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Growing a New Energy Future Downstate

In June of 2017, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) became law in Illinois.   This is one of the most comprehensive energy bills in the country.  Now, an additional $200 million per year will be available to build new solar and wind facilities in Illinois, creating more good paying jobs; preparing a workforce with competitive skills; and expanding the state’s legacy as a top energy produce.  

Eco-Justice Collaborative served as lead organizer in 2017 to bring forums and workshops to downstate Illinois communities who have experienced significant job loss associated with reduced production of coal  and coal mine and coal plant closures.  The purpose was to bring tools and resources to these communities so that they could jumpstart projects and job creation in solar energy. 

FEJA accelerates the growth of renewable energy in Illinois, expands the state’s energy efficiency goals to dramatically reduce electricity waste and lower bills, devotes $750 million to job training, includes community solar that will allow those who can’t install solar panels directly on their own property to buy into projects built elsewhere; and funds the Illinois Solar for All Program with a focus on providing access to solar energy and jobs to low-income communities.

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