New Clean Energy Bill Has Illinois Poised for Substantial Solar Growth

The Adjustable Block Program is once again funded through new legislation; key changes made.

On Wednesday, September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed one of the most ambitious clean energy bills in the nation, positioning the state to achieve 40% clean energy by 2030, up from 11% in 2020. The new legislation addresses the funding gap that has occurred due to the overwhelming popularity of the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act which saw numerous solar projects put on hold due to diminished funds. This new legislation replenishes the Adjustable Block Program and makes some key changes. 

Key Takeaways:

The time for Illinoisans to go solar is NOW.

Combining the revamped Illinois Shines Adjustable Block Program with the existing 26% Federal Tax Credit for solar, there has never been a better time to go solar in Illinois. Businesses, schools, municipalities, agricultural operations, non-profits, and individuals alike can save money with a secure investment in solar while playing a meaningful role in our state’s decarbonization efforts. 

Simpleray is ready to be your clean energy partner in Illinois. Our award winning team has over 50 years of combined solar industry experience. From sales and financing to engineering, installation, and support, Simpleray will help you realize your clean energy goals. Call us at 800-8080-SUN or email us at [email protected] to get started today. 

Projects currently on the waitlist will be funded.

The Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016 created the Illinois Shines Adjustable Block Program which has driven the dramatic growth of solar throughout the state in the past few years. It was so successful that funds were depleted much more quickly than anticipated and a waitlist was created with the intent that new legislation would fund these projects first. All projects currently on the waitlist will be funded and can move forward. 

New funding is provided specifically for schools.

We are still waiting for details on final Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) pricing and program guidelines from the Illinois Power Agency; however, the new legislation allocates 15% of the funds to be applied to solar installations for schools. We recommend starting the conversation now with your school board. Schools often have some of the most ideal roof space for solar. Furthermore, installing solar on a school can serve as a great educational piece for students on topics such as energy, engineering, sustainability, physics, and more. 

Incentives for Large DG (over 25 kW) paid out over seven years.

The new legislation changes the payout schedule for larger projects to seven years, which had previously been five years. 

Prevailing wage will be required on jobs over a certain size.

The new legislation stands to create tens of thousands of high quality, good paying jobs in the solar industry. It also aims to increase diversity in the renewable energy workforce and create opportunities for workers currently employed in the fossil fuel industry to transition to a future in the renewable energy sector. Prevailing wage will be required on all Large DG (25-2,000 kW) and community solar projects*.

* There are a few exemptions to this, for example, “houses of worship” under 100kW are exempt from prevailing wage requirements. 

Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) prices and program guidelines will be updated over the next three months.

The Illinois Power Agency will be defining the program guidelines and setting SREC prices in the coming weeks. The new legislation dictates this work to be complete within 90 days so we expect everything to be finalized by the middle of December 2021. The new legislation now defines Small Distributed Generation (DG) as 0-25 kW while Large DG is 25 kW-2,000 kW. We will keep this section updated. 

Contact Simpleray to discuss your solar options TODAY.

Our experienced team has developed over 20 MW of solar since 2008. Our talented engineering team is ready to help design creative solar solutions for your business or organization. Our in-house financing team is available to help find the best financing options that fit your goals and budget. Perhaps you already have solar or it's simply not the right fit for you. You can still help spread the word about solar and this new Illinois legislation and perhaps take advantage of our $1000 Referral Rewards Program. Call us today at 800-8080-SUN!

Tags: incentives illinois


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