Kane County Expects to Save $200,000 Per Year with Solar

Kane County Connects by Kane County Connects Staff

Kane County Board members 'Flip the Switch' on the new Solar Field at the Judicial Center Campus (see more photos below)

Four-thousand solar panels are now providing more than half of the electricity for the Kane County Judicial Center and Jail, located in St. Charles.

The solar field is the largest yielding, behind-the-meter solar field in Kane County.

It is situated on a 10-acre parcel of land behind the Kane County Courthouse and Jail.

The installation was the result of a three-year effort between Kane County, Nelnet Renewable Energy and Progressive Business Solutions through a purchasing agreement with no up-front cost to Kane County for the design, permits, finance or construction of the project.

“Our new solar field marks another milestone in our commitment to reducing Kane County’s carbon footprint,” said Kane County Board Chairman Corinne Pierog. “The benefits to the environment and the reduction in what the County pays for energy, are measurable.”

The project was developed by the Kane County Environmental and Water Resources Department and members of the Kane County Energy and Environmental committee.

“It’s not easy to transform a state of almost 12 million people from high carbon dioxide polluting coal energy and non-sustainable nuclear energy” said Mavis Bates, Board member and Chairman of the Energy and Environmental committee. “Our state is building wind and solar energy as fast as we can, but as of today we are only at 10% of what our capacity for renewable energy could be. Kane County’s solar field is just what we need, right here and right now.”

Kane County will purchase power for the solar field at a 32% discount from the price it paid its prior energy provider. It is expected the County will save approximately $200,000 per year, or more than $4 million over the 25-year life expectancy.

“The solar field is projected to produce more than 3.5 million kWh annually and a total of 78 million kWh throughout the contract’s duration,” said Eric Peterman, Director of EPC Services with Nelnet Renewable Energy. “To put it in perspective, the average household consumes approximately 10,000 kWh per year.

That means this initiative will generate enough energy to power 350 homes each year. We extend our appreciation to Kane County for their forward-looking vision and their commitment to sustainability for a more environmentally friendly future.”

At the request of homeowners south of the solar field, Kane County planted 65 trees to create a meaningful landscape screen of the field, as well as upgraded the fence to be aesthetically pleasing in areas where it can be seen by neighbors.

Video of the event can be viewed on the Kane County Government YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhNuPAyPeYY

Kane County Environmental and Water Resources Department – https://www.countyofkane.org/FDER/Pages/ewrdiv.aspx

Kane County Energy and Environmental Committee – https://www.countyofkane.org/Pages/CountyBoard/committee.aspx?cID=5

Nelnet Renewable Energy – www.nelnetenergy.com

Progressive Business Solutions – www.progressivebusinesssolutions.com