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Local

Hampshire to unveil largest solar array in Kane County

A solar panel installation, installed by SunHeat Solar of Batavia, is shown in early June at the residence of William Klein on Keslinger Road in DeKalb.
A solar panel installation, installed by SunHeat Solar of Batavia, is shown in early June at the residence of William Klein on Keslinger Road in DeKalb.

Lawmakers, local officials and company representatives have been invited to the unveiling of a 350-kilowatt solar installation, which would be the largest array in Kane County, on Wednesday.

Minerallac – a Hampshire-based utility company – will be using the solar array to produce 100% of the company’s power needs, leading to significant savings.

Minerallac President Jim Hlavacek and Brian Haug, president of the Illinois Solar Energy Association and director of energy solutions for Continental Electrical Construction Co., will be in attendance.

Hampshire President Jeff Magnussen and state Reps. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, and Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, also were invited to the event.

The ribbon cutting will take place at 1 p.m. at Minerallac headquarters, 100 Gast Road.

Under the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act – which was adopted in 2017 to spur renewable energy development – the state must be operating at 16% renewable energy by 2020 and 25% by 2025. However, the resources necessary to reach such a goal have prevented many solar projects from moving forward.

In February, state Rep. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, introduced a bill that would modify the Adjustable Block Program, which solar developers can use to receive solar energy credits, and ensure the procurement of these renewable energy credits in the long term.

However, neither Cunningham’s bill or a similar measure passed in the House was voted out of their respective legislative chambers by the necessary deadlines.

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