Sol Systems and Illinois American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in Illinois, have cut the ribbon on Illinois American Water’s first solar project located in Champaign County, Ill. The 2.3 MW project includes bifacial panels, single-axis trackers and the installation of native grasses to promote local habitat growth.
“This is a really exciting project because of its multi-faceted impact to the communities we serve in Champaign County,” says Brent O’Neill, director of engineering for Illinois American Water. “Not only did the project support local jobs, but the resulting solar energy helps to reduce operational costs which benefits our customers and reduces our environmental footprint.”
Illinois American Water will purchase the electricity under a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sol Customer Solutions, which is a joint venture between Sol Systems and Arevon Energy, Inc. Arevon will manage the asset and Sol Systems will operate and maintain the project. Sol Systems partnered with construction firm Inovateus Solar to build the project.
“Inovateus Solar is excited to be supporting Sol Systems with Illinois American Water’s first Champaign County solar power project,” states Megan Drean, Inovateus’ project manager. “With every solar project we build with our partners, Inovateus strives to be stewards of the land and the surrounding community by including sustainable features like bifacial solar modules, trackers, zero-waste initiative construction, planting native ground cover and end-of-life planning.”