The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is supporting Illinois House Bill 2966/Senate Bill 1781, legislation that would fix Illinois’ renewable energy funding cliff and put the state back on track to reach its statutory requirement of 25% renewable energy by 2025.
The Illinois General Assembly is considering a wide range of energy proposals this year, but only HB 2966/SB 1781 has been endorsed by the renewable energy industry as a viable way to sustain the growth of wind and solar energy and create new jobs in Illinois. AWEA joins more than 70 Illinois wind, solar, labor, and non-profit groups working to pass HB 2966/SB 1781.
Renewable energy is facing a cliff in Illinois. The state’s renewable energy program will not be able to support new wind and solar projects after this year without legislative action. HB 2966/SB 1781 would expand Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which has succeeded in creating low-cost energy, new jobs, and economic growth in Illinois.
The wind industry is already a major Illinois employer with 8,000 direct employees across the state. Wind farms in Illinois generate $50 million each year in local tax and lease payments and enough clean electricity to power more than 1.2 million homes. HB 2966/SB 1781 makes it possible for Illinois’ renewable energy success to continue and is estimated to create 21,000 renewable energy jobs by 2030.
“Smart policy like the Path to 100 can keep Illinois competitive economically with low-cost, homegrown energy,” said Jeff Danielson, central states director for AWEA. “Of the several energy bills proposed in Illinois, HB 2966/SB 1781 is the legislation that works best for wind energy development. This bill will drive more in-state wind power growth and make it possible for Illinois to meet its renewable energy requirements. We are pleased to join our member companies and our colleagues from the solar industry, along with a broad based of stakeholders in supporting this effort.”
The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Will Davis and Sen. Bill Cunningham. Many of AWEA’s member companies have also signed on as supporters of the legislation, including Acciona, Apex Clean Energy, Avangrid Renewables, Clearway Energy, E.ON, EDF, EDP Renewables North America, Engie, Invenergy, and sPower. The bill would sustain the renewable energy industry’s momentum while generating billions of dollars for Illinois communities and expanding programs that promote a diverse and equitable workforce.