Proposed Community Solar Project for Frankfort, IL

solar panel arc on roof
Community Solar

Discussions have begun over a proposed community solar project for the town fo Frankfort, IL. At least one developer has conceived plans for the new project, which is currently being hindered by the town’s moratorium on solar installations.

The proposed community solar project was brought forward by OurGeneration managing partner, Dan Leary, who presented a concept that included building a 27-acre parcel of land. The solar farm required for the community solar project would sit between Bleecker Street and Route 5S, right across from the former site of Chicago Pneumatic.

Leary’s presentation was given during a joint meeting of Frankfort’s planning and zoning boards. According to the plan, the array would be connected to the nearby National Grid substation and tied to overhead lines. Leary explained how the array would use 21 of the 27 acres, leaving room for setback requirements. The project would generate upwards of 5 megawatts of power.

As part of a community solar program, the new array would provide subscribed National Grid customers with a 10% discount on their monthly utility bill. Leary explained during the joint meeting that customers would not be tied into long-term contracts, and there would be no penalties for canceling. Due to the amount of electricity generated, only a limited number of customers could take part, but Leary confirms that when one leaves, another could take their place.

Hindering the progress this and any possible solar projects is the 18-month moratorium put in place in November 2019 by the town board. The zoning and planning boards were approached to make a recommendation on the matter, especially since the town of Frankfort would benefit from the project. Along with a reduction in carbon emissions, the town would receive income from a 15-year payment plan agreed upon in lieu of taxes. According to Leary, it would generate $70,000 over the 15 year period.


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