castro solar 070523SPRINGFIELD – Employees working on solar projects that receive renewable energy credits from the state of Illinois will be paid the prevailing wage under a new law spearheaded by State Senator Cristina Castro.

“During my time in the Senate, I have been an outspoken advocate for fair wages and wage equality in Illinois,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “Supporting fair wages for employees working on solar projects ensures workers – not just developers – benefit from clean energy incentives and opportunities.”

Under the new law, developers who apply to the Illinois Solar for All program are required to pay the prevailing wage on solar projects that receive renewable energy credits. The law provides exemptions for residential buildings and small projects on houses of worship.

The Prevailing Wage Act requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers, workers and mechanics employed on public works projects no less than the general prevailing rate of wages for similar work in the county where the work is performed. Castro’s law classifies participating solar projects as public works projects for the purposes of these prevailing wage requirements.

“Illinois is a state that respects workers’ rights and fights for a living wage,” said Castro. “We have made progress on raising the minimum wage, preventing wage theft and instituting equal pay protections. Extending these same protections to solar workers just makes sense – especially when we reward solar developers for bringing their business to Illinois.”

House Bill 3351 was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.