Solar-produced electricity in Illinois will get a $30 million boost under legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn that also promotes the installation of solar panels on residential rooftops.
Under the measure signed Saturday, HB 2427, the Illinois Power Agency is tasked with purchasing up to $30 million worth of solar power to meet a portion of the state's electric power needs. The funds are part of the agency's Renewable Energy Resources Fund, made up of clean energy fees paid by power suppliers in Illinois.
The legislation sets up a "competitive procurement process to purchase energy from existing solar devices and from new solar installations, which could mean thousands of new solar panel installations on homes in Illinois," reads a news release from the governor's office.
State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) sponsored the new law, which takes effect immediately.
“Thousands of residents will soon get cheaper, cleaner energy, and we will create good paying jobs for working families in the process. It’s this sort of innovation that has made Illinois a national leader in clean energy production,” Quinn said in a statement.
The Illinois Power Agency was established in 2007 to craft procurement plans to ensure utility customers receive reliable and affordable electricity generated from both renewable and traditional sources.
"Increasing our investment in clean energy creates jobs, protects the environment and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels,” Harmon added. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen wind energy take off in Illinois. I hope that this investment starts a similar revolution in solar energy.”