Home > News > Product news >

Worthy and necessary goal

Worthy and necessary goal
Issue Time:2018-04-24
This is a title

In 2017, 30 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. came from solar installations, second only to natural gas, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. California led the way in new solar installations last year, while Illinois ranked 40th among the states.

With hundreds of solar projects likely to pop up over the next few years, growing pains are inevitable, said Klein, of the Enviromental Law and Policy Center. Mending neighborhood disputes like the one in St. Anne will require a lot of education and patience, he said.

As costs come down and technology improves, the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy will require fewer and fewer mandates to get the utilities on board, Klein said.

ComEd announced a proposed rebate program earlier this month for business customers to develop solar projects. ComEd spokeswoman Annette Martinez said growing solar in Illinois was a “worthy and necessary goal.”

At the same time, Martinez said, the utility is concerned that its customers are funding the renewable energy program, but the incentives also extend to municipalities that produce their own power.

“We believe the funding for the program should be equitable and its benefits should go to those who pay into the program,” Martinez said.

One such case is west suburban St. Charles, a member of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, which provides its own power to residents and businesses. In September, St. Charles flipped the switch on a new 3-acre solar plant to feed into its municipal grid with enough electricity to power 70 residential customers.

The new plant was conceived before the Future Energy Jobs Act, but may be a beneficiary of the program — despite the fact that St. Charles electric customers do not pay into the ComEd renewable energy fund.

The 4,300-panel solar plant is a pilot program and part of the city’s own green initiative, said Tom Bruhl, St. Charles electric services manager.

“We’re trying to understand how this plant impacts the grid as a whole,” Bruhl said. “This shows our residents and businesses that we’re in … and it’s a viable technology.”

Bruhl said the solar plant has been seamless, quietly generating reliable power with costs in line with other power sources.

“It just runs,” Bruhl said. “If the sun is out, it’s producing.”

We will get you a fast free quote and schedule your job on the day and time that works best for you.