Legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) to help generate more solar projects while protecting farmland now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature in order to become law. Rep. Meier anticipates his proposal will help create more solar energy jobs in the state.
“These commercial solar projects are coming in quickly and creating a lot of jobs,” said Rep. Meier. “Everything is different in their contracts. Establishing a uniform standard for commercial solar projects will help provide some standards for landowners and help make sure there is financial protection for decommissioning the projects. We want to make sure this is done right while protecting Illinois’ number one industry, agriculture.”
Senate Bill 2591 sponsored by Rep. Meier and supported by the Illinois Farm Bureau, will require commercial solar energy developers to enter into an agricultural impact mitigation agreement (AIMA) with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA). The goal is to protect landowners and assure land impacted by construction and deconstruction be properly restored.
IDOA uses AIMAs to set minimum wind energy and utility construction standards on agricultural land, while landowners can negotiate additional easement requirements for their property.
Rep. Meier added, “Finding a way to help develop solar projects in our state and protect our farmland was a proposal I have worked on for quite some time. I anticipate this new law will prove beneficial to our state.”