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    From inventing barbed wire to the cell phone, Illinois has always been home to innovation. Today, renewable energy is leading the state into a new era of advancement. The transition to renewable energy is in full swing, and Illinois is at the forefront of its incredible benefits. As we concluded the second annual American Clean Power Week, let us celebrate Illinois’ economic progress through clean energy leadership that has widened the lens of the industry’s impact.

    As Co-Founder and CEO at Solstice, I have the pleasure of seeing the benefits of clean energy development every day. Illinois has grown into a renewable energy powerhouse increasing job creation and local economic investment. According to the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the renewable energy industry supports...

    15,700 jobs in Illinois. Recent federal infrastructure and state clean energy legislation will boost the industry to new heights, leading local job growth to follow quickly. With more renewable energy projects in development and on the grid, Illinois can support stable jobs that put food on the table for its families.

    With agriculture investing more than $19 billion annually into the state's economy, the nation depends on Illinois farmers to feed and fuel our communities. In 2022, landowners and farmers received $52.9 million in land lease payments from renewable energy projects in Illinois. As our farmers feel the impact of financial strain and risk losing crops to natural disasters, these projects make the sun and wind another type of crop to harvest and offer a stable source of income.

    Renewable energy projects have offered a helping hand through economic investment. According to ACP, clean power projects have invested $63 million in Illinois communities through local, state, and property tax investments, which go towards our community's roads, schools, and emergency services.

    The economic benefits don't stop there. Our renewable energy leadership is drawing significant corporate investments, such as Comcast's purchase of Grundy County's Blue Sky Solar Project. The purchase will generate $36.3 million in tax revenue, including $25.4 million slated to go directly to local schools. These agreements contribute to job creation, attract more business, and invest in our local communities.

    Finally, innovative programs like community solar have served to bring clean energy’s benefits beyond the corporate world and rooftop solar market to thousands of households who stand to benefit from monthly savings. As clean energy grows, financing and technology innovation will continue to spread its benefits to communities all across Illinois.

    Clean energy offers incredible opportunities for our state's leaders to invest in a robust economy by creating jobs, supporting our farmers and funding essential services. This American Clean Power Week, I urge our officials to embrace the economic benefits of clean energy development and invest in our state's bright future.

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