Why this location?
The site is a good location for this project and includes many characteristics recommended for solar projects, such as flat terrain, contiguous land, lack of habitat for protected species, minimal impacts to services (sewer, schools, traffic, waste disposal, etc.). There is an existing 345kV electrical transmission line that runs through the site to connect the project to the electrical grid.
Who benefits from the project?
The project will serve the region by improving reliability, bringing long-term reliability and rate stability, and providing green energy. Currently only 8% of Illinois’ power supply comes from renewable energy, whereas the State’s goal is to reach at least 25% of renewable energy by 2025. The project will also provide a stable new source of income for the landowners leasing their land for the project, and the local community benefits from the influx of property tax revenue and local jobs, with minimal impacts to services (sewer, schools, traffic, waste disposal, etc.). The Project is estimated to pay over $36 million in property taxes paid to local taxing jurisdictions over the life of the Project.
During construction, there will be many people who will use local restaurants and hotels. When possible, qualified local laborers and craft workers will be hired.
Who will own the project?
The long-term owner is not known at this time. The typical investor is a large owner of renewable energy assets with a high credit rating.
How many jobs will this project create?
Over the course of project construction, there may be up to 300 or more people working on the site at various times. Whenever possible, Blue Sky Solar will make an effort to hire locally.
According to a report by Dr. Dave Loomis, Strategic Economic Research, the project is anticipated to create 300+ jobs during construction and approximately 5 long-term operations jobs.
Once construction is complete, 1-2 technicians are anticipated to be onsite on a daily basis, Monday through Friday and operations/maintenance is generally expected to occur 8 am to 5 pm. Some of the activities may take place at night (planned maintenance when the sun is not out, not to disrupt production) as well as an emergency response of any kind that requires immediate attention. Once per year, there will be additional workers for washing the solar modules. In addition, a few times per year, there will be a vegetation management crew onsite as well.