Incentives to Boost Chicago Solar PV Capacity

Spire Solar Chicago, in partnership with Commonwealth Edison (“ComEd”), Chicago’s major electric utility, is offering a solar electric power rebate to promote the installation of locally manufactured solar electric systems within the City of Chicago.

Chicago, Illinois – June 3, 2003 [] Under the “Photovoltaic Incentive Program” (PIP), individuals and organizations who purchase PV systems or panels from Spire Solar Chicago with a direct current nameplate capacity of 1 to 50 kW are eligible for rebates of US$1,250 per kW in 2003 and US$1,000 per kW in 2004. Grid-tied solar energy systems produced or installed by Spire Solar Chicago, a local manufacturer, designer and provider of solar electric systems, will be eligible. Funding for the rebates is provided by ComEd. “The PIP rebate, together with existing state incentives, helps to make green energy more affordable in the City of Chicago,” said Steve Hogan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Spire Solar. “For example, the installed cost of a 50 kW roof top system on a commercial building can be reduced by 80 percent once the state grants, federal incentives and the PIP rebates are factored into the equation. With these incentives, the payback period on a commercial PV system can be much quicker.” The PIP program is in addition to other state financial incentives available through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Renewable Energy Resources Program and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF). For PV systems larger than two kW, the DCEO program offers grants for up to US$6,000 per kW of the cost of an installed PV system, while the ICECF program offers grants up to US$2,000 per kW to non-profit organizations. Corporate tax incentives such as the Federal Business Energy Tax Credit and Accelerated Depreciation are also available to further reduce total system costs. “While Chicago is not immediately thought of for its solar resources, a photovoltaic system in Chicago can generate over 80 percent of the electricity of an identical one located in Miami, Florida,” Hogan said. “More importantly, the availability of solar electricity corresponds well to Chicago’s power demand patterns, especially on peak summer days when many businesses are subject to higher peak or time of day rates.” To be eligible for the PIP program, buildings must be located in the City of Chicago and have an active ComEd electricity account. The installations can be for residential, commercial or industrial applications and can be on new construction, renovated or existing buildings. To apply online, go to the Chicago Solar Partnership website listed below.
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