Solar FlexRack trackers supplied for 42 MW Illinois community solar portfolio


Solar FlexRack announced it supplied trackers for a 42 MW portfolio of community solar projects in Illinois. The trackers were supplied to owner-operator Summit Ridge Energy.

The fourteen solar projects supported by the trackers were developed under Illinois Shines, a state-run program that supplies incentives for the development of new PV projects. Once complete, small businesses and homeowners can sign up to access the energy provided by the system while saving up to 10% on their energy bills.

“Having completed hundreds of cold weather challenged projects in Canada and the Northeastern U.S. over the past decade, we look forward to further utilizing our expertise and tracker technology in these impactful projects,” said Greg Lewis, director of sales, Solar FlexRack.

The Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), signed into law in 2021, established the new 42 MW project portfolio. CEJA builds on the success of the Illinois Shines Adjustable Block Program, which authorizes the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from solar asset owners.

Over 250 MW of community solar projects have already been approved through the new program. Once complete, the projects will supply power to an estimated 35,000 families, allowing them to access clean energy and bill savings without having to install solar on their homes. Illinois has had a record year in solar in 2022, installing over 8,400 rooftop arrays and increasing its solar workforce by 50% by the end of the year.

Solar FlexRack is a division of Northern States Metals, an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility-scale solar mounting industries. The company also offers full services, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout testing, field, and layout design services to address the actual site conditions of a project site. Solar FlexRack has completed over 3 GW of solar racking installations in over 40 U.S. states and across the globe.

The company has proven its racking and trackers solutions are desirable in hot climates, as well. This June, Solar FlexRack was chosen for an Arizona-based community solar project. The 15 MW Raptor Ridge solar array featured 35,500 bifacial modules housed on Solar FlexRack single-axis trackers.

The project was commissioned at a 100-acre site in Tucson, Arizona and will supply power for the TEP GoSolar Home program.

“We selected Solar FlexRack from many solar racking options because of their engineering expertise and solar tracker architecture with minimal backside shading design, well suited for bifacial modules,” said Jeff Krauss, TEP’s manager of community scale renewable resources. “In a challenging market environment where supply chain issues have delayed other large solar projects, Solar FlexRack demonstrated their commitment to customer service by honoring agreements and delivering product on time. We are excited to bring this community-scale solar project online and Solar FlexRack is a big part of TEP’s success at Raptor Ridge.”

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