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Pritzker touts solar investment

Friday, Jan 28, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Mike Miletich

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker was recognized Tuesday during a national summit discussing solar energy. Pritzker and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talked about efforts in both states to get closer to 100% clean energy.

The Chicago Democrat noted that the massive clean energy law passed and signed last year gave a boost to the Solar for All allocation for low-income communities. Pritzker also said $20 million will go directly to low-income community solar pilot projects.

“My vision for community solar is that it works as designed by supporting low-income communities who want to participate in growing clean energy and our clean energy economy and that it continues to expand,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker says states need additional funding from the federal government to help support community solar programs. He explained renewable energy procurements are funded by customers. Pritzker believes the more federal funding Illinois receives, the less ratepayers with have to pay upfront.

Inslee and Pritzker also talked about the importance of equity in the goals to address the climate crisis. Pritzker said 5% of the Solar for All funds are directed to community-based groups and other qualifying organizations that can help with general education and outreach efforts.

He attended virtually.

* The governor won’t be attending the in-person NGA confab this weekend…

he National Governors Association (NGA) will host the nation’s Governors in person for the first time in two years, as the leaders of states and territories discuss best practices and bipartisan collaboration on leading policy issues including infrastructure, computer science education and cybersecurity, as well as the importance of bipartisan leadership.

NGA’s 114th annual Winter Meeting is scheduled for this weekend, Jan. 28-31 in Washington, D.C.

Governors will join Cabinet secretaries and leaders from business, academia and philanthropy for solutions-driven conversations around the top issues in states and territories, including those raised or underscored during the public-health challenge that began in early 2020.

A Pritzker spokesperson says the governor is still working on his budget address and busy with other things.


  1. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    Unfortunately science fiction central planing coming from the Democratics in Springfield. While the idea of everyone having a solar panel array that provides all their electrical needs is nice it is just a dream given the current realities of energy generation and storage. Europe is finding this out the hard way and unless the adults in the room and those who believe in following the science prevail we will be looking at a similar fate. And we certainly don’t need wasted money for “PR” for solar in a state that still can’t provide for the real needs of people with disabilities.

  2. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 9:59 am:

    ==Unfortunately science fiction central planing coming from the Democratics in Springfield.==

    It’s just a program that makes installing solar panels cheaper for certain property owners.

  3. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 10:15 am:

    ===NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 9:51 am:===

    I guess we should just do nothing and make sure our species goes extinct due to man made climate change.


    Though I don’t really feel snarky because I think that’s the actual policy approach that “NeverPoliticallyCorrect” is suggesting. I’m never surprised at people like this commenter because the fossil fuel industry buttered a lot of bread in Illinois politics for many, many decades. It turns out they were also suppressing scientific evidence that showed their activities were destroying our climate while they were buying our politicians.

    You should come back when you’re ready to change your user name to NeverUsesLogicalFallacies instead of something that suggests you intentionally use racist and defamatory language.

  4. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    Community Solar projects could be as small as a single residential rooftop to just a few acres in size. It seems like we as a state should investigate and incentivize as much rooftop or brownfield development of community solar first, instead of sprawling more out into farmland where there is no guarantee from the larger community solar developers that agrivoltaics will actually be part of the mix for 35-50 years of the projected lifespan. Several of these types of community solar developers are pivoting away from what is commonly associated with community solar as small footprint projects, generally under 5 MW in size. Now community solar projects are queueing up in the interconnections of PJM and MISO for over 90 MW and up to 200 MW which can run in the hundreds and thousands of acres. PV Magazine posted an article that stated 100,000 big box stores nationwide could generate up to 50% of their power needs with rooftop solar… with caveats such as having the buildings built more robustly and with rooftop solar designs in mind. From the article- “Additionally, these buildings are constructed in a cost effective manner, which means their structural strength is typically just enough to meet code requirements.” After the tornadoes that took out part of the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, maybe this is another way codes could be strengthen and companies incentivized for building better and “greener”. The 7.2 billion square feet quoted in the article translates to over 165,000 acres, and there are some other comparisons in some graphics in that article. It would be interesting to see how many acres of potential rooftops we have in box stores, warehouse complexes, businesses etc. that already exist in Illinois to help prevent rural sprawl of solar projects. Projects under 5 MW may be compatible for rural locations, but taking more and more prime farmland out of production for these much, much larger community solar developments for decades should be thoughtfully considered, especially if there are other “acres” available elsewhere.

  5. - MisterJayEm - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    “unless the adults in the room and those who believe in following the science prevail”

    Every adult following the science understands that unless we change our energy consumption from fossil fuels to renewable sources, this planet will become uninhabitable within our children’s lifetimes.

    – MrJM

  6. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:48 am:

    =prevent rural sprawl of solar projects. Projects under 5 MW may be compatible for rural locations, but taking more and more prime farmland out of production=

    (I’m all for rooftop solar)

    Don’t forget that we take about 1/3 of farm land dedicated to corn in Illinois to produce ethanol. That’s about 3.6 million acres. If we even could turn all those acres into solar farms the energy return would be far greater than using corn alcohol to mix at 10% into the nations fuel supply. Soybeans are next - Biodiesel and all. Then comes “next gen” fuels, think drop in replacements for Jet-A made from soybeans.

    There are lots of acres in Illinois growing two crops that do pretty much two things, feed animals or feed transportation. Some of that land is going to be used to “feed” electrons to homes soon.

  7. - sulla - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    “And we certainly don’t need wasted money for “PR” for solar in a state that still can’t provide for the real needs of people with disabilities.”

    Let’s talk money, then. I’m taking a utility-scale solar project forward for permits in my county next month that is going to generate $5 million in new local property taxes over the life of the project. That’s new money going into schools, roads, police, fire and libraries. This project is not requesting a single dime in local incentives.

    The landowners leasing their ground to this project are going to receive three times the current cash rent for ag use and that revenue is going to be there for them regardless of drought, flood or hail.

    Renewable energy investment is a godsend for rural communities that lack the workforce and infrastructure to compete for industrial development projects. Its an important avenue to generate significant new property tax increment for population-declining rural communities.

  8. - Lt Guv - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    Why, why, why do some always equate a policy initiative to an “all or nothing” proposition? That’s not how most things work. It’s not how a transition to renewables has or will work. Do better.

  9. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 12:40 pm:

    - Unfortunately science fiction central planing coming from the Democratics in Springfield. -

    Jesus even the mention of an alternative energy source really triggers you nutters. Maybe stick to watching hallmark movies and let the actual adults focus on such scary things as energy policy.

  10. - Blue Dog - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    Then United States has a done a tremendous job of shrinking its carbon footprint over the last decade. I am convinced we will continue to do so. 100% renewable is not realistic. BTW, did anyone read Xi comments last week regarding this topic? And India is just as bad.

  11. - DuPage - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    The power companies in California want to be paid extra by people who get rooftop solar. Much of the power companies profit comes from a transportation fee per KW for delivering the electricity. A rooftop solar system = less money to the power companies. They want $8.00 per KW per month. That would be $80 per month on a typical 10KW system. An extra $80 per month on the electric bill could negate any cost savings to the homeowners, instead lining the pockets of the power companies’ stockholders.
    In Illinois, I expect Comed will try to do the same. The governor and legislature should pass a bill to prevent this from occurring here.

  12. - Arsenal - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==100% renewable is not realistic.==

    Depends on the time frame, I think.

  13. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jan 28, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    - 100% renewable is not realistic -

    Climate effects aside, given the laws of physics it will have to be eventually.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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