- Constellation Energy has secured City of Chicago as a customer for renewable energy under a 5-year agreement
- It includes solar power supply from Swift Current Energy’s 593 MW AC Double Black Diamond Solar Project
- Solar power will be used to electrify Chicago’s large energy users as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant, among others
The City of Chicago in the US will source solar power from one of the largest solar projects in Illinois with 593 MW AC capacity being built by Swift Current Energy, under a larger 5-year energy supply agreement signed with Constellation Energy.
The Double Black Diamond Solar Project is planned to enter construction before the end of 2022, and the agreement with Chicago will kick into effect in 2025. Power generated by this project will be used by Chicago’s large energy users as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant, among others.
Solar power supply from the 593 MW AC project is part of an overarching agreement between the City of Chicago and Constellation Energy that will come into force in January 2023. The city will also procure renewable energy credits (REC) from other sources for its remaining power uses as small and medium sized buildings and streetlights.
Swift Current Energy is developing the solar power plant in Illinois’ Sangamon and Morgan Counties.
For Chicago, the agreement is aligned with the City Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s plans to have all city facilities powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025. It will also lead to the creation of several jobs.
Constellation and Swift Current Energy made the cut for this agreement following a competitive procurement process carried out by AIS for the City of Chicago to enable it to take steps for reducing its GHG emissions by 62% by 2040 as targeted in the 2022 Chicago Climate Action Plan (CAP).
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, by procuring solar energy for city operations, Chicago is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 290,000 metric tons each year, equivalent to emissions associated with 62,000 passenger vehicles.
The City’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge helped the City, through technical advisors, in designing this process, stated the Mayor’s office (see Helping US Cities Procure 2.8 GW RE).
“With this deal, Chicago will become one of the largest cities in America to power its municipal operations entirely from renewable energy — a direct result of the City’s ambitious vision, innovative procurement process, and commendable persistence through challenging market conditions,” said Manager of Urban Transformation at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Matthew Popkin. “By strategically leveraging its purchasing power to invest in renewable energy, quality Illinois jobs, and community programs, Chicago continues to demonstrate how cities can lead by example and shape an equitable, clean energy economy.”
Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition also added that this will help the city save money by investing in homegrown Illinois clean energy that is ‘not subject to the volatility in gas prices worsened by Russia’s war on Ukraine and corporate price-gouging’.