New state requirements and incentives are drawing renewable energy developers to Illinois.
The 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act requires Illinois utilities to have renewable sources account for 25 percent of their retail power by 2025. The act has an annual budget of more than $200 million to create programs and incentives that encourage solar development.
The state hopes to add 2,800 megawatts of solar energy over the next few years, which would power about 450,000 homes.
Delbert Skimerhorn is Kankakee County's planning department manager. He says the county has 25 proposed solar farms, likely due to the area's relatively inexpensive farmland and easy access to the ComEd grid.
Some area residents worry the projects will negatively impact property values, the area's landscape and residents' health.