Renewables and Storage provide nearly 14% of IL Energy Generation
SAINT PAUL, MINN. (September 6, 2023) -- According to the American Clean Power Association (ACP) Second Quarter 2023 Report, Illinois ranked first among 11 Midwest states for clean power capacity under construction and second in those same states for new clean power capacity additions and for operating clean power in the second quarter of 2023. Illinois added 485 Megawatts (MW) of clean power to the grid in the first two quarters of 2023. Its operating clean power capacity is now 8,643 MW of wind, solar, and battery storage. Currently, wind, solar, and energy storage plants provide 13.8 percent of all the electricity produced in Illinois, and 3.1 million homes can be powered by the clean energy generated in Illinois.
Renewable energy like wind, solar, and battery storage resources, have taken over new power additions in Illinois in the past several years. Clean energy is a leading source of job creation and investment, providing over 18,095 good-paying jobs, and over $17 billion in capital investments in Illinois, according to ACP. Wind and solar costs have fallen 42% and 57% respectively over the last 10 years, making them the most affordable new electricity sources in the nation. Plus, wind and solar projects pay around $125.6 million a year in landowner lease payments, and state and local taxes to Illinoisans.
Clean Energy Brings Jobs and Economic Development to Illinois
But clean energy jobs are the star of the show in Illinois. Two years ago, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) that establishes a statewide clean energy goal of 100% clean energy by 2050 and allows for more renewable energy projects to be built. So far, $180 million annual investments have been made in the clean energy workforce to help make the transition, and CEJA doubles the state's investment in renewable development. The law also creates multiple workforce development programs to prepare workers and support communities as the state transitions to a clean energy economy. Overall, CEJA makes Illinois a national leader on clean energy.
"Passing CEJA has helped move Illinois toward the clean energy future it wants to see. Supporting clean energy means supporting Illinois's communities, businesses, and economic development opportunities throughout the supply chain." said Clean Grid Alliance Vice President of Advocacy Jeff Danielson.
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), clean energy manufacturing has also seen an influx of growth and investments, with 83 new or expanding clean energy manufacturing facilities announced in the past year nationwide. Illinois is capitalizing on these benefits. The Flender Corporation recently announced it is expanding its wind gearbox manufacturing facility in Elgin, Illinois, which will create at least 50 new full-time jobs and retain the existing 140 jobs.
Wind turbine technicians and solar installers remain among the country's fastest-growing jobs, with wind turbine technician being the second fastest growing job overall. Illinois is ready to reap these jobs and benefits. In fact, EDP Renewables announced it is opening a Solar and Wind Technician Training Facility in Bloomington, Illinois.
Clean Energy Drives Capital Investment
According to ACP, the value of the solar market in Illinois is $3.7 billion and growing, and there has been over $13.7 billion in capital investment from the wind industry in Illinois. The total capital investment in wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Illinois exceeds $17 billion.
In addition to the enormous capital investments that clean energy projects bring to Illinois, they also provide extra income to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners through drought-proof lease payments of $57.6 million annually. Overall, clean power invests in local communities, providing property, state, and local taxes to Illinoisans of $68 million annually.
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About Clean Grid Alliance (CGA)
CGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., whose mission is to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Launched in 2001, CGA has been an active stakeholder in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) process at the state and regional levels and a leading organization working on transforming state energy policy. CGA's membership includes industry representatives working in wind, solar and storage as well as environmental nonprofit organizations, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups, and businesses providing goods and services to the renewable energy industry who come together to reduce carbon and deliver a renewable energy future. Learn more at www.cleangridalliance.org and @CGA_Midwest.
Clean Grid Alliance