Illinois takes leap forward around renewable energy generation with the addition of 84 MW of community solar

This series of projects, slated to generate 84 MW of solar energy, will significantly contribute to Illinois’ goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching 100% renewables by 2050.

The portfolio consists of three sets of community solar gardens: six sites with a capacity of approximately 47 MW, four sites totaling 12 MW, and four sites representing 25 MW. Construction is set to commence in 2024, with most of the projects reaching completion by the end of the year. All remaining arrays are anticipated to be completed in 2025.

Standard Solar acquired the 14-project portfolio from developer New Leaf Energy. This partnership with New Leaf, one that has involved an additional six projects, exemplifies both companies’ dedication to expanding renewables and equitable access to clean energy benefits for residents throughout the state.

“Closing on this sizeable portfolio exemplifies Standard Solar’s capability to excel even in a demanding economic landscape,” said Mike Streams, Chief Development Officer at Standard Solar. “In an industry where such deals often pose challenges and consume substantial time, our collaboration with New Leaf Energy has been remarkably smooth, thanks to the dedicated transaction teams on both sides. Our relationship with New Leaf Energy is built on mutual goals, and we eagerly anticipate many more successful deals together.”

“New Leaf Energy is proud to work with a great partner like Standard Solar to deliver clean energy to customers throughout Illinois,” says New Leaf Energy Vice President of Development for the Midwest Ryan Bailey. “New Leaf has made a long-term commitment to the state of Illinois thanks to the state’s ambitious clean energy targets, and we are excited to continue building long-term relationships with local communities to diversify their energy sources and bring additional revenue into their local economies.”

The community solar model is unique. It brings the benefits of locally produced clean energy to residents and businesses that might not normally be able to access them because they are not able to install solar panels themselves. A series of projects this size will usher in a host of economic advantages to the surrounding communities including employment opportunities, credit on electricity bills for subscribers, and an enhanced overall energy supply.

“These community solar projects will empower customers, especially those with lower to moderate incomes, to realize significant cost savings on their electricity bills, all while contributing to the growth of renewable energy and advancing Illinois’ ambitious clean energy objectives,” said Harry Benson, Director of Business Development, Standard Solar. “Amidst a year of record-breaking temperatures and rising energy costs in the state, Illinois is providing its residents a clear path to clean, affordable energy for a more sustainable future.”

Illinois leaders have taken a forward-thinking approach to a carbon-free future via the proliferation of community solar, actively tapping the model to allow greater energy equity for disadvantaged communities and bolster their economic growth.