The $500 million, privately funded project will generate 500 megawatts of clean, renewable electric power. It is enough to serve up to 92,800 Illinois households annually. The 3,000 acre solar farm site is set in ideal portion of the State to serve multiple markets in either the PJM or MISO.
Buckheart Solar will make a substantial contribution to the state renewable energy portfolio, enabling local utilities and industries to harness the clean energy generated, that would otherwise we generated from conventional fossil fuels, thus supporting Illinois companies and the state itself to meet their renewable targets.
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards: In 2007, Illinois transitioned their renewable portfolio standard from a voluntary target, to a standard, requiring 25 percent of electricity generated by utilities to come from renewable energy sources by 2025, with a solar carve out of 6 percent, starting in 2015-16. According to the US Energy Information Administration, electricity generated from renewable energy accounted for 8 percent of the total energy generated in 2019.
Decades of proven operation: Tens of millions of solar panels, operating hundreds of millions of hours, have been installed across the United States and the world over the past 30 years. The efficiency of panels and inverters (something that converts the electricity into the standard that comes out of your electrical outlets) has improved five-fold over the past several years and the costs have plummeted. Large-scale solar energy farms are now one of the lowest cost electricity sources.
Jobs and capital investment: Many Illinois-based firms are currently working on the project, with millions of pre-construction dollars invested. During the nine-month construction period, expected to begin 2024, the construction will employ a skilled workforce and contracts will be awarded to regional vendors during construction and operation.
Clean energy for Illinois: The solar farm will produce enough energy for roughly 92,800 households annually. A solar farm is a manufacturer of electrons. These electrons are impossible to trace once they disperse in the transmission grid. However, electricity is usually consumed in the market that the energy is generated in, thus largely serving local residents.