Illinois can expect solar boom as Adjustable Block Program reopens

Following the recent adoption of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) in September 2021, the DG+Design team has released a new Illinois Solar Market Report detailing expectations for massive growth for the state’s clean energy sector.

Despite a difficult year marred by global supply chain problems and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term outlook for solar energy in Illinois has improved dramatically. Multiple factors add to the appeal of jumping into the Illinois solar market for investors and developers.

CEJA has allocated $350 million to support renewable energy expansion in Illinois through solar development incentive programs, green job training programs, and others. The new legislation also requires the shutdown of all coal and gas-fired power plants by 2045, making solar and wind development the clear choice to ensure long-term returns.

Illinois saw a massive decline in solar development for homes and communities in the third quarter of 2021, largely due to a decline in the incentives for the customizable block program originally offered through the Future Energy and Jobs Act of 2016. In addition, from 2019 to 2020, Illinois totals were down, largely due to the stimulus decline.

But the future looks much brighter as the waiting list for the adjustable block program reopens on December 14 this year with new, larger grants available to encourage solar development. These changes are expected to bring stability to the Illinois solar industry, support a strong clean energy workforce and drive progress toward the state’s ambitious new clean energy goals.

“When government incentives for solar ran out in 2019, Illinois saw a slump in solar development, losing momentum to meet key clean energy targets. With this new policy, Illinois is solar. a keeper”, says Kathleen Gill, director of clean energy at DG+Design.

As Illinois strives to achieve 100% clean energy in the coming years, the state is providing unprecedented incentives for solar energy development on a scale never seen before. In 2022 alone, Illinois will provide financial incentives for the installation of 250 MW of community solar projects, with a total of 5,800 MW of rooftop and community solar development expected by 2030.

“Thanks to the decisive action by the Illinois legislature in implementing long-term solar incentives, the solar incentive cliff has been lifted and Illinois is once again a very attractive market for solar development. We expect significant, continued growth for the Illinois solar industry,” said David Ganske, CEO of DG+Design.

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