What is the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA)?
Lake County recently hosted a webinar for communities to discuss the Future Energy Job's Act (FEJA) and Solar Opportunities. Learn about FEJA, the timeline and joint procurement opportunities, and zoning issues related to solar power by watching the webinar recording, and reviewing this presentation (PDF).
FEJA has created a new and exciting dynamic for solar opportunities within our communities, and the Lake County Board is excited to explore community solar with our government partners. In recent months, our communities have fielded calls from numerous developers asking to install solar arrays on public land and facilities including schools, parks, and municipal property. Whether these developments provide power for facilities, community solar for local residents, or are tailored for low-income residents, the contracts with developers are essentially power purchase agreements that, in most cases, must be managed through the procurement process.
Lake County is willing to be the purchasing lead on Community Solar by working with interested municipalities on creating a joint RFP that's similar to the County's JOC contracts. If you have questions or would like to discuss this opportunity with Lake County, send Lake County Purchasing an inquiry by completing this Community Solar Interest form.
Many codes have not been updated to reflect solar trends across the full spectrum of deployment, and some don't address solar at all. Without specific regulations, projects may be forced into a land use category which may not be appropriate or sufficiently tailored to solar.
Adopting solar-specific codes will allow planners to address elements such as height, security features, landscaping and lot coverage. Municipalities could allow solar "by-right" as an accessory or principal-use, or require a special/conditional use. If you have questions or would like to participate in a Solar Model Ordinance Task Force, send an inquiry by completing this Solar Interest form.