions by 30 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 25 years, which is the same as 100,000 car miles or the planting of 1,100 trees.

Many local resources are contributing to this project:

*The solar panels were donated by WindFree Energy Company in Chicago and BYD America is Arlington Heights.

*The racking and bracketing was provided by B. Weinstein Engineering in Highland Park.

*The labor to install the panels is being donated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 193.

*Many of the components for the solar panels are manufactured in Illinois.

Governor Quinn has already made his mansion more eco-friendly with energy-efficient LED lighting, rain barrels and a sustainable community vegetable garden.

Designed by Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel and built in 1855, the Illinois Executive Mansion is one of the oldest homes in the state and one of the three oldest continuously occupied Governor’s Mansions in the nation.

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Georgian-style mansion has three levels that are open for viewing by the public including four formal parlors, a state dining room, and four bedrooms, one of the them Abraham Lincoln’s.

For more information on the state’s green initiatives, visit www.Green.Illinois.gov.

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