Community Pulse : ‘The transition to cleaner energy is not just a government slogan’

Nancy Norton

Industrial real estate continues to be a bright spot in the economy, despite the discussion of an economic downturn. The Grundy Economic Development Council primarily works with industrial development and the office has never been busier. GEDC is working on build-to-suit projects, clean energy manufacturing prospects, grants for transportation and resiliency planning, and much more.

The transition to cleaner energy is not just a government slogan. Private companies are making significant investments in cleaner energy projects. The question becomes how quickly will the transition occurs and what will the ultimate formula look like? In Grundy County, Constellation Dresden Station is the largest producer of carbon-free energy. There are three industrial-scale solar projects under development to add nearly 600 MW of power to the grid. In addition, the GEDC recently applied to join the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (Mach H2). This is a multi-state initiative to work with the Department of Energy to establish hydrogen hubs In the Midwest. Illinois has made a large commitment to the EV industry and the GEDC is working with the state to attract EV-related projects to our region. This transition will take decades, but make no mistake, Grundy County is a leader in energy production and will continue to play a pivotal role in the new energy future.

Industrial logistics projects continue to be attracted to Grundy County due to our transportation assets, labor force, and available property. As best explained by Jason West, executive vice chair for Cushman & Wakefield’s Chicago office, “We’ve got a really solid and diverse industrial base with a lot of manufacturing. We’ve got distribution and warehousing. We’ve got e-commerce. We’re clicking on all cylinders, and that bodes well for both the industrial users and companies that want to locate here and also the industrial owners.” Grundy County is seeing significant interest in rail-served sites as well as locations along I80 and I55. Prospect activity in logistics continues to be strong in the current market.

Congratulations to Grundy County and its communities for continuing to look to the future. The GEC is proud to be involved in two planning grants, one to build a resilient and diverse economy and the second is a county-wide transportation plan.

The GEDC and Grundy Chamber are working with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to research, evaluate and come up with a winning strategy to keep Grundy County strong, resilient and diverse. The second grant is a partnership with Grundy County and seven municipalities to look at the transportation systems in our communities and ensure that our residents, businesses, and freight traffic move efficiently and safely on our roads. Growth and change are inevitable, but thanks to forward-looking and deliberate strategies, Grundy County will continue to be a great place to live and work.

In the spirit of much to celebrate, a final congratulations to our award winners at our annual dinner held earlier this month: Mack and Associates, Business of the Year; P&G, Welcome to Grundy County; and GEDC 30-year investors, Partnership Winner.

  • Nancy Norton is the President and CEO of Grundy County Economic Development Council. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools and organizations to share news and information about their organization.