Solar energy on the rise in McLean County

Shannon Fulton, with Straight Up Solar, spoke with WJBC’s Marc Strauss. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Blake Haas

BLOOMINGTON – Solar energy is on the rise across Illinois’ especially in McLean County.

Speaking with WJBC’s Marc Strauss, Shannon Fulton with Straight Up Solar said over the next couple of years, solar energy would see an enormous boom due to Gov. Pritzker’s plan to make Illinois to 25% renewable energy by 2025.

“We will see even more over the next year and beyond. Our observations have been the primary reason we’re seeing solar is by individual choice to cut and control energy costs by individuals behind their own meter. The icing on the cake is that solar is truly a renewable source, and so people are aware that adding solar panels to their home, business, church, school, whatever, it’s not only a great infrastructure upgrade, but it helps to reduce the onsite carbon footprint as well.”

According to a study of wind and solar energy’s economic impact, McLean County is the top renewable energy producer in the state.

“Folks who go solar, whether it’s a business or a church or an individual, gets paid a, they get paid a cash incentive, and it’s equivalent to between 20 and 30 percent of the system cost. For the renewable energy that their system produces. This is the primary mechanism that the state is using to get all of us to 25 percent renewable energy by 2025; that’s our state renewable portfolio standard.

“That’s the state level that’s driving Illinois’ not only solar growth but job-related growth. It’s been an economic boom as well.”

Over the next 10-years across the state, renewable energy will generate over $8 billion in economic output and create over 53,000 jobs.

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.

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