Scout Clean Energy, a Colorado-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, has acquired the utility-scale Blue Sky Solar project from its original developer, RES.
The approved development plans call for the installation of a 369 MW DC solar facility to be located on 2,700 acres of land in Grundy County, Ill.
“We are pleased to complete another renewables investment with the team at RES,” says Michael Rucker, CEO and founder of Scout Clean Energy. “The Blue Sky project is one of the largest solar projects approved to date in the PJM and is the second Midwest solar project Scout has added to its expanding renewables portfolio this year.
“Blue Sky is a uniquely located project enabling the supply of significant solar power to the Greater Chicago region,” Rucker adds. “Blue Sky further diversifies our fleet across wind, solar and storage. Scout will close out 2021 with over 12,000 MW DC in our development pipeline and more than 1,200 MW DC of renewable projects in operation across the United States.”
Blue Sky received unanimous approval for a special use permit with Grundy County in December 2020, under the established Grundy County Solar Ordinance. RES began land acquisition and interconnection studies on the site in 2018. The project should receive its full interconnection agreement in the third quarter of 2022.
“We are excited to be working with Scout Clean Energy again,” states John Rohde, CEO of RES in the Americas. “We are proud of our work in developing projects that focus on clean energy and a sustainable future. This deal and our partnership with Scout bring us closer to our vision of a future where everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy.”
The Blue Sky facility will be constructed near Morris and is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2024. Upon reaching commercial operations, Blue Sky will provide an estimated 585,000 MWh of carbon-free, renewable electricity to the PJM grid each year.
“Scout expects to invest over $400 million to bring Blue Sky through construction and into operations and will support over twenty new jobs in the ongoing operations phase. The power generated from this project will enable Scout to bring the many benefits of low cost and carbon-free solar energy to central Illinois,” explained Rucker.
The project has a finalized and executed Property Tax Abatement Agreement in place with all taxing jurisdictions in Grundy County. It is estimated that the county taxing jurisdictions will receive $36.3 million in tax revenue over the life of the project, including $25.4 million slated to the local school district alone.
“Scout has accomplished so much in the last year which is a testament to our incredible team of experienced renewable energy professionals and to the ongoing support provided by our sponsor, Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners,” continues Rucker. “Blue Sky Solar is among our first utility-scale solar projects and is another major step in Scout’s rapid growth as a leading U.S. renewable energy developer, owner and operator. We expect to announce further project investments and closings of PPAs in early 2022.”
Scout is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a specialist global investment manager focused exclusively on renewables, storage and grid support infrastructure.