A solar electric system has been commissioned on the roof of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago.
CHICAGO, Illinois – Spire Corporation says its subsidiary, Spire Solar Chicago, has installed the 30 kilowatt system that will generate 40,000 kWh of electricity a year from 280 solar panels. The system was connected to the museum’s main electrical distribution system on January 18. “We are pleased that our efforts in Chicago are gaining momentum,” says president and CEO Roger Little. “We are strong believers in small-scale distributed manufacturing of solar electric modules and systems.” “We have found that local production stimulates local markets and that is certainly happening in Chicago,” he adds. “More and more solar electricity is being used to provide clean, reliable electric power throughout America and the world.” Demand for electricity in Chicago peaks on summer days when air conditioners and refrigerators consume large quantities of power. This demand is matched with the generating output of PV modules that are connected to the grid, reducing the amount of electricity that must be delivered by ComEd and decreasing the risk of blackouts. Spire has already installed solar systems on the Frank W. Reilly Elementary School and the ComEd North Side Commercial Center. Installations planned for this year include five more public schools, several residential buildings and more museums in Chicago, including the DuSable Museum of African American History. The City will have Spire Solar Chicago and ComEd deploy a 500 kW solar electric system on a brownfield on Chicago’s South Side, converting it into a Solar Brightfield . This array will be the first installment of a planned 2.5 MW solar array, which will be the world’s largest when completed. Spire and ComEd are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the City of Chicago Department of Environment. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Community Affairs provides a rebate program for renewable energy projects. Spire is the world’s largest supplier of solar electric module manufacturing equipment, turnkey production lines and solar energy businesses. It has 144 customer facilities in 39 countries around the world. ComEd is investing in solar electricity generation as a method to increase power reliability, its priority. The energy used to manufacture a PV system is returned by the installation in less than five years, and a system will continue to generate electricity for another 30 years.