Scout Clean Energy acquires utility-scale solar project in Illinois


Scout Clean Energy, a Boulder, Colorado-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator announced the acquisition of the utility-scale Blue Sky Solar project from developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES). Just last week Scout announced it acquired the 112 MW Stockton Lake Solar Farm, a southwest Missouri project developed by Azimuth Renewables. That project is valued at about $120 million.

The Blue Sky project is one of the largest solar projects approved to date in the PJM regional transmission organization, which coordinates wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia.

“Blue Sky further diversifies our fleet across wind, solar and storage,” said Michael Rucker, CEO and founder of Scout Clean Energy. “Scout will close out 2021 with over 12,000 MWdc in our development pipeline and more than 1,200 MWdc 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 is expected to receive its full interconnection agreement in the third quarter of 2022.

The plans call for the installation of a 369 MWdc solar facility to be located on 2,700 acres of land near Morris, Illinois in Grundy County, IL. The Blue Sky facility is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2024. Upon reaching commercial operations, Blue Sky is expected to provide an estimated 585,000 MW hours of carbon-free, renewable electricity to the PJM grid each year, enough to power over 67,000 Illinois homes. While only about 8% of Illinois’ power supply comes from renewables, the state has a goal of reaching at least 25% of renewable energy by 2025.

Scout reports that it expects to invest over $400 million to bring the Blue Sky project through construction and into operations and will support over twenty new jobs in the ongoing operations phase.

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 is a portfolio company of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners,  a specialist investment manager focused exclusively on renewables, storage and grid support infrastructure and operational asset management in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

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