Starting in November, the City of Highland Park will officially become one of eight local communities subscribing to Illinois’ first Community Solar facility, Rainy Solar, a 3,700-panel rooftop photovoltaic solar array located in Elgin. The ComEd grid-connected system will generate approximately 1.3 million kWhs of energy per year and is fully subscribed, with the City joining Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Lake Forest, and Lake Bluff, Elgin and Oak Park to participate in the program. These communities will receive on-bill energy credits in return for their subscriptions, which will be shared on a pro-rated basis with Rainy Solar to support their operations.
The Rainy Solar project is part of the Illinois Power Agency’s Community Solar program, established in 2017 through the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), and was selected in the Illinois Adjustable Block Program lottery. The Community Solar subscription covers approximately 10% of the City’s annual energy load for municipal accounts such as street lights and traffic lights. The City was able to subscribe a portion of several municipal ComEd accounts for a total subscription value of 197,845 kilowatt-hours per year, which is equivalent to the annual electricity use of approximately seventeen homes.
“Highland Park is proud to be a leader in sustainability initiatives such as community solar, and we are committed to working with our neighbors to support renewable energy growth in Illinois,” stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. “Renewable energy is an important tool for addressing climate change and building a resilient community. Our participation in this project shows that solar energy works for government, residents, and businesses.”
The City is also a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus’ Community Solar Clearinghouse Solutions (CS2) program, which was established to simplify the Community Solar subscription agreement procurement process for local governments. In addition to supporting Community Solar, in 2017, the City received a SolSmart Bronze designation from the Solar Foundation. This designation recognizes the City for taking steps to encourage solar energy growth and remove obstacles to solar development.For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000. Click here to learn more about the City’s sustainability efforts.