Energy U for you

Energy U for you

By M. L. Simon

Energy U for you

Rockford has the potential to become a vibrant and profitable education and manufacturing center for alternative energy in the Midwest. Everything we need is here.

The first and most important thing we would need is a capable educational institution that could form the core of Rockford’s alternative energy enterprise. We have just such an institution in Rock Valley College . What I propose is to turn Rock Valley into Wind College USA—the first training place in America for utility-scale wind. We could have a curriculum with bases in science, technology, and finance. In addition, there is a hill by the swimming pool that looks perfect for one or two utility-scale turbines. These turbines could generate electricity for the school and serve as working equipment for hands-on training. As development of the energy curriculum proceeded, we could add fuel cells for stationary and mobile applications. Solar electric and solar thermal studies would also become a welcome addition.

Now to the profit side of the ledger. We have enough aerospace in Rockford to make the town a wind manufacturing center. If we just mention the biggest companies we have—Hamilton Sundstrand, Woodward Governor, and Barber Colman, all have the engineering expertise to support existing designs and new designs for the various energy technologies. Chrysler might be very willing to locate an alternative energy design center near one of their major manufacturing plants. When it comes time to convert a Chrysler plant to alternative energy auto manufacturing, Rockford/Belvidere will be first in line for the job. In addition, we have a great deal of support available from many smaller facilities in town such as machinists, contract engineers, field service people, electricians, bankers, brokers, advertising specialists, and many others to provide the assistance needed to develop and maintain the new technologies.

Which brings me to the last point. We could use some political help to realize the above goals for this venture. And we have no better political assistant in the area of alternative energy than our very own Mayor Doug Scott. Mayor Scott worked to get 30 MW of wind into Illinois when he was in the legislature. Perhaps he can bring some of that energy to Rockford.

So I am asking everyone who agrees with this idea and who would like to support it to contact Mayor Scott at:


Mayor’s Office, City Hall Building, 425 East State Street, Rockford, IL. 61104

Phone: (815) 987-5590

Fax: (815) 967-6952

TTY: (815) 587-5718

And since I can’t find an e-mail address or www site for the City of Rockford, please contact: by e-mail. He will let the mayor know how you feel.

M.L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and independent political activist. (c) M. Simon – All rights reserved. Permission granted for one time use in a single periodical publication. Permission also granted for concurrent publication on the periodical’s www site.

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