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updated: 10/7/2019 9:02 PM

State, village leaders tour Wheeling solar panel facility

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  • State Sen. Julie Morrison, along with Wheeling Economic Development Director John Melaniphy and Village Trustee Mary Papantos look over a solar panel Monday at the Vivint Solar facility in Wheeling, as employees Chris Parrott and Zachary Hores explain the products made there.

    State Sen. Julie Morrison, along with Wheeling Economic Development Director John Melaniphy and Village Trustee Mary Papantos look over a solar panel Monday at the Vivint Solar facility in Wheeling, as employees Chris Parrott and Zachary Hores explain the products made there.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • State Sen. Julie Morrison, state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, Wheeling Village Trustee Mary Papantos and Wheeling Economic Development Director John Melaniphy toured the Vivint Solar facility in Wheeling on Monday.

    State Sen. Julie Morrison, state Rep. Jonathan Carroll, Wheeling Village Trustee Mary Papantos and Wheeling Economic Development Director John Melaniphy toured the Vivint Solar facility in Wheeling on Monday.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

State lawmakers and local officials got a firsthand look at the growing solar power industry Monday when they toured the Vivint Solar factory in Wheeling.

State Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield and state Rep. Jonathan Carroll of Buffalo Grove were among the dignitaries to visit the 20,000-square-foot plant on Messner Drive. The factory supports 250 jobs and has managed more than 600 residential solar installations in the past year, according to company officials.

Besides showing off the facility, Vivint officials pitched to the lawmakers what they see as the importance of supporting renewable energy through state policy. Legislation currently before the General Assembly called the Path to 100 Act, which includes provisions to offer tax incentives for large-scale solar energy projects.

Without the legislation, supporters say, funding for renewable energy projects in Illinois will drop off sharply following the 2019-20 fiscal year.