solar power

Susan Stephens

It’s been two years since Illinois lawmakers approved the Future Energy Jobs Act.

The law set renewable energy targets for the state.  Dave Kolata is executive director of the Citizens Utility Board.  He says new energy efficiency standards will also bring down the overall cost of electricity. 

“By 2030, ComEd must now expand and enhance energy efficiency programs to cut electricity waste by a record 21.5% and for Ameren, it’s 16%," he said.

Peter Medlin

Solar power has been used here and there in Illinois for a long time. But now the state is going for it in a big way. 

In the 19th Century, scientists discovered that you could generate electricity directly from sunlight when you arrange certain elements in a particular way. In the 1950s, scientists at Bell Labs took an element they were using to develop the first transistors – silicon – to create the photovoltaic, or PV, cells that we know today. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Renewable energy may be getting a boost from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. For one business owner in Rockford, it’s part of his mission.

Lee Schreiner shows off the meter connected to his new solar panels at 201 7th Street. On a fairly sunny July afternoon, it was producing six to seven thousand watts of power. And Schreiner was happy.

State Law Trips Up Solar Projects

Nov 20, 2013

Illinois is falling behind its goals when it comes to solar energy on rooftops. Observers say wording in a state law is not helping.

Around Illinois – April 25

Apr 25, 2012

  • More high school math supported
  • Poll sees gaming as a good bet
  • A test for chlorine safety in Rockford
  • Church installs solar panels
  • Did owners keep workers' health, retirement funds?