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Illinois General Assembly Passes Historic Clean Energy Legislation

Posted by Adam Winer on Sep 13, 2021

National business group applauds Illinois General Assembly for completing legislation that puts the state on path for 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and creating tens of thousands of jobs 

SPRINGFIELD, September 13, 2021 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) applauded the Illinois General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 2408, House Amendments #1, #2 and #4, a comprehensive bill that puts Illinois on a historic path for 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and will create tens of thousands of good high-paying jobs in the coming years. The Senate vote was 37-17 for SB2408, House Amendments #1, #2 and #4, the same bill passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 83-33 on September 9th.

“Today, we passed the most significant climate and clean energy legislation in Illinois history. This historic legislation is a major step toward investing in advanced energy and job creation across Illinois,” said Daniel Bloom, principal at AEE. “This legislation positions Illinois to become a leader in the deployment of advanced energy and transportation electrification technologies.

“AEE has been engaged in the debate on how to achieve 100 percent clean energy in Illinois for over four years,” said Bloom. “Through early engagement with then-candidate Pritzker to convening AEE business members from across the advanced energy industry with key members of the governor’s staff, AEE has advocated for solutions that lift all boats and increase support for renewable energy, demand side resources, and electric vehicles. We are gratified to see all of AEE’s top priorities reflected in this landmark bill.”

“This bill, and the Accelerated Renewable Energy Buyers provision in particular, empowers large companies to expedite clean energy purchases on their path to 100 percent renewable energy,” said Caitlin Marquis, director at AEE, who leads the Advanced Energy Buyers Group. The provision enables voluntary buyers to make purchases above and beyond the renewable energy procured through the Illinois Power Authority. “Large voluntary purchases of clean energy contribute significantly to the overall buildout of renewables in Illinois, and this bill acknowledges the role that voluntary buyers have in creating jobs and expanding clean energy development for the entire state.”

“In signing this historic legislation, Governor J. B. Pritzker cements Illinois' role as a leader in the transition to a clean energy economy,” said JR Tolbert, managing director at AEE. “The Pritzker administration, Senate President Don Harmon, House Speaker Chris Welch, and House Energy Committee Chairwoman Ann Williams have all worked tirelessly to pass this comprehensive bill, which will modernize our state’s energy system, take advantage of emerging technologies to support the grid and increase resilience, and put equity at the heart of the clean energy economy.”

“Through the legislation, we will dramatically reduce Illinois’ carbon emissions, drive economic growth, and create tens of thousands of new jobs, all while reducing monthly electric bills for customers," said Bloom. "We look forward to working with the Pritzker administration to implement the legislation." 

The comprehensive bill provides six distinct pillars on which to move Illinois toward a clean energy economy:

  • Expanded Renewable Energy Investment - Harnesses the power of cost-competitive advanced energy resources like wind, utility-scale and distributed solar, and energy storage, to power Illinois’ electricity grid, reaching 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% renewable energy by 2040 and 100% by 2050. Also increases funding for Illinois equity solar programs from $10M to $50M annually.
  • Power Sector Decarbonization - Steadily reduces Illinois’ reliance on fossil-fired generation by setting interim emissions reduction targets beginning in 2038 for municipal IL coal and establishing a date certain to retire all fossil fuel generation in the state by 2045. 
  • Expedites Voluntary Corporate Procurement of Renewable Energy - Creates a self-direct renewable energy buyer provision that allows corporate customers to outpace the RPS through voluntary procurement mechanisms without charging them twice for doing so. To date, corporate renewable energy customers account for roughly one-third of all wind and solar energy in IL.
  • Unlocking Transportation Electrification - Creates a Beneficial Electrification program process for utilities at the Illinois Commerce Commission that will expedite the deployment of light-, medium- and heavy-duty EVs and associated charging infrastructure across Illinois. Facilitates the creation of innovative new rate designs aimed at electrifying public and private fleets, and provides incentives both for the deployment of charging infrastructure and the purchase of electric light-duty cars and trucks.
  • Significantly Expanding Energy Efficiency - Prioritizes investment in the lowest-cost clean energy resource – energy efficiency – which helps reduce waste and save Illinoisans money. The bill extends our state’s energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) out to 2040 with clear, mandatory targets and brings back into the fold large commercial and industrial companies investing in efficiency upgrades within their own facilities.
  • Moving Utilities Towards Performance-Based Regulation - Ends formula rates and revolutionizes ratemaking to align utility spending with performance measures driven by reliability, equity, affordability, and clean energy goals. 

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Topics: Press Releases