Chicago Heights community solar site to serve low-to-moderate income customers, helping them save money and reduce carbon footprint
CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (Dec. 7, 2023) – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker today joined Reactivate and ComEd in Chicago Heights to announce the 100th community solar site in northern Illinois, which will serve low-to-moderate income ComEd customers, and is one of the first community solar sites located in a Cook County environmental justice community. The solar farm, Verduin, is planned to be placed in service by the end of December.
“Since day one as Governor, I’ve made it my mission to advance clean energy through out our state, ushering in a new era of environmental justice and sustainability for every community,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “That’s why, in 2021, I signed my administration’s landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which increased funding for the Illinois Solar for All program, giving lower-income customers access to initiatives like Reactivate’s Verduin community solar project. This is exactly the kind of partnership that benefits our communities, our environment, and our economy all in one, and I am so thankful for ComEd and Reactivate’s leadership and collaboration to make our vision a reality.”
Community solar allows all ComEd customers to realize the benefits of clean solar energy without installing solar panels of their own. Participants subscribe to a solar energy “farm” of solar panels owned by an independent developer and earn credits on their monthly ComEd bills for their portion of the energy produced by the project. In Illinois, community solar customers can subscribe up to 200% of their last 12 months of electricity usage. Energy generated by the community solar project flows to ComEd’s grid and becomes part of the overall energy supply.
“We are proud to partner with Reactivate and to support their leading efforts to help more customers reduce their energy costs and reduce their own carbon footprint through community solar,” said Gil Quiniones, CEO, ComEd. “These projects will enable ComEd customers, particularly low-to-moderate income customers, to save money on their electric bills while supporting the expansion of renewable energy and Illinois’ ambitious clean energy goals.”
“We are overjoyed to bring another community solar project to the environmental justice community of Chicago Heights, and there are more to come,” said Utopia Hill, CEO, Reactivate. “Our projects implement many of the goals of Illinois’ CEJA with the inclusion of prevailing wages, minority and women-owned business contracting, workforce training and job opportunities, and direct bill savings to hard working Illinois families. We applaud Gov. Pritzker for the priority that he is placing on creating an equitable clean energy future in Illinois. We share his dedication to renewable energy for all.”
Reactivate’s Verduin community solar project in Chicago Heights includes approximately 5,200 solar panels and occupies approximately 20 acres on Cottage Grove Avenue. Reactivate has five additional community solar projects underway in northern Illinois: one each in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, Monee, Granite City, and Rockford. These six projects will generate approximately 10.5 megawatts of clean energy in total and will serve the energy needs of approximately 3,000 homes, of which the majority are low-to-moderate income households.
Enacted in 2021, Illinois’ CEJA increases support for renewable energy to reach 40 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040 of statewide electricity deliveries. It creates nearly 9,800 megawatts of new solar capacity and increases funding forthe Illinois Solar for All program, which gives lower-income customers access to solar power, from $30 million to $70 million annually. The 100 community solar projects in northern Illinois currently serve approximately 23,000 ComEd customers.
The multi-year grid and rate plans ComEd filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) earlier this year support this rapid expansion of renewable energy and help ensure equitable access to the benefits of clean energy under CEJA. The plans align with ComEd 2030, the company's recently announced vision for a carbon-free energy future that will benefit all communities and meet customers' changing needs for the rest of this decade and beyond.
ComEd customers can visit www.ComEd.com/Solar to learn more about solar options, the interconnection process, and use the ComEd community solar calculator, which provides an estimate for potential customer savings. Customers interested in subscribing to Reactivate’s projects can visit: https://solstice.us/ILsun
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Reactivate is a mission-driven renewable energy company, that develops, owns, and operates renewable energy projects to improve the lives of people in low-to-moderate income and energy transition communities across the country. Reactivate’s primary focus areas are community solar, small utility scale solar, energy storage, and EV charging projects. Reactivate creates positive social and environmental impact in underserved communities by delivering renewable energy, environmental benefits, job opportunities, energy cost savings and opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. Reactivate was founded by Invenergy and Lafayette Square. Learn more about Reactivate by visiting www.reactivate.com.