Sol Systems and Illinois American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in Illinois, cut the ribbon on Illinois American Water’s first solar project located in Champaign County, Illinois. The 2.3-MW project includes bifacial panels, single-axis trackers and the installation of native grasses to promote local habitat growth.
Sol Systems partnered with construction firm Inovateus Solar to build the project. During construction, the surrounding land was planted with native grass mixtures, including Little Bluestem, Side Oats Grama and Blue Grama, which will aid the local ecosystem by expanding the footprint of these local florae.
“This is a really exciting project because of its multi-faceted impact to the communities we serve in Champaign County,” said Brent O’Neill, director of engineering for Illinois American Water. “Not only did the project support local jobs, but the resulting solar energy helps to reduce operational costs which benefits our customers and reduces our environmental footprint.”
Illinois American Water will purchase the electricity under a 15-year PPA with Sol Customer Solutions, benefitting from lower cost solar energy without the upfront cost of installing the project. Sol Customer Solutions is a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy. Arevon will manage the asset and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the project.