Illinois' Landmark Renewable Energy Bill Spurs Major Boost in Solar

The blue silhouette of the state of Illinois with the word “solar” in the center, surrounded by yellow and orange rays, representing Illinois solar incentives in 2022.


Illinois’ goal to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050 can directly benefit businesses throughout the state. Learn more about the new clean energy legislation, and how your organization can save money by taking advantage of commercial solar incentives in Illinois.

In fall of 2021, Illinois legislators passed a sweeping clean energy bill.

In short, it commits the state to supporting renewable energy use over the next three decades, with a goal to be carbon free by 2050.

With Governor JB Pritzker signing the bill on September 15th 2021, Illinois has caught national attention and praise as it takes action to combat global warming, create clean energy jobs, modernize the power grid, provide greater electrical cost savings for customers, and jumpstart the state’s economy.

The focus of the state’s actions include:

  • the decarbonization of coal and natural gas plants
  • greater access to education and training for clean energy job seekers
  • the payment of prevailing wages for many types of renewable energy projects
  • the extension of financial aid to promote electric vehicle adoption and fortify nuclear power plant operations
  • the construction of new distributed generation systems

For businesses in Illinois, it is the last point above that provides a critical benefit.

The state’s “Path to 100” relies on local businesses investing in onsite distributed generation (solar) systems. The state is using financial incentives to motivate businesses to adopt solar, as clean energy produced by these systems can contribute to the state’s clean energy metrics.

Illinois companies that install solar now gain three important advantages:

1. A more environmentally sustainable operation

This point alone is worth substantial value for the impact it can have on customer and employee satisfaction and brand building. Operating in a more sustainable way shows integrity and high regard for the environment, health, and society.

2. An immediate reduction in utility consumption and monthly energy expenses

When businesses generate some of their own power with solar, they need less energy from their utility. Many solar customers can reduce their utility consumption by 30 – 50% (or more) using solar. Businesses profit as new and long-term energy cost savings are realized throughout the life of the solar system (30+ years).

3. A faster return on investment

Illinois’ newly available commercial solar incentives help businesses recoup their solar investment quickly.

To achieve the bill’s first milestone of 40% renewable energy use by 2030, the state is offering hundreds of millions of dollars in guaranteed subsidies to new distributed generation system owners.

A closer look at Illinois' Adjustable Block Program

Through the Illinois Adjustable Block Program, the Illinois Power Agency now has the authority to procure approximately 2.5 million new renewable energy certificates (RECs) by June 2022 and 3.8 million new RECs per year from 2022-2030.

What is a REC?

RECs are tradable environmental assets that substantiate sustainability marketing claims (1 REC = 1,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy produced).

Solar system owners earn RECs as their system produces clean energy; the RECs can then be sold using a market-based system to other entities (local governments, utilities, other companies) wishing to purchase them to enhance their own sustainability claims.

In addition to the state’s Adjustable Block Program, companies going solar in Illinois may also be eligible for other local incentives, including utility-provided solar rebates, favorable net metering policies, and Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.

Moreover, significant solar incentives are also available at the federal level, including the Investment Tax Credit and the accelerated equipment depreciation model.

With available incentives, Illinois businesses can easily offset the majority of their solar system investment.

Key takeaways

Illinois’ new clean energy legislation has made the state one of the most financially-favorable places in the country to invest in commercial solar.

Businesses should not wait to leverage these funds, as many organizations have already contracted solar projects since the legislation was passed.

To get more information on solar project costs, state incentives, and long-term savings for your organization, contact SunPeak project developers for a complimentary Solar Feasibility & Financial Analysis for your site.

Want to learn more about commercial solar incentives in Illinois?

SunPeak is a full-service solar provider with extensive commercial solar design, construction, and commissioning experience in Illinois. We’ve helped many companies, such as Ashley Furniture and Thelen Sand & Gravel lower their energy costs and take advantage of renewable energy incentives in Illinois.

If you would like to better understand commercial solar incentives in Illinois and other available financial opportunities, please contact us for more information.

Contact SunPeak

Krista Laubmeier

Marketing and Community Engagement Manager

Krista manages marketing initiatives, corporate communications and media relations for SunPeak. In addition to working closely with all departments within the organization, she also assists customers with the design and execution of their solar marketing plans.