Solar for All Initiative Encourages Energy Companies To Innovate
Under the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), Illinois developed the Solar for All initiative. The program was developed to address existing barriers faced by disadvantaged communities when accessing renewable energy. It will offer affordable solar technology to those who cannot afford solar panels or are renting. The initiative aims to transform how societies develop, benefit and interact with clean energy by providing incentives to solar companies to develop technology that will lead to savings on solar energy bills.
With a budget of $30 million per annum, Solar for All also includes FEJA job training and basic statewide education as well as ensuring that funding goes to environmental justice communities.
Funding has been sourced from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund along with two of the state’s utility budgets for renewable resources.
Under the initiative, there are four subprograms for different customer and project types. These are: low-income distributed generation, low-income community solar, non-profits and public facilities and pilot projects. Developers apply for incentives in one of the subprograms and are paid once the work is complete, with the customer receiving the panels without being required to pay for installation.
The projects will provide benefits for both the community and environment, with the creation of new jobs and subscription plans offered to residents. Projects also require collaboration with community organizations.
This innovative program illustrates the active steps being taken by Illinois to encourage research and development and transition to clean energy.