Illinois Mandates Utilities to Buy More Solar Power

solar panels roof photo

Photo: Flickr, CC
Part of the State's 25% Renewables by 2025 Plan
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed two bills into law yesterday (House Bill 6202 and 5429)) that will mandate the state's utility companies to buy more solar power and protect the right of homeowners to set up solar panels on their homes, provided "certain guidelines" are followed. Read on for more details.
solar panels roof photo

Photo: Flickr, CC
Both Laws Take Effect in January 2011
The requirement for utilities will progressively ramp up, from 0.5% of total power supply by June 2012, to 1.5% the following year, to 3% by June 2014, then 6% by June 2015. This might not seem like much, but for solar power, it would be a big step forward, and 6% of the power supply of Illinois is still a pretty significant amount of power.

This new mandate will work in conjunction with the more general state target of 25% of energy from renewables by 2025.

The second bill that was signed into law protects the rights of homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs and prevents homeowner associations from banning rooftop PV. They can still create guidelines, and I bet that some associations will try to indirectly ban solar panels using those, but it's a step in the right direction.

Let's hope other states are paying attention... They might incur a cost now, but fossil fuels and global warming have all kinds of indirect costs that will come back to bite us in the behind later, so much as well start investing in solutions as fast as possible.

Via BrightEnergy
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