IRA and CEJA improve payback for solar and storage in Illinois

Solar panels on Magid Roof

The climate provisions of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are good news for the country and the planet. This legislation creates particularly attractive opportunities for solar and energy storage in Illinois, where the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) provides additional incentives.

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law August 16, 2022, allocates an estimated $369 billion towards clean energy and climate resiliency, including expansion of incentives targeted at reducing reliance on energy purchased from the grid, making operations more resilient, and transitioning the country to clean energy sources. The IRA extends the renewable energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to 2033 and makes it available to standalone storage and storage added to existing solar installations.  It also now applies to interconnection costs (those associated with tying a project to the grid), which can be significant. The ITC generally starts at 30% of applicable project costs and can be increased based on certain provisions, including siting of a project in an energy community or low-income community, and for projects using domestically made equipment. The IRA also makes the ITC available for direct payout to tax-exempt organizations.

The Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) was passed in September of 2021 with the goal of transitioning the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050. CEJA incentives include an extension of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) paid to solar energy producers, rebates for energy storage systems installed with solar, and reductions in the cost of interconnection.

CEJA and IRA combined make Illinois one of the nation’s most favorable states for solar and energy storage. Greenleaf energy partner Intelligent Generation (IG) has a history optimizing economics of solar and storage in Illinois through its software platform that maximizes bill savings and generates revenues through participation in wholesale power markets. In many cases, the incentives available through the IRA and CEJA can be combined to pay back the majority of project costs within the first year, enabling attractive returns.

In addition to solar and storage, Greenleaf Advisors can help facilities managers to take advantage of other energy incentives now available, such as for deployment of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems and microgrids through our network of energy solutions providers.

If you own or manage a commercial or industrial facility, school or municipality, Greenleaf and its service partners can often help you pursue an improved path forward for clean, resilient, economic power and energy services. Contact to get started.

(Photo: Solar and storage project managed by Intelligent Generation at Magid Safety, Romeoville, IL)

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