Gov. Pritzker signs legislation allowing more wind energy production in Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 2988 Friday, clarifying current law around zoning standards for wind energy development across the state.

The new law will create jobs, revitalize communities with new investment in rural areas — including tens of millions of dollars in annual payments directly to landowners and farmers and hundreds of millions of dollars in property tax payments to schools and local government bodies — and produce clean, renewable energy that will help Illinois work toward lowering its emissions.

“I’m committed to putting our state on a path toward 100% clean and renewable energy, and this bill I signed into law today will help get us there,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Illinois has over 3,500 megawatts of operating wind capacity, and under my administration, we’re going to further embrace our clean energy future and take bold action to combat climate change.”

HB 2988, which takes effect immediately, allows only counties and municipalities to establish standards for wind farm development. Townships will no longer have zoning authority over wind farm development.

“I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s support of this important bill,” said Rep. Ann Williams, the bill’s House sponsor. “This legislation reaffirms existing law and enables counties and municipalities to enact wind zoning energy regulations, ensuring that our state can continue expanding our clean energy economy through the development of wind farms throughout Illinois.”

“Wind and solar companies are making tens of millions of dollars of investment in Illinois’ new green economy,” said Sen. Bill Cunningham, the bill’s Senate sponsor. “We can’t let unnecessary government regulation block the creation of high-paying jobs and the much-needed property tax revenue wind farms will produce for our schools.”

Friday’s bill signing is the latest action the governor has taken on the environment. Just days after entering office, Gov. Pritzker joined Illinois into the U.S. Climate Alliance and directed the IEPA to monitor the Trump Administration’s environmental proposals and identify opportunities to protect Illinoisans from environmental harm.

Gov. Pritzker has also joined Great Lakes governors in opposition to the president’s proposed 90% cut to Great Lakes Restoration Initiative last month and participated in the Midwestern Governor’s Climate Convening on Tuesday.

Read the entire piece at KHQA, ABC 7.