Chicago’s largest commercial solar array supports African American advocacy group

Renewable Energy Evolution built a 213-kWDC solar project that uses rooftop racking and solar carports in South Chicago. The two-tier array was installed at the Chicago Urban League, one of the country’s oldest urban advocacy organizations for the advancement of African Americans.

Credit: Terrasmart

Terrasmart supplied the fixed-tilt racking system for the two parking lot canopies, totaling 162 kW.

“We are excited about what this means for environmental justice across our communities in Chicago,” said Andrew Wells, project lead and vice president of the Workforce Development Center at the Chicago Urban League. “Our project is bringing greater awareness, inclusion and access to the clean energy economy for the people of the South Side.”

In 2017, the League launched two training programs in solar installation and PV sales through its Workforce Development Center program with solar incentives from Illinois Solar For All. Its annual cohort of 75 trainees has access to renewable energy job fairs, held in partnership with organizations such as the Illinois Solar Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Coalition for Community Solar Access.

“We are honored to have played a part in such a monumental project,” said Ed McKiernan, president of Terrasmart. “Not only is this the largest PV commercial installation in the city of Chicago, but it’s an important milestone in providing more equitable access to the solar economy. Terrasmart is proud to have partnered with the Chicago Urban League and Renewable Energy Evolution.”

Wells and his team are adding two electric vehicle charging stations to the current system. He is also planning a new community solar farm to serve renters who want to lower their electricity bills.

“Terrasmart went above and beyond on this milestone project,” said Brian Maillet, founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Evolution. “Their help in engineering, design, permitting and implementation of the city’s largest solar carport system was critical to the success of the project.”

News item from Terrasmart

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