By KANE COUNTY CHRONICLE May 20, 2019
Mooseheart Child City and School in Batavia has been awarded funding for a solar energy project from a State of Illinois program.
In addition to Mooseheart, Kendall County, the Fox Metro Water Reclamation District near Montgomery and the city of Plano will receive funds for their solar projects through an adjustable block grant program under the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, passed by the General Assembly in December of 2016.
Residents and businesses have been paying into a renewable energy fund, which is collected on each customer’s monthly ComEd bill.
The Aurora-based Progressive Business Solutions is serving as a consultant on each of the four solar projects.
The four entities expect to have their solar fields operational by the fourth quarter of this year.
According to Progressive Business Solutions, the four solar fields are expected to save a combined $14.5 million in energy costs over the next 25 years.
In accordance with the provisions under the agreements, Kendall County, Plano, Fox Metro and Mooseheart will build in excess of 7.2 MW (megawatt) of solar power generation facilities. This will generate over 12 million kWh (kilowatts) per year and 300 million kWh over the term of the project. For reference, the average home consumes around 10,000 kWh per year. The electric power generated will be used directly by the entities and allow them to lower their operating costs.
“No new taxpayer dollars will be used to build the solar fields,” stated Arnie Schramel, managing partner of Progressive Business Solutions, in a news release. “We helped originate, competitively bid the solar field construction and find financial resources to fund the projects.”
The winning bidders will receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Kendall County, the City of Plano, Fox Metro, and Mooseheart will receive reduced cost power, which is substantially below market for a period of 25 years.
“We could not have afforded solar without the Adjustable Block Program established by the Future Energy Jobs Act which enabled us to build the field with no upfront cost. Mooseheart invested $11.4 million into school renovations back in 2013 so we wanted to do something out of the ordinary to impact our energy budget,” stated Gary Urwiler, Executive Director of Mooseheart Child City and School, in the release.