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Posted on: October 16, 2019

City of Elgin Subscribes to First Community Solar Project in Illinois

aerial photo of 3700 solar panel installation on Davis Rd

Elgin Commits to Renewable Energy by Subscribing Energy Accounts to Illinois' First Community Solar Project

The City of Elgin will be the largest subscriber to the first community solar project in the state. The Rainy Solar project, located at 1111 Davis Road in Elgin, consists of a 3,700 panel solar rooftop installation in which the City of Elgin will subscribe over 20 energy accounts. The subscription will realize savings for the municipality while also supporting the growth of locally-generated renewable energy. Rainy Solar, a division of Elgin-based Rainy Investments, will host a dedication event on Thursday, October 17 at 11:00 a.m. to celebrate this first community solar project (registration required).

"This is yet one more way Elgin shows its commitment to renewable energy," said Mayor David Kaptain. "Elgin has a long history of being proactive and leading by example. Since adopting a solar and wind ordinance five years ago, we've worked to improve our permitting process, achieved the Silver Solsmart designation and created a volunteer solar workgroup to help educate the community."

Elgin has seen tremendous growth in solar installations, especially over the past two years. From 2013 to 2017, a total of eight solar permits were issued by the City. Thirty-five permits were issued in 2018, and there have been 125 solar permits issued so far in 2019.

Since the creation of Elgin's Solar Workgroup, an arm of the Sustainability Commission, the City has actively promoted "going solar" by hosting educational workshops as part of the Citizens Utility Board's (CUB) Solarize Chicagoland initiative, achieving the Silver Solsmart designation, hosting the Fox Valley Sustainability Network's Solar Energy Forum, sharing solar information at special events like the Downtown Neighborhood Association's Farmers Market and through the partnership with EnergySage to provide an online platform for residents and business owners to learn about and shop for solar.

"Since achieving its SolSmart Silver designation this Spring, Elgin has doubled down on solar efforts," said Sustainability Commissioner Erik Anderson. "It has rebooted its solar workgroup and is still looking for more area residents to volunteer their time to help with various solar projects. This work is necessary to keep growing solar here in Elgin."
About the Community Solar Project
The Rainy Solar community solar project is a rooftop mounted photovoltaic solar array installed by WCP Solar and completed in 2018. The system sits on top of a 120,000-square-foot building and includes more than 3,700 panels. The ComEd grid connected system will create an annual estimated generation of 1.3 million kWhs. The power output for the project is fully subscribed and will supply solar power benefits in the form of lower cost renewable energy credits to eight Chicago municipalities including Elgin, Highland Park, Oak Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Glencoe, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.

“We are proud to have the first built and operated community solar project in the state. Community solar will be a key driver in the new energy economy In Illinois,” said Rainy Solar CEO and entrepreneur, Ken "Bucky" Buckman. Rainy Solar, which owns and operates the project also stated that it could not have realized the full potential of this project without the state of Illinois passing the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) of 2017.

Through FEJA, new renewable energy sites in Illinois including community solar projects will help to create a clean energy economy for the state through job creation, and the reduction of carbon by displacing legacy coal generating units in the state.

The Rainy Solar project is part of the Illinois Power Agency’s Community Solar program and was selected in the Illinois Adjustable Block Program lottery administered by the Illinois Power Agency. Through the agency’s solar program, subscribers receive net metering credits against their monthly ComEd invoices for their prorated share of the energy generated by the project. Subscribers can be commercial and residential customers who are part of the ComEd system. MC Squared Energy Services, LLC (mc2) is the subscription manager for Rainy Solar to help bring customers (subscribers) to the project.

For more information, please contact: Molly Gillespie at 847-931-5613.


About Elgin

Nestled along the banks of the Fox River, Elgin, Illinois is approximately 38 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and is home to over 112,000 people. The growing city enjoys ready access to public transportation, diverse housing stock and a mix of commercial establishments. The city's AAA bond rating is testament to its strong financial management and solid economic environment. Many national and international businesses have taken advantage of Elgin’s close proximity to the Elgin-O’Hare Tollway and to the “Golden Corridor of Technology and Commerce” along Interstate-90. Elgin features a nationally acclaimed library system, an array of healthcare options and educational opportunities for all ages. Residents and visitors enjoy a thriving cultural arts community, world-class parks, award-winning golf courses, historical museums and nearly 200 places of worship. This vibrant, diverse and volunteer-rich community is known for its strong history of civic engagement. 

About Rainy Solar
A solar investment company leveraging current local, state, and federal solar incentives available with the new Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA). The company currently has more than 6,000 panels located on industrial rooftops generating over 2.5 MW. Rainy Solar will become the state of Illinois’ very first community solar project to go live in 2019. Being the pioneer in this field has allowed Rainy Solar to build a deep team to handle every aspect of community solar from design, finance, install, legal, PPAs (selling the power), and back end administrative. Although there is a flood of solar companies now racing to Illinois to focus on community solar, Rainy Solar is the only company to accomplish this and collect the incentives which gives them a unique ability to help others achieve successful projects moving forward. Rainy Solar is actively seeking additional commercial scale solar projects of all types.

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