Six community solar projects start construction in Illinois

Once complete, Clearway’s 60 MW Illinois community solar portfolio will serve thousands of residential, commercial, and industrial customers. (Photo: Minnesota community solar)

Today, Clearway Energy Group announced that construction is now underway on six of its Illinois community solar projects, totaling 18-MW of capacity.

The projects are part of an 18-project, 54-MW portfolio sold to Clearway in 2019 under a master purchase agreement with Cypress Creek Renewables, which acted as the originator and early-stage developer for the majority of Clearway’s Illinois community solar portfolio. Clearway recently announced that four other Illinois community solar projects from this master purchase agreement have broken ground on construction as well. 

Once complete in 2021, the six community solar farms will serve more than nearly 2,160 residential and commercial subscribers in the ComEd and Ameren service territories in DeKalb, Macoupin, McLean, and Will counties. The clean power generated from these six projects will be the equivalent of removing over 4,200 cars from the road each year or offsetting emissions from burning nearly 22 million pounds of coal, said Clearway.

Participants receive solar bill credits that reduce their electricity supply charges, with overall guaranteed cost savings. In May, Clearway announced that Northwestern University would become its first major institutional community solar subscriber in Illinois and receive bill credits generated from projects that include those announced today. 

Brian Matthay, Chief Investment Officer for Cypress Creek Renewables said, “It’s important to Cypress Creek that solar power is affordable and accessible to all, and our focus on community solar in Illinois and other regions reflects our company’s commitment to equitable clean energy access — a commitment that we share with our partners at Clearway.” 

The projects are supported by the Illinois Shines Community Solar Program, which was designed as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act. Clearway’s community solar portfolio in Illinois will create more than 70 jobs during construction as well as permanent positions once operating, representing a significant economic investment in the state. 

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“Community solar is uniquely positioned to give everyone access to clean, cost-saving renewable power,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “We’re proud to lead the growth of this burgeoning sector and to partner with Cypress Creek to ensure that the twenty-first century energy economy is equitable and carbon-free. In the ongoing movement to address climate change, solar projects like these will help Illinois succeed in that effort.”

Clearway is actively accepting new Illinois subscribers for its community solar projects that are both under construction and in development. To learn more, visit

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