About Us

The ISEA was founded in 1975 and incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1979. ISEA is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit membership organization and is the Illinois chapter of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). We represent over 400 members, including more than 100 businesses, statewide.

Our Mission
Our mission is to educate and advocate for the widespread application of solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy technologies to the people of Illinois.

2011-2014 Strategic Plan - Illinois is Ready for Solar

The ISEA launched the Illinois is Ready for Solar campaign in January 2011 to foster a robust renewable energy market in Illinois. We are in the process of raising funds to support the following work: training renewable energy professionals, educating the public that solar works in Illinois, educating and consulting with municipalities on renewable energy initiatives, providing forums for members and the public to interact and learn from each other, and advocating for supportive statewide policies.

Professional Education & Resource Program
Curriculum will be developed to provide classroom and hands-on training for solar assessment, design and installation and will meet Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ) and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) standards. Partnerships will be solidified to provide a training facility and internship opportunities. We will research and develop a resource library of information, tools, publications, and policy updates to be hosted on the ISEA website. The ISEA will expand our Entrepreneurship course to include small business best practices and resources to foster success and sustainability.

Consumer Education Program
The ISEA will provide courses, webinars, and videos to educate consumers about solar energy, that solar works in Illinois, and how they can best utilize it on their property.  Resources will be offered for free (or at low cost) throughout the state. The ISEA website resources will be expanded and improved and a user friendly website interface will be created to guide consumers to the resources they need. We will also collaborate with NREL on the OpenPV Project to populate their database with Illinois solar photovoltaic projects. This database will provide consumers valuable information about location, costs and sizes of solar photovoltaic systems in their area. 

Solar Tour
The American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour is the world's largest grassroots solar event with more than 160,000 participants visiting 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S. The ISEA hosts the Illinois Solar Tour, one of the largest state tours, to educate the public about how people and businesses are using solar, and other renewable energy sources, to generate their own energy. In 2014, the tour included over 70 residential and commercial sites throughout the entire state.

Growing Market Demand
The ISEA will engage in a statewide outreach campaign to deliver the message Illinois is Ready for Solar. Satellite ISEA sites will be established and managed by a local outreach representative who will engage with the public at local events.  Professional display and educational materials will be created and provided to all ISEA satellite sites. Contact information will be collected from event attendees to facilitate targeted email messaging, increasing visits to the ISEA website, event participation and attendance at educational programming. Social media will also be utilized to spread the message.

Municipal Solar Advocacy campaign
Municipalities are in need of education, resources and guidance for developing ordinances, incentives, policies, inspector training, and public outreach. The ISEA plans to organize a conference and speak at conferences to prepare municipalities to have a pro-active approach to solar with the intention of attracting solar installations and solar businesses. The local chamber of commerces will be engaged to emphasize the correlation between solar policy and building the local clean energy economy.  Resources will be made available on the ISEA website and staff will provide personal support to municipalities.

Statewide Solar Advocacy campaign
ISEA has been actively involved in tracking and reporting recent legislation through our website, email newsletter, and public appearances. We will train a policy advocate to keep abreast of upcoming legislation, work with our partners (Environmental Law & Policy Center, Environment Illinois, Sierra Club, Vote Solar) on research, meet with legislators and officials to educate them about solar and what is needed to create jobs and installations, and provide timely information to the public and our membership.

Solar Drinks

Solar Drinks, inspired by Green Drinks, will provide a forum for consistent conversation on the topic of renewables and to facilitate a renewable energy business network. Business members and the public are invited to attend bimonthly evening meetings at a Chicagoland bar to hear presentations and network. Solar Drinks will travel to local Green Drink locations bimonthly to utilize existing networks to connect with new people and expand reach. ISEA social networking tools and the ISEA Member Discussion forums will provide opportunities to continue discussions and networking between events.

Member Events

    The ISEA will host member exclusive events and member/public events to provide opportunities to learn, network, and generate enthusiasm about the growth of the industry in Illinois. Events will typically involve a field trip and tour of a venue involved with renewable energy (installation, manufacturing facility, educational facility). Promotional prizes may be included as an incentive.

    If you are interested in volunteering with or developing a programming partnership with ISEA, contact us today at contactisea@illinoissolar.org


      The Illinois Solar Energy Association wishes to thank the following organizations for hosting our Education Programs:
      • Chicago Center for Green Technology
      • Crystal Lake Park District
      • Harper College
      • Howard Alan Architects
      • Illinois Central College
      • Parksite
      • Wright Community College
      • Lincoln Land Community College


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