Illinois-based utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Virginia-based solar developer Summit Ridge Energy have announced the completion of three community solar projects in Streator, Illinois.
The projects include the 80th community solar project in ComEd’s northern Illinois service region. According to the utility, these projects will offer savings on ComEd electric bills for residents, contribute to the expansion of renewable energy and help meet Illinois’ clean energy goals.
The projects, which comprise over 16,700 solar panels spanning 38 acres along North 14th Road, are expected to generate 6 MW of clean energy, enough to power between 1,000 and 1,200 average homes.
The three projects were made possible by Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) enacted in 2021, which supports renewable energy to reach 40 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040. The act creates nearly 9.8 GW of new solar capacity and increases funding for the Illinois Solar for All program from $30 million to $70 million annually.
“ComEd and Summit Ridge Energy are proud to play a leading role in the growth of community solar in Illinois,” said Scott Vogt, Vice President of Strategy and Energy Policy at ComEd. “These three new projects, and reaching the 80th project milestone, demonstrate our commitment to increasing equitable access to clean energy, and we applaud Summit Ridge for its leadership.”
ComEd, a unit of Chicago-based energy firm Exelon, aims to double the number of community solar projects on its electric grid to over 150 by year-end, serving about 36,000 customers.
Community solar enables all ComEd customers to benefit from clean solar energy without the need for installing solar panels of their own. Customers can subscribe to a solar energy “farm” of solar panels owned by an independent developer and receive credits on their monthly ComEd bills for the portion of energy generated by the project. In Illinois, customers can subscribe up to 110 percent of their last year’s electricity usage. The energy produced by the community solar project is fed into ComEd’s grid, contributing to the overall energy supply.
Summit Ridge Energy expects to complete more than 50 community solar projects in northern Illinois by the end of 2023, helping ComEd to bring reliable and clean energy to its customers. It currently has an energy portfolio of more than 250 MW across the state.