Lawmakers were able to restore protections for farmers and landowners, which had been recently stripped away in a controversial law backed by the Governor that took control of wind and solar farms from local governments.
State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) says Senate Bill 1699 was needed to undo some of the damage resulting from the Governor’s green energy push. He says this legislation is a positive step in the right direction, but he continues to advocate for restoring local control over wind and solar projects.
Senate Bill 1699 would protect farmers and landowners by requiring wind and solar developers to plan for and repair or pay for agricultural crop losses, damage to subsurface drainage systems, as well as requiring them to repair or pay for the restoration of surface drainage caused by construction and deconstruction of wind and solar facilities.
Passed unanimously by the Senate and the House of Representatives, this legislation will require a study on the potential impact of proposals on the stability and reliability of the state’s electrical grid. The legislation also makes a technical change allowing the Adjustable Block Program to include at least 15 percent renewable generation on public school land rather than just public schools, which could help schools that want to invest in solar or wind projects to save money on utilities.