A new community solar array has gone online in Apple Canyon Lake, IL. The new facility was built through a partnership with Jo-Carroll Energy and Bluestem Energy Solutions and came with a tax incentive to both counties. Along with the Apple Canyon installation, Illinois also saw a facility at Mount Carroll become operations, as well.
Jo-Carroll Energy and Bluestem Energy Solutions’ Apple Lake solar facility is a cost-saving opportunity for homeowners and small businesses in the county. According to the facility’s operations, customers of Jo-Carroll Energy have been given a chance to subscribe to the program. All participants of the facility receive a portion of the megawatts generated and become eligible to receive credits toward their monthly utility bills.
The new community solar array came about through a land lease agreement between Bluestem and several landowners in Apple Canyon Lake. In exchange for access to the land, Bluestem pays an annual leasing fee to the landowners. Bluestem plans to plant flowers known for high pollination beneath the installed panels to prevent the facilities from hindering the local agriculture and environment.
Through the new community solar program, Jo-Carroll Energy is able to solidify itself as a leader in renewable energy in Illinois. It generates local energy that’s filtered out to communities and small businesses while creating a revenue stream for the county. Community solar opens up the option for solar energy to underserved and low-income communities. The Mount Carroll solar facility will also generate revenue for its local municipality.
Throughout the life of the project, Bluestem is expected to pay $290,000 in property taxes. This revenue will go toward local services and schools to improve the local community. According to Jo-Carroll Energy CEO, Mike Casper, the goal of the energy company is to improve the lives of its customers. With Bluestem’s project, the provider has an outlet to give back to the community.