ENGIE North America (ENGIE) is partnering with Microsoft to develop two community solar projects in Illinois to significantly reduce electricity costs for historically excluded communities, such as under-resourced communities, not-for-profit organizations, and other economically disadvantaged groups. ENGIE will develop, construct, and operate the community solar gardens, and together, the projects are expected to have a 4.75 MW capacity.
ENGIE and Microsoft will also work with Solstice, a community solar provider, who will engage directly with residents, businesses, and community organizations to enroll and manage community solar customers with the local community gardens. Solstice’s organization model provides access to renewables for Americans who do not have adequate roof space or the financial means to install rooftop solar systems.
Once fully subscribed, the two solar gardens could save Illinois subscribers up to $450,000 in total, with some participants benefiting from up to a 60% savings in their energy bill.
“At a time when energy costs are rising and are a particular burden on lower-income communities, the opportunity to access clean, renewable, locally produced power and reduce daily costs is an important part of accelerating the energy transition,” said Laura Caspari, Senior Vice President Power Marketing and Commercial Strategy, ENGIE North America. “This collaboration with Microsoft to help grow access to lower-cost renewables for residents and organizations across Illinois reflects our shared desire to widen the positive impact of the energy transition to an increasingly diverse set of communities.”
Construction on both projects is set to commence in late 2023.