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Local

St. Charles chosen for IMEA solar project

ST. CHARLES – The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency plans to build its first utility-scale solar project within St. Charles, according to a city press release.

The release indicates that the ground-mounted solar panel array and energy storage system – which will cover about four acres – are planned for a city-owned lot in the Legacy Business Center on South Kirk Road and Legacy Boulevard.

It is expected to produce enough electricity to power 75 homes and has an estimated useful life of 20 years, according to the release.

The St. Charles City Council on Monday approved a siting agreement with IMEA, essentially clearing the way for the project, the release states. It noted the city won’t incur any ownership, maintenance or construction costs.

“St. Charles is very pleased to be chosen through a competitive process as host of this new, environmentally responsible power generation facility,” Mayor Ray Rogina stated in the release.

“It fits well within the efforts of our Green Practices and Initiatives program. I commend the work of the city’s team – led by city Electric Services Manager Tom Bruhl – that spearheaded the location of the facility in St. Charles.”

In the release, IMEA President and CEO Kevin Gaden stated that IMEA is excited to bring the project on line in 2016.

“St. Charles is an ideal location for this investment, and the city and its leadership are to be commended for their work in securing this for the city,” he said in the release. “And while the city will receive the direct output of the carbon-free energy, the project’s benefits will flow to our entire membership.”

According to the release, the 500-kilowatt project will be built and operated by a consortium of Convergence Energy LLC, Continental Electric Construction Company and Solar Power and Light LLC, with the output sold to IMEA under a long-term power purchase agreement.

The lithium-ion battery energy storage system will provide revenue-generating grid stability services managed by Intelligent Generation LLC, a Chicago-based software company, the release states.

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