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Illinois Renewable Energy Policy

The Illinois Solar Energy Association advocates for the protection and expansion of solar and other renewable energy in Illinois.  ISEA educates and mobilizes our members and the general public on renewable energy policies that affect clean energy development in the State.

2018, 100th Legislative Session


ISEA  Position 

 Chief Sponsor  Title/Description
Support Sen. Jason Barickman Creates the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act. Provides that an owner of a ground-mounted solar site may follow practices that: (1) provide native perennial vegetation and foraging habitat which is beneficial to game birds, songbirds, and pollinators; and (2) reduce storm water runoff and erosion at the solar site. Provides that an owner or manager of a solar site with a generating capacity of more than 40 kilowatts implementing site management practices under the Act may claim that the site is "pollinator-friendly" or provides benefits to game birds, songbirds, and pollinators only if the site adheres to guidance set forth by the pollinator friendly scorecard published by the Department of Natural Resources in consultation with stakeholders. Provides that an owner making a beneficial habitat claim shall make the solar site's pollinator score card, and where available, related vegetation management plans, available to the public and provide a copy to the Department of Natural Resources and a nonprofit solar industry trade association of the State. Effective immediately.
 SB 486 Amendment 1 Support Sen. Don Harmon

Provides a standardized assessment process for ground-mount, in-front-of-the-meter commercial solar energy systems for property tax purposes.

HB 5284
Oppose as written Rep. Lou Lang Amends the Property Tax Code. Changes the definition of "solar energy system". Defines "allowance for physical depreciation", "commercial solar energy system", "commercial solar energy system real property cost basis", "ground installation", "trending factor", and "trended real property cost basis". Provides the equation for the fair cash value of commercial solar energy systems in counties with fewer than 3,000,000 inhabitants. Provides exemptions for specific commercial solar energy systems property. Provides that the owner of the land the ground installation commercial solar energy system is constructed upon may request a metes and bounds survey description of the area and provides the procedures for such a request. Provides the equation for the fair cash value per acre of a parcel of land where a commercial solar energy system is installed. Provides that any real property assessed as farmland in the year prior to valuation shall return to being assessed as farmland in the year after the commercial solar energy system has been removed and the property is returned to farm use. Effective immediately.
Oppose as written Sen. Scott Bennett and Chapin Rose; Rep. Charles Meier Amends the Wind Energy Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act. Provides that the Act may be cited as the Renewable Energy Facilities Agricultural Impact Mitigation Act. Changes references in the Act from "commercial wind energy facility" to "commercial renewable energy facility". Provides that "commercial renewable energy facility" means a commercial wind energy facility or commercial solar energy facility. Defines "commercial solar energy facility". Provides that for commercial renewable energy facility owners of a commercial solar energy facility, the agricultural impact mitigation agreement shall be entered into prior to the commercial renewable energy facility owner making contact with a landowner seeking an underlying agreement for the development of a commercial solar energy facility. Makes conforming changes in the Counties Code and the Illinois Municipal Code. Effective immediately.

Senate 2018 Spring Session Schedule

House 2018 Spring Session Schedule

Additional Resources

Illinois General Assembly - Read legislation, find bill sponsors and status of bill

Illinois Board of Elections - Learn who your legislators are.

Environmental Law & Policy Center - The Midwest’s  public interest environmental legal advocacy and eco-business innovation organization.

The Vote Solar Initiative - Learn about state policies and initiatives, including lobby days.

Illinois Environmental Council - Stay informed on environmental legislation with IEC's bill tracker and
legislative updates.

Sierra Club Illinois - Follow Sierra Clubs environmental legislative goals and activities

Wind on the Wires (FKA Illinois Wind Energy Association) - Dedicated to expanding wind power in Illinois

Illinois Solar Rights Act
Learn some important legislation in this Act from 2011. The Illinois Solar Rights Act is intended "to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging the development and use of solar energy systems in order to conserve and protect the value of land, buildings, and resources by preventing the adoption of measures which will have the ultimate effect, however unintended, of preventing the use of solar energy systems on any home that is subject to a homeowners' association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners' association."



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