Oct 23, 2009

Build the Block Riverfront Solar Project


Build the Block Riverfront Solar Project

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Community Renewable Energy Program




The Sustainable Development Commission is leading an effort to secure a Federal Grant to install solar power to support the Build the Block development. This Public Private Partnership is a collaboration among the City of Peoria, Peoria County, Caterpillar Inc., Build the Block, our regional Economic Development Commission, and our Commission on Sustainability and Green Technology. Build the Block is a complex public private partnership aimed at redeveloping a two square block site in downtown Peoria next to the River and Caterpillar Corporate Headquarters.

Build the Block:
http://buildtheblock.com/


County of Peoria: http://www.co.peoria.il.us/


Lakeview Museum: http://www.lakeview-museum.org/

The City has purchased the two block site. Caterpillar has demolished the buildings and cleared the site. Environmental studies on the site are complete. The citizens of Peoria County have voted for a referendum approving a new special sales tax that will generate $40,000,000 for the development. The Lakeview Museum has conducted an extensive fund raising campaign.

The City will reconstruct three adjoining roads. The underground parking garage will be constructed first. The Museum will be built on the south side of the Block. The Caterpillar Visitor Center will be constructed on the north side of the Block, and is planned to be a LEED Platinum Building. Total investment is estimated at over $140,000,000.

The Museum and entire site will be a premier destination, with public art and green technology extensively employed.This grant is coordinated with a similar grant submitted by Caterpillar. The two grants if awarded will be developed as part of the ongoing public private partnership.

The city proposes sites both on and off the build the block sites. Solar power would be provided to Build the Block and the City owned Visitor Center Building at Main Street and the River. This
small building is the oldest commercial building in the City, is in a very visible location, and with one solar tracker collector can become a “Net Zero” Building, generating more power then it consumes. This will be explained by a display and sign at the Visitor Center, with a meter showing the amount of energy produced.