News Articles

Aurora group pushes for use of clean energy

By Cathy Janek   ·  Aurora Beacon-News  ·  

An Aurora area chapter of the Sierra Club is launching a campaign to promote the use of clean energy. The Valley of the Fox Group — one of 14 groups that comprise the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club — is offering a training session on Saturday for area residents who are interested in clean energy in the Fox Valley area. The session will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Aurora Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway.

ComEd Launches New Energy Efficiency Programs For Public Sector and Income-Eligible Customers

By Emilee Ziesmar  ·  WJOL AM 1340  ·  

ComEd has introduced new energy efficiency programs to help public sector and income-eligible customers manage their energy use and save on their electric bills. Thanks to the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), ComEd has launched an energy efficiency plan that will invest up to $1.4 billion over four years to substantially expand and create new energy efficiency offerings.

State Of Trump: Illinois Environmentalists Choose Different Direction

By Mary Hansen  ·  WCBU 89.9 Peoria Public Radio  ·  

During his first year in office, President Donald Trump has rescinded or repealed many of his predecessor’s policies aimed at curbing climate change and protecting the air and water from pollution. Those rollbacks — along with funding cuts to state environmental protection agencies — have concerned Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC).

The best laid plans of state regulators are now aimed at building a better distribution system

By Herman K. Trabish  ·  Utility Dive   ·  

How many roads must distribution system planning walk down, before it fully values distributed energy resources? The answer is not blowing in the wind but is elusive, according to a new report from Department of Energy researchers. There is a wide variety of distribution system planning in states that have adopted “advanced elements of integrated distribution system planning and analysis.” And an even “broader array” of approaches in states with more traditional planning methods.

Innovative Illinois initiative seeks to make solar power available for all

By Lavannya Pulluveetil Barrera  ·  Environmental Defense Fund  ·  

We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the monumental clean energy development package passed by the Illinois state legislature, the Future Energy Jobs Act. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) joined forces with community-based organizations, fellow enviros, and clean energy industry representatives as part of the Clean Jobs Coalition to push for the historic bill, and now continues to work for its effective, efficient, and equitable implementation.

Will County approves first solar farm

By Susan DeMar Lafferty  ·  Daily Southtown  ·  

The first of what could be several solar farms in Will County was unanimously approved by the county board Thursday. Cypress Creek will install solar panels on a 48-acre parcel on Goodenow Road in Crete Township, and sell the energy it generates to Commonwealth Edison. Cypress will lease the land from the owner and has the option to renew the lease for four terms of five years each, which would allow the solar facility to operate for up to 40 years, according to county officials.

Comment Period Ends Nov. 13 for Illinois’ Draft Renewable Resources Procurement Plan

The National Law Review  ·  

The Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) established a protocol requiring the IPA to develop a plan describing how the agency will design programs and organize procurements in order to achieve renewable energy targets outlined in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The draft plan also discusses the Adjustable Block Program for issuing renewable energy credits, the Community Renewable Generation Program, and the Illinois Solar for All Program.

The Top Five Distributed Solar Policy Developments Of Q3

By Joseph Bebon  ·  Solar Industry Magazine  ·  

Pursuant to the Future Energy Jobs Act, the Illinois Power Agency published a draft version of its Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement plan in September, while utilities filed proposed community net metering tariffs. The report says the new tariffs compensate participants at the retail electric supply rate, but do not include transmission and distribution components. The draft plan includes funding for a low-income community solar incentive program and a competitive bidding program for low-income community solar pilot projects, the report adds.

Study to Survey Illinois' Energy Future

By Matt Dutton  ·  Quincy Herald-Whig  ·  

The "NextGrid: Illinois' Utility of the Future" study is the cooperative effort of the ICC, Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois. ICC Chairman Brien J. Sheahan described NextGrid as a "consumer-focused collaborative study to transform Illinois' energy landscape and economy." The study is prompted by innovations in technology and energy efficiency, and the push for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Illinois Utilities Begin to Design Community Solar Programs Under New Energy Law

By David J. Unger  ·  Midwest Energy News  ·  

ComEd’s move is a result of the Future Energy Jobs Act passed in December by the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation bolsters two financially stressed Illinois nuclear plants, calls for a dramatic increase in spending on efficiency programs and renewables projects, particularly in low-income areas. It also outlines the broad parameters of how utilities can and should implement the principle of community supply.  

$30 Million in Funding to Help Train Illinois Workforce for Future Energy Jobs

Illinois Business Journal  ·  

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition spokesman Pastor Booker Vance of Faith in Place said, “We stand in support of ComEd’s filing of a Jobs Training Plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission; a key joint initiative of the Future Energy Jobs Act that not only provides training but set forth the career pathway to create job opportunities for returning citizens, Foster Care Alumni and minorities and women contractors.”

Future Energy Jobs Act Creates Opportunities for Clean Energy Development and Lake County Jobs

By Clean Power Lake County  ·  Lake County News-Sun  ·  

"Thanks to the years of grassroots organizing of many coalition partners across the state, like Clean Power Lake County, Illinois has taken a tremendous step forward in advancing clean energy and climate action through the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act. Now communities like Waukegan have an opportunity to seize the benefits of the clean energy economy-local job creation and training, savings on electricity bills, and improved air quality," said Christine Nannicelli, Illinois campaign representative for the Sierra Club (Chicago).

