Construction has started on a group of four Illinois community solar projects, Clearway Energy Group and Clearway Community Solar announced. The farms are the company’s first in Illinois and will generate 12-megawatts of electricity once completed. Clearway is expected to have a 60-megawatt community solar portfolio across Illinois.
According to CEO Craig Cornelius, the groundbreaking ceremony was done safely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects were too important to the community not to commence construction, Cornelius confirms, as they will help the state achieve its renewable energy goals. The construction of these four Illinois community solar projects is also a step toward providing residents and businesses an option to participate in solar energy.
The projects are being supported by the Illinois Shines Community Solar Program, which was developed as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act. According to Clearway, construction projects will bring in more than 70 jobs. After construction has been completed and the sites are operational, there will be a need for permanent positions.
As construction just started, the four Illinois community solar projects are scheduled for activation in 2021. The energy generated by each site will help power more than 1,800 homes and businesses serviced by ComEd. This will stretch across Chicago and include the Village of Fox River Grove and Northwestern University.
When operational, residential and commercial customers will be able to subscribe to the community solar at no upfront cost. They’ll receive the benefits of solar energy without having to install panels of their own. Each month, subscribers will also receive credits toward their solar bill.
Clearway Community Solar is a community solar leader with a portfolio that expands beyond 200-megawatts of projects across the United States. The energy company currently serves more than 15,000 customers, a number that will grow with the completion of these four Illinois projects.