Tag Archives: Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act

City ready for community solar gardens

By Jennifer Bailey, Commercial-News, Danville, Illinois

Illinois passed The Future Energy Jobs Act in December 2016. This legislation went into effect June 1, 2017. Under this legislation, the state created a new Community Solar program that will allow any customer of ComEd or Ameren to subscribe to a community solar garden, according to Solar in the Community which is a joint project of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, The
Accelerate Group and the Environmental Defense Fund . . . Under Illinois’ community solar
program, “subscribers” can enter into an agreement to support a solar energy installation in their community — on the rooftop of a local school or community center, for example.
Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

MORE COMMUNITY SOLAR NEWS

LOCATING CLOSED LANDFILLS & OTHER LOCAL BROWNFIELDS

EPA’s RE-Powering Mapper is an online interactive web application that allows users to visualize key information on renewable energy potential at specific contaminated lands, landfills and mine sites.

Using screening criteria developed in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EPA has pre-screened more than 130,000 sites for their renewable energy potential.

Access the updated RE-Powering Mapper here. 
Learn more about EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative here.

MORE GOOD NEWS FROM STATES 

This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists, Fast Company. In Massachusetts, one town fought to stop
pollution–and ensured a just transition for workers at the coal plant. For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Photo by Toxics Action Center

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

INTERVIEW

Commercial Solar Outlook: A Q&A with GE Solar, Energy Manager Today
From import tariffs to corporate sustainability goals, 2018 was a big year for the commercial solar industry, with no signs of slowing down in 2019. To understand what’s on the horizon for the commercial solar market, we asked Ellen Roybal, Managing Director
of Strategy & Market Intelligence for GE Solar, for her take on the industry.

RE100 Members Increase Renewable Energy By 41% As Initiative Spreads Around The Globe

By Joshua S. Hill, CleanTechnica

The RE100 initiative, led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, has grown leaps and bounds in recent years, and in 2018 — amidst the starkest warning yet from scientists of the dangers of climate change and unchecked global warming — RE100 added 37 new companies, bringing the total up to 155 companies creating demand for a phenomenal 188 terawatt-hours of renewable power each year — equivalent to the 23rd largest country in the world.
Read more here.

Photo Credit: IKEA

MORE CORPORATE NEWS

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Walmart to install solar panels on 19 of its stores in Illinois, including Belleville

By Terri Maddox, Belleville News-Democrat

The move was prompted by the state’s new Adjustable Block Program, which provides incentives for commercial and residential rooftop solar projects, as well as community solar farms. The company already has solar systems at about 350 of its 5,000 sites in the United States, including Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Walmart

Illinois’ impending solar energy boom, Minnesota Public Radio. The state of Illinois is about to see a 2,000 percent increase in solar energy projects by 2025 due to a new state law. The boom will likely create thousands of new jobs. 

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

SOLAR ENERGY & DOE FUNDING

Solar Energy Beats Coal On Critical Infrastructure Resilience, Says DOE, CleanTechnica. In addition to grid integration, the agency continues to support research that helps keep the cost of solar cells down, down, and downer (check out the latest perovskite research, for example). Its funding umbrella also covers ongoing support for solar energy adoption by rural electric co-ops as well as tribal lands and cities and towns. Helping to grow the PV industry workforce is another area of focus.

MICROGRIDS

CORPORATE RENEWABLE ENERGY BUYERS

Big tech companies are becoming the top buyers of green energy to meet data needs: BNEF, Utility Dive. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) data shows the tech industry has signed deals for 10.4 GW of renewables and tech-related corporate purchasing has already set records this year. Google has become the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, as it tries to eliminate all emissions from its footprint, but other big names like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, are also investing heavily. Google Image.

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO DO-IT-YOURSELFERS

Off Grid Solar, by Joseph P. O’Connor 

Off Grid Solar is a pocket guide and quick reference for anyone looking to build a solar system with the free sunshine available to us all. “The limitations to widespread solar are not centered on the cost, the efficiency, or the need for advancements in technology. The limitations are solely due to the lack of widespread knowledge on the subject.”

Solar industry job fair: Illinois companies seek to fill openings in fast-growing field

Illinois Solar Energy Association News Release

CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The solar industry in Illinois is encouraging job seekers to attend the Solar Job Fair, set for Thursday, Nov. 15, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Organized by the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) and featuring more than 15 solar companies, the event will connect applicants with job opportunities and present information on careers in the solar industry. Illinois solar businesses have immediate openings for sales, installation and other positions. The industry plans to hire hundreds of new workers in the next few months.

Solar already employs thousands across the state and the industry is quickly expanding. Illinois is on track to install thousands of new solar systems by 2021. That opportunity has attracted dozens of new companies to Illinois, creating well-paying jobs and economic activity in communities stretching from Chicago to Carbondale.

Local and national solar energy firms, along with experienced solar industry professionals, will be on-hand at the Solar Job Fair to answer questions and educate job seekers on the various career paths available in the industry.

“Solar companies are hiring here in Illinois and this job fair is part of our work to connect applicants with the companies who need to staff up,” said Lesley McCain, ISEA’s executive director. “Jobs in solar are well-paying and rewarding, and the growth in our industry means workers with the right skills will be in demand for a long time.”

For more information on the event and online registration, visit bit.ly/SolarJobFair
Lincoln, Nebraska-based GRNE, listed in Nebraskans for Solar’s online directory, is among the participating companies.

Solar Job Fair
When: 1-4 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 15
Where: McCormick Place, West Building, Room 192AB
2301 S King Drive, Chicago, IL 60616

The news release is available here.
See Also: Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act

Illinois is set to become the Midwest’s solar power leader

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal

Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 . . . At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity. The state has only 97.84 MW of installed solar power. Rankings and installed solar capacity are about to change for the better, so much so that Illinois could end up being the Midwest’s leader in solar energy in a matter of a few years. Read more here.

