A community solar program is only as good as its subscriber base. For Clearway Energy Group, its Illinois community solar portfolio just got stronger thanks to Northwestern University. The university recently subscribed to Clearway’s 11.9-megawatt community solar project. That’s the equivalent of 3,600 people deciding to ride a bike over driving.
By joining the community solar portfolio, Northwestern is committing to a long-term relationship with Clearway. The money earned from the university’s subscription will help the energy group expand its community solar project. It will also have a hand in creating employment in the “green” sector and improving Illinois’ renewable energy output.
Business and finance vice president at Northwestern, Craig Johnson, marked the occasion by touting the university’s commitment to helping with the success of renewable energy and solar development. According to Johnson, the university is always on the lookout for new ways to put the environment first.
Clearway leads the United States in community solar. Just before Northwestern announced it was joining the Illinois community solar portfolio, the energy group revealed it was moving ahead with constructing additional solar farms through a $200 million solar fund. The new farms would be spread across Minnesota, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts.
Clearway Energy Group’s CEO, Craig Cornelius, confirmed the partnership and the benefits of having Northwestern join the Illinois community solar portfolio. Chief among them was funding the subscription provided to develop solar farms to service residential, commercial, and municipal customers.
Currently, the Illinois Shines Program allows ComEd and Ameren customers to receive credits on their utility bills for being a community solar subscriber. Along with the financial benefit to customers, renewable energy and solar power are economically beneficial and allow money to be injected back into the state.
Clearway is just one of many companies working with Illinois to hit the state’s goal of producing 25% of its power from clean and renewable electricity by 2025.