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Path to 100

When Illinois’ nascent but quickly growing renewable energy industry was threatened with a funding cliff that forced layoffs and caused businesses to shutter, industry leaders approached Aileron with an idea: Create a powerful coalition of businesses that empowered the renewable energy sector to increase its profile, highlight the clear benefits of renewable energy and advocate for itself.

The result? The Path to 100 Coalition became a key negotiator in Illinois’ landmark energy legislation that passed in September 2021. Today the law that is putting Illinois at the national forefront of the move to a renewable energy future.

Aileron worked closely with the Path to 100 leaders to develop a focused brand identity, public affairs plan and public relations strategy to get renewable energy back on track in Illinois.

The Path to 100 Coalition of wind and solar industry businesses and organizations is now a key player in the state’s energy policy. The group worked with legislative leaders to write the Path to 100 Act, a bill that established the 40% by 2030 renewable energy goal for Illinois along with policy fixes to streamline renewable development and increase diversity and equity. These goals became part of the energy package that was negotiated by organized labor, environmental advocates and the Path to 100 coalition. Coalition members included the Solar Energy Industry Association, Illinois Solar Energy Association, Coalition for Community Solar Access, and American Clean Power.

Path to 100 Ad

Path to 100 Ad

Website

Website

Chicago Sun Times

Chicago Sun Times

Energy Bill Signing

Energy Bill Signing

NPR

NPR

WTTW

WTTW

Job Fair

Job Fair

Path to 100 Ad

Path to 100 Ad

STRATEGIES & IMPLEMENTATION:

 

Aileron Communications served as the central communications hub to unite renewable energy business owners, supporters, legal experts, lobbyists, and government officials with unified communication messages, strategies, and timing.

Aileron created the Path to 100 brand, website and collateral materials in order to rapidly launch a legislative campaign

in 2019.

Messaging and strategy – Aileron worked with the Path to 100 coalition to develop and deploy messaging that supported strong energy and climate legislation in Illinois. These efforts helped highlight the clear economic, social, and environmental benefits of supporting renewable energy.

Media relations – Aileron wrote press releases, spearheaded interviews and tours, and connected with media outlets to generate positive media coverage around the Path to 100’s efforts and coalition. This resulted in hundreds of placements across regional, statewide and national outlets.

Web and social media – Aileron extended the Path to 100’s messaging through a campaign website, e-advocacy and newsletters, and a comprehensive, coordinated social media strategy around key events throughout campaign.

 
THE RESULTS:

After a contentious two and a half years of debate, revisions, concessions and collaboration between energy, environmental, labor and other interests, the Path to 100 Act shaped the renewable energy provisions of Illinois’ omnibus energy legislation that was signed into law in September 2021. In addition to guaranteeing renewed funding for Illinois’ solar and wind energy industries, the forward-thinking act also included:

  • Phasing out fossil fuels in Illinois’ power sector

  • Growing renewable energy more than five-fold

  • Creating new equity and diversity standards for renewable energy

  • Formalizing the partnership between renewable energy and organized labor

  • Electrifying the transportation sector

  • Supporting communities who will be impacted by the energy transition

  • Created clean-energy jobs with guaranteed fair wages