Earlier this month, Sol Systems and Illinois American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in Illinois, cut the ribbon on their second solar project, located in Peoria, Ill. The 2.3-megawatt (MW) solar project includes bifacial panels and single-axis trackers and will generate the equivalent electricity each year of approximately 350 homes.
This is the second project collaboration of its kind for Sol Systems and Illinois American Water. They cut the ribbon on their first 2.3 MW array, located in Champaign County, in November 2021.
Justin Ladner, Illinois American Water President, said the Solar Fields support the company’s “commitment to protect the environment, while supporting sustainability and affordability.” He added, “The vast majority of energy consumed by water utilities is used to pump water. By reducing energy consumption and emissions we can use water more efficiently, protect the environment and reduce costs to our customers.”
“This project demonstrates Illinois American Water’s commitment to the communities it serves,” said Andrew Grin, Vice President at Sol Systems. “Through onsite solar, Illinois American Water succeeds in reducing its reliance on fossil fuels, cutting its operating costs, and improving the sustainability of its operations.”
Illinois American Water will purchase the electricity under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sol Customer Solutions, enabling the company to realize low, fixed electricity costs without upfront expenditure. Sol Customer Solutions is a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy, Inc. Arevon will manage the asset and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the project.
Sol Systems partnered with construction firm Melink Solar to build the project. The project’s features include bifacial panels, which take in additional reflected energy on both sides of each panel, and single-axis trackers that rotate the panels to face the sun throughout the day.
“Melink Solar is grateful for the partnership and forward thinking approaches of Illinois American Water and Sol Systems. These organizations are helping lead the clean energy revolution to help improve our global economy, security and environment – for ourselves, our children and future generations,” said Seth Parker, Vice President and General Manager, Melink Solar.
To see photos from the ribbon cutting event, visit Illinois American Water’s Facebook page.