Great news!  The city of South Bend announced today, Earth Day, that a federal grant has been approved for hydro-electric energy on the dam at Century Center!  The grant includes installation of a 45 kilowatt demonstration generator purchased by South Bend over 20 years ago (and gathering dust in some storage facility) as well as funding of a feasibility study for the larger 1.78 megawatt generator.

Mayor Steve Luecke and Director of Public Works, Gary Gilot, made the announcement at today’s unveiling of the Green Ribbon Commission’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy Action Plan.  Many hours of work went into the overall plan by committed volunteer activists, the city, IUSB’s Center for a Sustainable Future and other organizations.  Extra-large kudos go to Gary, who, when applying for the federal grant, was initially told that the hydro generator’s feasibility study did not fit the grant parameters.  He persevered, though, and with the help of a federal employee in Washington, D.C., managed to get the feasibility study funding after all.  This writer is going to ask Gary for the name and address of the helpful D.C. contact and send a thank you letter for her assistance. 

Go Gary! Go hydro! Go Green!