Solar PV Spreads Over Chicago

Six roofs in Chicago have installed 100 kilowatts of photovoltaic modules during the last quarter of 2001.

CHICAGO, Illinois, US, 2002-01-28 [] Spire Solar Chicago installed the PV panels as part of a local public/private partnership to produce clean energy in Chicago. The systems were installed on the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Homan Square Community Center, ComEd’s South Hydome Facility, two Chicago public schools, and a small commercial building. The PV system on the DuSable Museum has a capacity of 21.6 kW, which will be supplemented with PV awnings with another 10.8 kW. It is Spire’s sixth PV system to be installed on a Chicago museum through the city’s Solar Museums project. A 20.2 kW system for Homan Square was mounted on the campus’s new US$28 million health and recreational centre in North Lawndale, as part of a community development project. The former headquarters of the Sears & Roebuck Company has become a model for public/private collaboration by creating a mixed-income development in a low-income urban community. “This Center was built to be a long-term, sustainable part of the community,” says executive director Kristin Dean. “Using solar power to supply part of our electric needs is natural. We are also pleased that Spire is creating jobs in the West Side Chicago community, and using Spire Solar panels just seemed like the right thing to do.” The projects received support from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs, the City of Chicago and the ComEd utility. The South Hydome facility has a capacity of 32.4 kW and is the second ComEd building to install a PV system. The first was its Chicago North Regional Headquarters, with a 25.2 kW system, and it is the utility’s largest maintenance facility. The Douglas and Taylor Elementary Schools are located on the South Side of Chicago and were the fifth and sixth public schools in the city to receive PV systems. The generated electricity will reduce the schools’ energy costs while providing an educational tool for science teachers and students. Spire has installed 400 kW of solar electric systems on Chicago museums, schools and buildings, representing one of the largest concentrations of photovoltaics in the U.S., says CEO Roger Little. The company will install systems on the city’s 911 emergency communications centre and the Midwest Center for Green Technology.
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