SunVest New Energy awarded nearly 38 MW of solar capacity under Illinois Community Solar program

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This past December, SunVest New Energy, a partnership between SunVest Solar and New Energy Equity was awarded 37.6 MWac of community solar capacity under the Illinois Adjustable Block Program. The allocation is the single-largest portfolio awarded to any developer group under Illinois’ Community Solar program.

“This news caps a landmark year for SunVest Solar,” said Kirk Kindred, President of SunVest Solar. “It is an achievement that solidifies this company’s role in the Illinois solar market and positions us for continued growth nationally. We are excited for the next steps.”

The capacity was awarded under a process required in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which was signed into law in September 2020. CEJA required the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to award Community Solar capacity pro-rata to any entity with a project on the Agency’s waitlist. The IPA held a wildly popular lottery for Community Solar capacity in early 2019, selecting 167 MW and leaving over 1300 MW of additional capacity on a waitlist for almost three years. This week’s actions begin clearing that waitlist and sets the stage for the next round of the program.

“This initial portfolio awarded to SunVest New Energy will have a tremendous impact on Illinois’ clean energy economy, said New Energy Equity’s Co-founder, President, and CEO, Matt Hankey. “These community solar projects will provide clean energy to residents, businesses, and municipalities throughout Illinois. We are thrilled to continue New Energy’s mission of increasing access to renewable energy for all communities.”

Market participants have until mid-March 2021 to notify the IPA about projects they intend to build from their portfolio. SunVest New Energy is a partnership between the two companies, and they jointly own a pipeline of projects across the state, ranging from the northern counties along the Wisconsin border to sites in deep southern Illinois.

The joint venture between SunVest and New Energy Equity was formed in 2017 in order to jointly pursue the community solar market in Illinois. Through the lottery process in 2019, the joint venture won contracts for 10 projects totaling 27 MWac, which was the third highest award in the lottery.

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