The February EGG350 monthly gathering took place Monday, 02/15/2021, starting ~6:30p. The event featured a webinar regarding Community Solar. Hal Sprague and Emily Hammermeister presented.
Hal introduced Trajectory Energy Partners (TEP), in operation now for 4 years. Serving over 20,000 residential customers and municipalities, the company does business in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Colorado. Subscribing is easy, including no upfront costs, and until April 2021, no cancellation fees apply. Interested persons can sign onto the number of panels up to what the home needs and contract for 20 years. Allocation size can be changed as needed.
Illinois is the 5th largest energy consuming state. Fossil Fuels produce about 40% of our electricity. Nuclear power produces about 50% of the total.
In May 2020, Clearway Energy Group (CEG) and Northwestern University (NU) announced their efforts to bring clean, renewable energy to Illinois. NU is 1 of 16 sites and large universities to sign onto all 25% available for institutional use. OSF HealthCare also subscribed for large portions.
Panels produce electrons, which have energy. These are added to the “swimming pool” of electrons produced from fossil fuels, wind and solar. When you buy into Community Solar, you pay for renewable energy, which by Illinois law, must be used first.
Traditional farms have about 500-1000 acres of land. Since the typical solar farm uses only about 20 acres, traditional farm owners can lease small parts of their less-usable land for community solar projects.
At their solar farms, CEG plants pollinator plants under the solar panels. This is good for the birds, bees and butterflies, while increasing rainwater absorption. Additional solar panels were installed underneath to make extra energy from the reflection of the snow. These panels rotate so snow can fall off easier.
All of this has created renewable energy jobs in Illinois.
ComEd & Solar
Your ComEd bill contains 3 parts: Supply, Delivery, Fees.
Community Solar provides the electricity you need based on your subscription; they agree to credit you 20% of the cost of what they are supplying from your panels.
Delivery comes from ComEd delivering electricity to your home; this remains the same regardless of the power source.
Fees include taxes.
Misc Meeting Notes
Check out the “Events EGG350” website page for educational events, including those designed to further distribute information about Community Solar.
Meeting Notes submitted by Sandy Kaptain, Chair.