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Illinois Forbids Ban on Wind and Solar Projects by Local Governments

Illinois Forbids Ban on Wind and Solar Projects by Local Governments - Certrec

In January 2023, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that put a stop to the local governments in the State of Illinois from banning new development, so that wind and solar projects may be installed on their lands.

According to K&L Gates, “During January’s lame-duck session the Illinois General Assembly enacted, and Governor Pritzker signed into law, HB 4412, which requires counties and municipalities to adopt statewide standards for utility-scale solar and wind facilities. This law requires local zoning authorities to rewrite their zoning ordinance within 180 days to match the standards set in the law and precludes them from adopting bans or moratoria on future approvals of these renewable facilities.”


In 2021, the State of Illinois adopted a clean energy law called the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which called for increasing renewable energy sources “to further the State’s goals of transitioning the State to 100% clean energy; supporting a responsible transition away from carbon-intensive power generation; increasing public participation in regulatory matters; and encouraging further diversity and inclusion with the renewable energy industry.”

This Act made Illinois the first state in the Midwest to make it mandatory by law to transition towards 100 percent carbon-free electricity generation. The signing of the Act was celebrated with fervor, however, implementing the law would pose as a great challenge. While the Act was being signed, 15 counties of Illinois, with the most land to install renewables like wind and solar, were getting ready to pass restrictions on new development of renewables projects.

In addition to the local governments, the Illinois Farm Bureau also opposed the Act. They argued that longer distances between wind turbines and neighboring properties was necessary; and that the ability to regulate drainage plans for renewable energy projects must remain with the counties.

Reactions to the Bill HB4412 - Certrec

Reactions to the Bill HB4412

This bill has sparked debate all over the country and local government officials from Illinois are not happy at all, to say the least. According to Inside Climate News, the vice chairman of the Ford County Board, Cindy Ihrke, wrote in an email: “My concern is for the health, safety and general welfare of our citizens, something the state has seemingly lost sight of.” Cindy wrote that the bill takes away the ability of a county to regulate in its unique area. She went on to say that, “What is good for one county is not always good for the one next door.”

On the other hand, those supporting the bill say that the local governments are resisting the transition towards renewable energy, based on misleading and false information. They have passed restrictions that are not in the public interest.

Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Certrec. This content is meant for informational purposes only.