That all changed a year ago — “dramatically,” Hawksworth said — with the enactment of the Future Energy Jobs Act and an overhauled incentive system that promises as much as $15 billion in investments for renewable energy in Illinois by 2030.
Solar panels at Germantown Grill
“It basically created a sustainable future for our business model and solar as a whole in Illinois,” Hawksworth said. “Illinois is the next boom market. This is the hot spot, where we want to be, and the expectation is that we will grow significantly in the next couple of years.”
He is not alone. The Environmental Law & Policy Center recently completed a study of the Illinois clean energy supply chain and found more than 450 companies somehow at work in the industry in 523 unique locations.
Several companies work in more than one renewable energy field: more than 290 companies engage in solar; more than 200 in wind energy; more than 130 in the geothermal industry; and more than 75 in energy storage.