Illinois Rep. Will Davis, D-Hazel Crest, has announced the Path to 100 Act, legislation that would expand Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard (RPS), driving new wind, solar and storage development and eventually bringing the state to 100% clean energy.
Davis worked with an alliance of clean energy businesses to develop the legislation, which builds on the efforts of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). Under FEJA, several hundred megawatts of wind and solar renewable energy credits were procured, the lawmaker notes.
The Path to 100 Act, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, in the Illinois Senate, includes the following key items:
- Expand Illinois’ RPS from its current requirement of 25% renewable energy by 2025 to 40% renewables by 2030.
- Ensure sufficient funding exists to fully implement the RPS. Under current law, Illinois is falling significantly short of its renewable mandate; it is currently generating less than 7% of its power from renewables, despite requirements for 16% in 2020, according to Davis.
- Drive procurement of an estimated 6 GW of new utility-scale solar, 6.5 GW of new wind power, and 7.5 GW of new residential, commercial and community scale solar.
- Identify opportunities to pair energy storage with renewable energy development and create a statewide study to eliminate barriers for energy storage.
“For the sake of our economy and our future, we need to get on the path to 100 percent clean, renewable electricity, and we can start today,” says Davis. “The Path to 100 Act will achieve one of Governor Pritzker’s campaign goals while putting thousands of people to work, generating new investment in our state and new tax revenues for local communities.”
“We’ve seen how Illinois’ renewable energy policies can drive private investment, job training and consumer benefits,” notes Amy Heart, Midwest chair for the Solar Energy Industries Association and policy director at residential solar company Sunrun. “We can keep up the momentum and ensure all Illinois residents are part of our state’s clean energy future with the Path to 100.”
“Wind energy works for Illinois. There are nearly 6,000 wind energy jobs in Illinois, and wind farms across the state generate between $10 million-$15 million in lease payments to rural communities each year,” adds Susan Sloan, vice president of state affairs at the American Wind Energy Association. “This success story can only grow by adding more low-cost wind energy in Illinois, bringing more jobs, manufacturing and rural community benefits.”
“As a company based in Chicago, we see tremendous potential for wind power and solar energy development across Illinois if the state updates policies to match the rapidly developing renewable energy market,” says Rafael Esteban, CEO of ACCIONA Energy US Global. “The state needs a pragmatic fix to reap all the benefits wind and solar offer.”