Rooftop solar and solar carport bring clean energy to Chicago’s Southside community


The rooftop and carport solar installations combined yield 213 kW of solar generating capacity for the Chicago Urban League, one of the country’s oldest urban advocacy organizations for the advancement of African Americans, demonstrating its commitment to bring clean, renewable energy to Chicago’s South Side community.

Renewable Energy Evolution developed, designed, and installed the system, which is one of the largest Illinois Solar for All projects in the city of Chicago. Illinois Solar for All is a program that assists low-income households and non-profit organization use state incentives to go solar.

Terrasmart, the renewable energy arm of Gibraltar Industries, supplied the fixed-tilt racking system for the two surface-lot canopies that make up the 162 kW solar carport. The Terrasmart carport produces solar energy while providing shade for Chicago Urban League visitors.

“We are excited about what this means for environmental justice across our communities in Chicago,” said project lead Andrew Wells, vice president of the Workforce Development Center at the Chicago Urban League. “Our project is bringing greater awareness, inclusion, and access to the clean energy economy for the people of the South Side.”

The solar system highlights the Chicago Urban League’s further commitment to advancing the community’s access to renewable energy. In 2017, the League launched two training programs in solar installation and PV sales through its Workforce Development Center program with solar incentives from Illinois Solar for All. Its annual cohort of 75 trainees has access to renewable energy job fairs, held in partnership with organizations such as the Illinois Solar Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the Coalition for Community Solar Access.

“We are honored to have played a part in such a monumental project,” said Ed McKiernan, president of Terrasmart. “Not only is this the largest PV commercial installation in the city of Chicago, but it’s an important milestone in providing more equitable access to the solar economy.”

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: