ComEd, Summit Ridge activate 8.7 MW of community solar in Dekalb County, Illinois

Summit Ridge Illinois

ComEd and Summit Ridge Energy have completed three community solar projects in Dekalb County, Illinois. This increases the number of community solar projects in ComEd’s northern Illinois region to 103, of which nearly 40% have been developed by Summit Ridge. The projects will enable ComEd customers to save money on their electric bills while supporting the expansion of renewable energy and Illinois’ ambitious clean energy goals.

“ComEd and Summit Ridge are proud to play a leading role in the growth of community solar in Illinois,” said Scott Vogt, VP of strategy and energy policy at ComEd. “We are pleased to partner with developers who are committed to increasing customer access to clean energy, and we applaud Summit Ridge for its leadership in the growing community solar sector in Illinois.”  

The three new Summit Ridge projects — two in Sandwich, Ill., and one in Lee, Ill. — include more than 15,000 total solar panels and occupy 46 acres in DeKalb County. Combined, the projects will generate approximately 8.7 MW of clean energy, enough to serve the energy needs of between 1,000 and 1,200 average homes. Each project features pollinator-friendly ground cover to extend the positive impact on the local environment. Summit Ridge will have an energy portfolio of about 335 MW across Illinois by the end of 2024.

“The ComEd region is quickly becoming one of the nation’s fastest growing markets for community solar, and we are pleased to be contributing to that growth,” said Mark Raeder, principal, Summit Ridge Energy. “Summit Ridge is on track to complete nearly 40 community solar projects in ComEd’s service territory by the end of this year, helping to bring reliable clean energy and cost savings to their customers.” 

Enacted in 2021, Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) increases support for renewable energy to reach 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 in the state. It creates nearly 9,800 MW of new solar capacity and increases funding for the Illinois Solar for All program — which gives lower-income customers access to solar power — from $30 million to $70 million annually.

The multi-year grid and rate plans ComEd filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) earlier this year support this rapid expansion of renewable energy and help ensure equitable access to the benefits of clean energy under CEJA. The plans align with ComEd 2030, the company’s recently announced vision for a carbon-free energy future that will benefit all communities and meet customers’ changing needs for the rest of this decade and beyond.

Community solar allows all ComEd customers to participate in the benefits of clean solar energy without installing solar panels of their own. Participants subscribe to a solar energy “farm” of solar panels owned by an independent developer and earn credits on their monthly ComEd bills for their portion of the energy produced by the project. In Illinois, community solar customers can subscribe for up to 200% of their last 12 months of electricity usage. Energy generated by the community solar project flows to ComEd’s grid and becomes part of the overall energy supply.

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