Solar Energy Opportunities for Morton Property Owners

Friday, December 15, 2017

In 2016, The Illinois State Legislature passed a bill called the Future Energy Jobs bill.  The bill updates the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio through diversification of energy sources and by emphasizing solar projects.  This emphasis has led to an influx of solar development projects from which Morton residents and businesses could benefit.

There are a few different approaches to solar projects and how to benefit from them:

  • Community Solar Projects
    • Community Solar projects work when a land holder “rents” land to a solar developer who would then install and maintain solar panels on the land for the next 30 years. 
    • Rent rates tend to range between $800 - $1,000 an acre, depending on the solar potential.  The size of land sought tends to be between 10 - 20 acres of flat or south facing land with no shading from trees or structures. 
    • The energy from those solar panels is then distributed to the energy grid, where local subscribers could enjoy a 5-10% savings on their energy rates.
    • Wetlands and floodplains are not ideal lands for solar development.  Ideally, the land proposed would not have a better use intended for the next 30 years.  It would also be close to 3-phase electrical lines and/or substation.
  • “Utility-Scale” Projects
    • Mid – large scale projects totaling more than 2 Mega Watts per project.
    • These would typically be on larger plots of land and the energy sales would go directly to the grid.
  • Behind the Meter & Distributed Generation Projects
    • Powering a business, home or organization directly from solar installations on their property.  Any extra, non - used energy produced would be credited to the entity through net-metering.
  • Brownfields to Brightfields Projects
    • Bringing contaminated land back into productive usage through solar energy production.

If you are interested in learning more about the possibilities for solar development on land that you or your company has available, please contact Lenora Fisher at the Morton Economic Development Council at 309-263-2491. 

When you contact us, please be prepared to share the address of the available property, the size of the property, and a description of it.  We can then talk you through the process and explore the possibilities for your interests.

An assessment of the solar potential for your property is typically free.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a property you’d like considered. 

Lenora Fisher, Community Development Director
lfisher@mortonillinois.org – 309-263-2491

Leigh Ann Brown – Morton Chamber of Commerce Director
labrown@mortonillinois.org – 309-263-2491

 

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