Utility Scale

Ameresco developing 27-MW solar farm in north-central Illinois

Renewables and energy storage developer Ameresco will design and build an Illinois solar farm which could generate 37,000 MWh in its first year of operation, the company said.

Work on the DePue solar farm is expected to begin next summer. Ameresco hopes to complete it by late 2020.

The site at the village of DePue will be composed of more than 71,000 solar photovoltaic panels installed on ballast blocks. In order to protect the existing remediation on brownfield sites, solar arrays do not penetrate the ground, instead racking systems are carefully installed on ballast blocks entirely above ground.

 Its generating capacity will total close to 27 MW.

Power generated from the solar farm will be connected into the grid and either sold to utility Ameren or to corporate off-takers via a power purchase agreement. The Village will collect permitting fees during the site’s development  and about $10,000 annually after completion.

“The village of DePue is very happy to be the home of the Ameresco Solar project and is looking forward to working with them to make it a reality,” said Eric Bryant, Village President.

 “Solar is a powerful renewable energy resource for a community like DePue as well as Bureau County, both of which stand to benefit economically while this development also closely aligns with the environmental objectives of the state of Illinois,” said Louis P. Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “Ameresco has had tremendous success in the beneficial repurposing of existing land and we are looking forward to working closely with the Village to bring renewable energy to their local community.”

Ameresco has developed numerous solar power sites across the U.S., including California, Massachusetts, Illinois and Connecticut.

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Solar power will be key part of the content in the Wind and Solar Knowledge Hub at POWERGEN International, happening Nov. 19-21 in New Orleans. Experts from First Solar, HDR, Dominion Energy and Texas Tech University will be at POWERGEN speaking on solar issues.

Ameresco’s Jacqueline DeRosa, vice president of energy storage systems, will be part of the “Across All Sectors” mega-session also featuring executives from Black & Veatch and Mitsubishi Hitaci Power Systems Americas.