lightson 033021FRANKFORT – The Senate Energy and Public Utilities committee, chaired by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort), held the first public hearing on the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act Tuesday.

“We have embarked on a journey that will culminate with increased investment in our state’s capacity for clean energy and in our working families,” Hastings said. “Our top priorities must be guaranteeing our infrastructure can maintain the necessary baseload to power Illinois homes, solidifying our status as a leader in energy generation and distribution space, and sustaining good paying jobs.”

Under the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act – found within Senate Bill 529 – millions of dollars in grants would be available for five solar energy stations at the site of existing coal plants. Those eligible coal plants would be provided with grants to remain open until 2025, protecting the jobs of thousands of hardworking people.

“Communities across the state have relied on these coal plants as a source for a path to the middle class for generations,” Hastings said. “Enacting this measure would protect that path for future generations while simultaneously enabling the state to do its part to curb the very real effects of climate change.”

The Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee will meet again April 1 at 9 a.m. to consider additional measures related to Illinois’ clean energy future.