- Trio of Bills Await Governor’s Signature
Sparked by the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act came three bills proposing solar farms on Illinois farmland. In summary the bills look to standardize expectations and requirements for large-scale solar installations being built on farmland. One bill, SB 486 deals with the calculation of property taxes for land receiving these panels. Another bill, SB 2591 would make it so solar developers have to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to compensate landowners for impact on agricultural use of their farmland. In addition, once the solar installation’s lifespan is up they must return the borrowed land to farmers. Finally, SB 3214 states that the land around these solar installations must be designated as habitat for pollinators like bees, beetles, and other insects.
The Illinois renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires that the state generates 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
There are over 3,500 solar jobs supporting families in Illinois thanks to the solar industry according to The Solar Foundation.
The Future Energy Jobs Act calls for the installation of roughly 2,700 MW of solar by 2030, more than 30 times the state’s current solar capacity.