The Illinois Solar for All Program has officially opened for business. The goal of the program is to promote new solar projects serving low-income and environmental justice communities throughout Illinois. A key part of the program involves solar developers working with job training programs to expand the renewable energy workforce by including individuals who are or were foster children or persons with a record who are transitioning.
The program was created as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which was passed by the Illinois legislature in December 2016 to increase solar energy jobs and renewable development projects across Illinois. Funding for the first two years of the program is $30 million per year, which will be used to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from new low-income solar projects.
The Illinois Power Agency is implementing the program. It has hired Chicago-based Elevate Energy as the program administrator. The Illinois Solar for All Program has a number of sub-programs for low-income and environmental justice communities, including rooftop solar, community solar projects, and solar projects for non-profits and public facilities located in and serving those communities.
As a member of the Illinois Solar for All Working Group, ISTC collaborates with statewide and national stakeholders to develop and recommend best practices that will maximize benefits to economically disadvantaged households and communities that targeted programs are intended to serve.