CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rainy Solar Inc., the first company in northern Illinois to develop and operate a community solar project, today was awarded a rebate from ComEd for $299,840 for a project that enables residential and business customers to subscribe to a portion of the clean energy generated and earn bill credits from ComEd.
ComEd began accepting applications late last year from commercial and industrial net metering customers for distributed generation rebates of $250 per kilowatt of installed solar capacity. The rebate is designed to reduce up-front installation costs and spur renewable energy development. Through September, ComEd received 138 rebate applications and paid rebates totaling more than $5 million.
Rainy Solar has installed 3,700 solar panels on the roof of a 120,000-square-foot industrial building on Davis Road in Elgin, which it purchased in 2017. The solar panels will generate and deliver to the grid approximately 1.2 megawatts of electricity. Current subscribers to the project include residential and business customers located in Elgin and several other suburbs throughout Chicagoland.
“We applaud Rainy Solar for its vision and launch of the area’s first community solar development,” said Scott Vogt, vice president of strategy and energy policy at ComEd. “Community solar will be key to a cleaner energy future as it expands access to solar for renters and others who may not be able to install solar where they live or operate a business.”
Rainy Solar founder and CEO Ken Buckman said he was motivated to get into community solar by the Future Energy Jobs Act which took effect in Illinois in 2017. It provides $180 million per year, growing to $220 million per year, in funding for renewables, including new wind power, large-scale solar and rooftop and community solar.
“Community solar is a win-win opportunity as it serves the interests of environmentally conscious businesses and customers who want to save on energy bills and improve the health of their communities,” said Buckman.
Rainy Solar’s project was one of 78 that were awarded 15-year Renewable Energy Credit contracts through a lottery conducted in April by the Illinois Power Agency. The contracts entitle the developers of these projects to sell renewable energy credits to utilities. Following the lottery, ComEd began working with the developers to interconnect their projects to the electric distribution system so that the energy generated can be delivered to the grid. Currently, there are about 40 community solar projects that are fully funded and scheduled for construction in northern Illinois in 2019 and 2020.
Community solar customers in Illinois can subscribe up to 110% of their last 12 months of electricity usage – receiving credits on their bill and taking advantage of solar energy without having to install panels of their own. ComEd customers and solar developers can visit www.ComEd.com/solar to learn more about solar options and the interconnection process.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 100 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.