Ameresco Inc. has announced plans to develop a 27 MW brownfield solar farm in the Village of DePue, Ill.
Upon completion, the DePue solar farm – slated to be the largest in Bureau County, Ill. – will advance the state’s goal of reaching 25% renewable energy by 2025.
Ameresco will be the developer, builder and owner of the project, which will consist of more than 71,000 solar PV panels installed on ballast blocks entirely above ground. It is estimated to produce 37,000 MWh of emission-free energy in its first year of operation.
“The Village of DePue is very happy to be the home of the Ameresco solar project and is looking forward to working with them to make it a reality,” says Eric Bryant, village president.
Construction of the DePue solar farm is scheduled to begin in summer 2020 and reach completion later that year. The village will collect permitting fees during the site’s development process, as well as approximately $10,000 annually upon completion, helping offset the village’s energy costs. In addition, the county will collect increased property tax revenue.
“Solar is a powerful renewable energy resource for a community like DePue, as well as Bureau County, both of which stand to benefit economically, while this development also closely aligns with the environmental objectives of the State of Illinois,” comments Louis P. Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “Ameresco has had tremendous success in the beneficial repurposing of existing land, and we are looking forward to working closely with the cillage to bring renewable energy to their local community.”
“The development of clean, renewable energy on a brownfield site is not only beneficial to the Village of DePue but also the state of Illinois and our renewable energy goals,” says John J. Kim, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. “This project exemplifies the prospects of economic development on brownfield properties, and the solar farm will provide a positive economic benefit to the village, community and county for years to come.”
DePue’s solar farm is projected to offset 25,947 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking 5,509 passenger vehicles off the road for one year, or powering 4,525 homes for a year. As the solar facility’s owner and operator, Ameresco will remain in the community following project completion to continue providing maintenance and support services for the life of the facility.