Comcast acquiring majority of 300-MW Blue Sky Solar farm output under development in Illinois

April 1, 2022
Comcast’s 15-year power purchase agreement sets aside 250 MW of solar capacity to offset and reduce carbon emissions. The 250 MW would account for about 12 percent of Comcast’s overall U.S. operations.

Entertainment giant Comcast is paying generation utility Constellation in a long-term deal to help fund construction of a 300-MW solar project in Illinois.

The Blue Sky Solar Project is being developed by Scout Clean Energy. Comcast’s 15-year power purchase agreement sets aside 250 MW of solar capacity to offset and reduce carbon emissions from its Chicago area operations.

The 250 MW would account for about 12 percent of Comcast’s overall U.S. energy use. Philadelphia-based Comcast owns internet services, cable networks and broadcast companies such as NBC, CNBC, USA Network SyFy, among many others.

The mass media conglomerate hopes to be carbon neutral by 2035.

“This marks the first of many major green investments that are already underway or on the immediate horizon which demonstrate our commitment to sustainable, responsible business.” said Peter Kiriacoulacos, Executive Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Comcast.

Comcast’s renewable energy strategy will prioritize securing green tariffs, direct power purchase agreements (PPAs), and virtual PPAs through contracts that bring new renewable capacity to the grid. It will also include building onsite renewable energy capacity and supplementing electricity needs with purchases from existing clean energy projects or renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Earlier this year,  Scout Clean Energy announced it had acquired the utility-scale Blue Sky Solar project from the RES Group. It is predicted to provide 585,000 MWh of carbon-free, renewable electricity.

Blue Sky Solar, once it’s operational, will discharge solar power into the PJM Interconnection. Scout Energy expects to employ about 400 construction jobs and 20 long-term posts once it’s completed and operational by December 2024.

The project is being located on agricultural cropland in Gundy County, Ill. The total 300-MW capacity could offset 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide compared to conventional power generation, according to the company website.

Scout Energy also is developing utility-scale solar and wind projects in Texas, South Dakota, California, Washington, Indiana and Illinois.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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