Future Energy Jobs Act

Photo: Shedd Acquarium in Chicago. The 265-kilowatt solar project is a highlight in itself—it is the largest installation at any cultural institution in Illinois—but it’s only the first step of Shedd’s plan to cut energy usage in half by 2020.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

NATIONAL NEWS

ENERGY STORAGE RESOURCES

Special coverage of energy storage markets & technology, courtesy of pv magazine, by Christian Roselund. PV Magazine brings you a special edition devoted to the fast-growing energy storage space, including a look at its thornier challenges.

Click image to download and save the PDF.

 

Clean Energy Group has redesigned their Resilient Power Toolkit to make it easier to locate the resources you need to understand resilient power system technologies, their economics, and how to approach developing a new resilient solar+storage project.

“We’re always refining our toolbox of resources and making new additions, like our recent permitting and interconnection guide and a storage guide for homeowners from Solar United Neighbors. If you know of useful resources missing from our toolkit or are looking for something you can’t find, send us an email.” – Seth Mullendore, Vice President, Project Director: seth@cleanegroup.org

Clean Energy Funds Target Growing Demand for Renewable Energy

By Amy Brown, Triple Pundit

According to the International Energy Agency’s latest market forecast, renewables will continue their expansion in the next five years, covering 40 percent of global energy consumption growth. Their use continues to increase most rapidly in the electricity sector, and will account for almost a third of total world electricity generation in 2023.

As such, large utilities like NextEra Energy and MidAmerican Energy are making huge investments in renewables. James L. Robo, CEO of NextEra Energy, one of the country’s largest power generators, predicted that solar and wind power will be cheaper than coal or nuclear generation by the beginning of the next decade. MidAmerican Energy, the majority of which is owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has set its sights on getting 100 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2020.  Read more here.

Pixabay Photo

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS & RESOURCES

Photo by Rob Davis

HAPPENING IN OTHER STATES

EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS FUNDED BY DOE’S RECENT $53 MILLION SOLAR INVESTMENTSClick image to link to the American Solar Workforce Website.

FEATURED VIDEO

U. S. Air Force Tech Report: Solar Power

Solar energy is playing a larger role in how the Air Force is modernizing bases, making them more resilient and less dependent on fossil fuels. Using the sun is also a cost-effective way to update aging power grids.

Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage

By Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive

Colorado’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously on Monday to give preliminary approval to Xcel Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which would see the utility close 660 MW of coal-fired generation a decade earlier than scheduled and shift to renewable resources. Under the plan, Xcel will close units 1 and 2 at the Comanche Generating Station in Pueblo and invest $2.5 billion in renewable energy and battery storage. The utility expects the plan to save ratepayers $213 million. In January, the utility solicited notably low bid prices for wind-plus-storage, $21/MWh, as well as $36/MWh for solar-plus-storage, some of the lowest bids for renewable energy plus storage on record. Read more here.

Image credit: Flickr; Energy.gov

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ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Minnesota community solar reaches 400 MW milestone

The Smart Electric Power Alliance’s 2018 Power Players Awards

The awards focus on projects, initiatives and thought leadership that promote collaborative, innovative and replicable models for change by:

  • Expanding knowledge about and access to distributed energy resources
  • Transforming public perceptions and understanding of the electric industry
  • Advancing progress toward an integrated, clean energy future

Read about each of the awards here.

Photo by Grid Alternatives: Coyote Ridge Community Solar Project sited on a former landfill adjacent to transmission lines. The landfill was provided by Larimer County, Colorado for the community solar project.

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ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Consumers Energy pledges 5 GW of solar by 2030

Solar Industry: California Makes Historic Decision to Incorporate Solar On All New Homes

SEIA Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) welcomed California’s approval of a new policy that will require virtually all new homes in the state to incorporate solar panels starting in 2020. The California Energy Commission voted today to adopt the policy as part of the state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards after working with SEIA, its member solar companies, and other stakeholders for more than two years to develop the technical requirements . . . “This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S. California has long been our nation’s biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state.”  – Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO

Click here to read the entire news release.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Commentary: Illinois consumers deserve lowest-cost clean energy

Nebraska renewable energy company looks to expand to Aledo, Illinois

By Katrina Lamansky, WQAD

ALEDO, Illinois — A Nebraska company is looking to expand its renewable energy capabilities into the Quad Cities area. The company, Bluestem Energy Solutions reached out to city leaders in Aledo, Illinois to explore the possibility of installing a wind or solar farm in the area. According to Chicago Tribune, new state requirements and incentives have peaked the interest in renewable energy developers. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bluestem Energy Solutions

The Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, now in effect, is an outstanding, innovative clean energy initiative that will likely attract the attention of more and more renewable energy developers in the months and years ahead. 

The Act Will:

  • Substantially expand energy efficiency programs to drive customer savings and also expand options for commercial, industrial, and low-income customers.
  • Commit up to $750 million for low-income communities to save money and help them benefit from clean energy.
  • Protect 4,200 jobs and preserve $1.2 billion in economic activity annually.
  • Strengthen and expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure stable, predictable funding for renewable development, providing $180M per year – growing to $220M per
    year – in funding for renewable resources
    , including new wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar.
  • Position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity.
  • Provide job training and create thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries.
  • Protect consumers through a 25-cent monthly cost impact cap for residential customers through 2030 and a 1.3% cap for business customers.

To learn more, visit: FutureEnergyJobsAct.com