Elgin Commits to Renewable Energy by Subscribing Energy Accounts to Illinois’ First Community Solar Project
The City of Elgin will be the largest subscriber to the first community solar project in the state. The Rainy Solar project, located at 1111 Davis Road in Elgin, consists of a 3,700 panel solar rooftop installation in which the City of Elgin will subscribe over 20 energy accounts. The subscription will realize savings for the municipality while also supporting the growth of locally-generated renewable energy. Rainy Solar, a division of Elgin-based Rainy Investments, will host a dedication event on Thursday, October 17 at 11:00 a.m. to celebrate this first community solar project (registration required).
“This is yet one more way Elgin shows its commitment to renewable energy,” said Mayor David Kaptain. “Elgin has a long history of being proactive and leading by example. Since adopting a solar and wind ordinance five years ago, we’ve worked to improve our permitting process, achieved the Silver Solsmart designation and created a volunteer solar workgroup to help educate the community.”
Elgin has seen tremendous growth in solar installations, especially over the past two years. From 2013 to 2017, a total of eight solar permits were issued by the City. Thirty-five permits were issued in 2018, and there have been 125 solar permits issued so far in 2019.
Since the creation of Elgin’s Solar Workgroup, an arm of the Sustainability Commission, the City has actively promoted “going solar” by hosting educational workshops as part of the Citizens Utility Board’s (CUB) Solarize Chicagoland initiative, achieving the Silver Solsmart designation, hosting the Fox Valley Sustainability Network’s Solar Energy Forum, sharing solar information at special events like the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Farmers Market and through the partnership with EnergySage to provide an online platform for residents and business owners to learn about and shop for solar.
“Since achieving its SolSmart Silver designation this Spring, Elgin has doubled down on solar efforts,” said Sustainability Commissioner Erik Anderson. “It has rebooted its solar workgroup and is still looking for more area residents to volunteer their time to help with various solar projects. This work is necessary to keep growing solar here in Elgin.”