ICJC, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Announce Winners of 2nd Annual Illinois Clean Energy Champion Awards

CHICAGO – This afternoon, the 2nd Annual Illinois Clean Energy Champion Awards celebrated job creation by private companies, nonprofit organizations and governmental units from across Illinois that have seized the chance to make Illinois a national leader in clean energy. The awards recognized what it takes to create and retain good-paying jobs, with a special eye toward creating and retaining equitable jobs in communities historically left behind.

The Clean Energy Champion Awards are a joint project of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition along with media sponsor Crain’s Chicago Business.

“We are honored to be a part of this event and celebrate the forward-looking vision of these companies,” said Jack Lavin, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “Clean energy is a key part of our future —in the city, state, and across the country — and I couldn’t be more excited to honor the spirit, passion, and innovation of these stakeholders as they boost our economy, create sustainable jobs, and help improve our environment.”

“Our coalition was proud to lead the fight to pass the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the most equitable clean energy jobs bill of its kind in the nation,” said Liliana Scales, State Director for the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC), a coalition made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care, faith-based and student organizations. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to create more opportunities to grow the clean energy economy in Illinois with a special focus on creating jobs in Black and Brown communities that have been historically left behind.  We are excited to recognize some of those success stories today.”

Winners were announced in five categories:

1. Nonprofit/Government: IBEW Renewable Energy Fund

2. Large Business: LiveWire Construction

3. Breakthrough Business: Sesenergi Eco Solutions Enterprise LLC

4. Technology and Innovation: SunPower by Sun N Us

5. Small Business: Trajectory Energy Partners

Award applications were reviewed by a diverse panel of judges including: Andrew Wells (Chicago Urban League), Anna Stephens (ClimatePartner), Arlinda Bajrami (Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance), Becky Goldberg (Illinois Science and Technology Coalition), Erin LaVoie (Illinois for Resource Innovations), Haven Allen (mHub), Jay Rowell (HIRE360), Kelly Evans (Chicago Urban League), Kalindi Parikh (Current), Kristin Jacobson Flex (Illinois Central College), MeLena Hessel (Elevate), Michelle Lauterbach (ClimatePartner), Olantunji Oboi Reed (Equiticity Racial Equity Movement), Samarth Medakkar (Advanced Energy United), and Uzma Noormohamed (Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation).

Since CEJA passed two years ago, Illinois has procured nearly 3,000 megawatt (MW) of solar, enough to power 450,000 homes and roughly the equivalent of eight coal plants. One third of that (1,000 MW) is distributed generation – solar projects powering our homes, businesses, and communities via rooftop and community solar. ICJC is calling on grid operators PJM and MISO to build the transmission we need and approve more large clean energy wind, solar and battery projects to keep this momentum of jobs and economic growth going in Illinois.

The Illinois Clean Energy Champion Awards luncheon was held at the Ivy Room in Chicago on Thursday, October 19.


The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) is made up of hundreds of environmental advocacy organizations, businesses, community leaders, consumer advocates, environmental justice groups, and faith-based and student organizations working together to improve public health and the environment, protect consumers, and create equitable, clean jobs across the state. After more than three years of community organizing and policy leadership, in 2021, ICJC was instrumental in helping pass the nation-leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 1,000 member companies, which collectively employ 400,000 employees and generate $24 billion in revenue. The Chamber combines the power of membership with its legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy and help us move toward a cleaner, more equitable future.