Standard Solar acquires 84 MW community solar portfolio in Illinois

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Standard Solar, a commercial and community solar project developer, has acquired an 84 MW community solar portfolio from New Leaf Energy,  a renewable energy developer headquartered in Lowell, Mass. 

The portfolio of ground-mounted community solar facilities includes three sets of sites across Illinois. Six sites have a 47 MW capacity, four have a 12 MW capacity and another four have a 25 MW capacity. Construction is scheduled to begin this year, with some projects expected to be completed on or before December and others throughout 2025. 

Standard Solar and New Leaf Energy have collaborated on 20 other projects across three states.

In March 2023, Standard Solar acquired New Leaf Energy’s 21 MW portfolio of projects in New York and Massachusetts. The Copicut facility in Freetown, Mass., has 12 MW of solar and 22 MWh of storage. The 2.79 MW Main Street Newbury site is a ground-mounted solar array in Byfield, Mass., and the Saunders Settlement project in Sanborn, New York, features over 6 MW of solar and is expected to produce about 8,861 MWh each year. 

In November 2023, Standard Solar acquired New Leaf Energy’s 12 MW community solar portfolio in Chatham and Kilmarnock, Va. Standard Solar states its two Kilmarnock Va., projects with a combined capacity of over 7 MW will serve the energy needs of low-and-moderate income customers. 

Standard Solar’s new 84 MW portfolio is expected to significantly contribute to Illinois’ renewable energy goals, which include establishing 100% renewable electricity generation by 2050. 

Illinois Shines

The Illinois Shines program moving the state toward its clean energy targets. Launched by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), the scheme provides financial incentives for community solar projects across six categories: small distributed generation, large distributed generation, traditional community solar, community-driven community solar, public schools, and equity-eligible contractors. Incentives are provided through the purchase of renewable energy credits (RECs), which are issued when a renewable energy source produces 1 MWh of electricity.

Illinois sets incentive amounts for each REC generated by participating solar projects each year. Incentives are paid to qualifying approved vendors, which pass savings onto customers. Approved vendors are entities that submit project applications to the Illinois Shines Program and demonstrate they will assume financial liability in the Illinois Shines contracts with utilities. 

“Amidst a year of record-breaking temperatures and rising energy costs in the state, Illinois is providing its residents a clear path to clean, affordable energy for a more sustainable future,” said Harry Benson, the director of business development at Standard Solar. 

Read more about solar in Illinois here.

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