New Clean Energy Law Gives Illinois a Chance to Show National Leadership

By Dick Munson, Director, Midwest Clean Energy for the Environmental Defense Fund  ·  Daily Herald  ·  

The Future Energy Jobs Act gives renewable energy companies what all businesses need: predictability. Already, clean energy startups are opening their doors in Illinois in anticipation of the law. Many existing companies -- in solar, wind, and energy efficiency -- are set to expand and hire new workers. After years of building elsewhere, solar and wind developers from both coasts are targeting Illinois as a place to do business.

Exelon Refueling Outage Complete

By Staff  ·  The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus  ·  

“The work and upgrades completed during this outage will greatly benefit the local economy and help us to continue to deliver clean, reliable, safe energy to the region for many years,” said Scott Darin, Quad Cities Station’s site vice president. “We again thank the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner for their leadership in passing the Future Energy Jobs Act, which positions Illinois as an environmental leader and ensures a more secure clean energy future for our state.”

Exelon's Q-C Unit 1 Returns to Service

By Jennifer DeWitt  ·  Quad-City Times  ·  

"Without passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act last year, this would have been the last Unit 1 refueling outage at Quad-Cities Station," said Bill Phillips, business representative for Local Union 15. "Now that the bill has been signed into law, we expect these good-paying jobs to be around for another decade, supporting local businesses and generating millions of dollars for Illinois’ economy."

With New Distributed Energy Rebate, Illinois Could Challenge New York in Utility Innovation

Environmental Defense Fund  ·  

The Illinois Commerce Commission’s NextGrid plans grew out of the recently-passed Future Energy Jobs Act, a landmark piece of climate and energy policy that was widely heralded as a bipartisan oddity in the age of Trump. The Future Energy Jobs Act will provide significant new investments in renewables and energy efficiency over the next 13 years, redefine the role and value of rooftop solar and batteries on the grid, and lead to significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Refueling, Maintenance Begins at Exelon

By Emma Hogg  ·  Clinton Herald  ·  

Exelon Generation is currently hiring more than 400 employees to realign both plants for long-term operations. The company also hired more than 1,600 additional electricians, pipe fitters, welders, laborers and contractors to support the Quad-Cities plant refueling outage activities. Many of these workers stay in nearby hotels and patronize local restaurants, gas stations and other merchants throughout the outage period.

Nuclear Plant Begins Refueling Outage

By Mike Colon  ·  Our Quad Cities  ·  

“The refueling outage is our busiest time of the entire year,” said Mary Hess, manager at Riley’s Roadhouse in Cordova. “We increase our hours of operation, order significantly more food for our breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, and increase our staff for the outage.  This has a tremendous positive impact on our annual budget.  We are so thankful for passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act. It was vital to keeping our business open.”

Commentary: As Trump Threatens Historic Climate Protections, Midwest Republican Governors Embrace Clean Energy Economy

By Dick Munson  ·  Midwest Energy News  ·  

Contrary to what you might see in the headlines, this bipartisan approach has continued in the months since November’s election, with four Republican governors in the politically critical Midwest advancing clean-energy measures. Consider Bruce Rauner, the Republican governor of Illinois, who signed bipartisan legislation to double the state’s energy efficiency portfolio and spur some $15 billion of investment in new solar and wind projects to be built in the Prairie State. That legislation, known as the Future Energy Jobs Act, will help achieve a 56 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas pollution from the power sector, almost twice what is required for the state under the Clean Power Plan.

The Energy Bill is Not a Bailout

By Judd Gregg, Chair - Nuclear Matters  ·  Crain's Chicago Business  ·  

This legislation represents an investment in working families, new job expansion and our clean-energy future. It is decidedly not a bailout, as some have charged. The bill is the product of a more than two-year process that brought together a wide variety of typically opposed groups—more than 200—including business, labor, environmental and consumer organizations.

Illinois Passes Huge, Bipartisan Energy Bill, Proves Democracy Still Works

By David Roberts  ·  Vox  ·  

The Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) is notable not only for its scale, but for the process that produced it. A wide variety of stakeholders were involved in negotiations, from utilities to environmental-justice advocates. The Illinois legislature is controlled by Democrats, but the bill passed on bipartisan votes in both houses and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed it into law on Wednesday.

A Huge Success in Illinois: Future Energy Jobs Bill Signed Into Law

By Jessica Collingsworth  ·  Union of Concerned Scientists  ·  

The bill also creates the state’s first community solar program, which allows those not able to build solar on their roof the opportunity to subscribe to a shared project in their community. The bill also creates the Illinois Solar for All program, a comprehensive low-income solar deployment and job training program that will open up access to the solar economy for millions of low-income families.

Illinois Energy Bill: After Race to the Finish, What Does it All Mean?

By Kari Lydersen  ·  Midwest Energy News  ·  

Meanwhile, the legislation was a surprising example of bipartisan cooperation between a Republican governor and a Democratic legislature which has failed to pass a state budget or much else. And despite their sometimes bitter differences during negotiations, most of the clean energy, environmental, consumer and community groups involved say it was an impressive example of collaboration that they hope will continue in the future.