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.
RESOURCES - FORUMS
What is the Future Energy Jobs Act?
Modernized Renewable Portfolio
Future Energy Jobs Act Update and How to Get Involved
Fact Sheet, Community Solar
Future Energy Jobs Act Timeline
Case Study, Solar
Case Study, Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet, Illinois
Just Transition Keynote Address, Delta Institute
Solar an Economic Drive - StraightUp Solar
Elevate Energy - Energy Efficiency
Midwestern Energy Efficiency Alliance - Energy Efficiency
Job Training - Illinois Green Economy Network
Illinois Solar for All - GRID Alternatives
Just Transition Funding, Delta Institute
RESOURCES - WORKSHOPS
FEJA Overview, Shannon Fulton, StraightUp Solar
Community Solar, Michelle Knox, WindSolar USA
Illinois Solar for All, Erica Mackie, GRID Alternatives
Workforce Training, Michelle Knox, WindSolar USA
Video, IBEW 134 Training Facility
Working with Municipal Utilities and Rural Cooperatives, Michelle Knox, WindSolar USA
Key Considerations When Planning a Solar Project, Shannon Fulton, StraightUp Solar