SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura spearheaded new legislation that would lift the limits on hydropower plants.

Currently Illinois is ranked 46th in the nation when it comes to hydropower. With Senate Bill 1474 passing the Energy and Public Utility Committee Thursday, Ventura hopes to advance Illinois’ renewable energy sector.

“By having hydropower in our communities, we can increase jobs, lower the price of energy and protect our planet,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Supporting hydropower today will allow Illinoisans to reap economic and environmental rewards for decades to come.”

Under Ventura’s measure, the Illinois Power Agency would be required to procure a percentage of its renewable energy credits from hydropower dams. This would help increase the use of this renewable energy source, while also promoting environmental conservation by using dams that already exist.

This initiative is aimed to support hydropower dams across the state including the Kankakee Hydropower Dam, the Wilmington Dam, and the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

“This legislation addresses the energy problem across the state,” said Ventura. “Illinois struggled to generate base load capacity so the cost of electricity doubled for hardworking families. Expanding renewable energy, especially base load capacity, through clean and affordable hydropower is crucial for Illinois to meet the demands of the future.”

Senate Bill 1474 passed the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee on Thursday and awaits further consideration before the full Senate.