The Path to 100 Coalition of Illinois renewable energy businesses and trade groups announced its support for “Putting Consumers and Climate First,” a set of eight principles released by Governor JB Pritzker to guide energy reform in Illinois. The document outlines an approach to expanding renewable energy in Illinois that aligns closely with the goals of the Path to 100 Act, proposed state legislation that has been championed by the coalition.
“Governor Pritzker recognizes the critical role that solar, storage and wind play in building Illinois’ economy, protecting consumers and creating a safer and more equitable future for our state. We are grateful for his leadership and look forward to working with the Governor, legislative leaders and other stakeholders to put these clean energy principles into practice,” said Nakhia Morrissette, Central Region Director for the Solar Energy Industries Association and spokesperson for the Path to 100 Coalition. “With smart policies in place, we will create thousands more good paying jobs, accelerate our efforts to build a more diverse and equitable workforce, and move Illinois forward on the path to 100% clean energy.”
The Path to 100 Act was written to solve urgent funding issues in the state’s existing renewable energy policy while creating an opportunity to rapidly expand solar, storage and wind energy in Illinois and increase diversity in the renewable energy workforce.
Pritzker’s framework describes eight principles ranging from utility oversight and carbon policy to transportation and energy efficiency. Principles three and seven directly relate to the renewable energy industry’s priorities. The third priority recognizes that “Illinois’ renewable energy industry is in desperate need of support. Thousands of industry jobs have been lost due to a lack of RPS funding to support procurement of renewable energy, structural flaws in the procurement of renewable energy, and COVID-19-related impacts on the industry.”
The Governor’s reaffirmed his commitment to put Illinois on a path to 100% clean energy by 2050 and encourage developers to build more wind and solar in Illinois. The document discusses critical topics for Illinois solar and wind developers including changes to the Illinois Power Authority’s procurement process, net energy metering and interconnection costs.
The seventh priority in Pritzker’s framework focuses on advancing diversity and equity in the clean energy economy, including incentives for developers to contract with diverse suppliers, and expanded reporting on diversity for businesses working in Illinois’ clean energy industry. The Path to 100 Coalition has embraced efforts to advance diversity and equity in the industry and supports the Governor’s equity goals.
Representative of the Path to 100 Coalition will join other stakeholders in working groups convened by the governor’s office to help shape the specific legislation laid out in this framework. Passing policy this fall that fixes the funding gaps in the state’s renewable energy program will be critical to preventing job losses across the hundreds of Illinois solar business.
Coalition members provided the following statements on the Governor’s energy priorities:
“Borrego Solar Systems thanks Governor Pritzker for his commitment to Illinois’ renewable energy future. Our 40 permanent, full-time employees, the many hundreds of employees we’ve supported through the development and construction of community solar projects, and the thousands of subscribers that will save money on their electric bills all look forward to a bright future in Illinois. Illinois has come a long way in the past few years but Governor Pritzker correctly identifies the need to make some big changes to our policies to continue that trend. We look forward to working hand in hand with his administration to achieve this goal.”
Sarah Wochos, Director of Policy & Business Development – Midwest, Borrego Solar
“The solar industry is creating good union jobs across the state today, and with leadership from Governor Pritzker, we can make sure those benefits continue. We look forward to working with the Pritzker administration and the General Assembly to expanding the benefits of renewable energy across Illinois.”
Brian Haug, president of the Illinois Solar Energy Association and president of Continental Electric Solutions
“Governor Pritzker’s priorities are excellent news for the hundreds of solar businesses across Illinois that need stable policy to continue creating jobs, consumer savings and clean energy. Solar businesses are ready to invest here and we look forward to playing a key role in making the Governor’s clean energy vision a reality.”
Lesley McCain, Executive Director, Illinois Solar Energy Association
“StraightUp Solar applauds Governor Pritzker’s commitment to an equitable and regenerative clean energy Illinois economy that supports certainty in renewable energy job growth.”
Shannon Fulton, VP of Development, StraightUp Solar
“Sunrun appreciates and supports Governor Pritzker’s goals to advance more clean energy in Illinois. Sunrun looks forward to working with the Governor and policymakers to ensure rooftop solar and storage is part of the state’s clean energy future, not only because it helps people manage energy bills at a time when it matters most, but because of the family-supporting jobs and economic investment it creates in the state.”
Amy Heart, Public Policy Director, Sunrun
News item from the Path to 100