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Solar power in Illinois

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Title: Solar power in Illinois  
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Subject: Solar power in the United States, Solar power in Delaware, Solar power in Arkansas, Solar power in Connecticut, Solar power in Idaho
Collection: Energy in Illinois, Solar Power in the United States by State
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Solar power in Illinois

Solar electric car charging station in Frankfort, Illinois

Solar power in Illinois has been increasing, as the cost of photovoltaics has decreased. Illinois adopted a net metering rule which allows customers generating up to 40 kW to use net metering, with the kilowatt hour surplus rolled over each month, and lost at the end of either April or October, as selected by the customer. In 2011, the limit was raised to 2 MW, but is not net metering, as the term is commonly known, as it uses two meters for systems larger than 40 kW.[1]

Illinois ranks 22nd nationally in cumulative installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 7,300 homes.[2]

In 2012, $27 million was invested in Illinois to install solar on homes and businesses. This represents a 259% increase over the previous year, and was expected to grow again in 2013.[3]

A 2012 estimate suggests that a typical 5 kW system will pay for itself in about nine years.[4]

In 2002, Illinois' largest solar array was the 99.4 kW array on the roof of the Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago.[5]

In 2010 the country's largest urban solar array, 10 MW, was installed in West Pullman, on Chicago's south side.[6] In 2012, IKEA installed solar PV on its two stores in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg totaling almost 2 MW.[7] Also in 2012, the 20 MW Grand Ridge Solar Plant in LaSalle County was completed.[2] The University of Illinois is building a 5.87 MW solar farm to be online in 2016 and which would provide 2% of the university's electricity.[8]

The first experimental solar power plant was in 1902, in Olney, Illinois, by H.E. Willsie and John Boyle, and was based on a design by Charles Tellier.[9] In 1904 they set up the Willsie Sun company in St. Louis, and built a 6-horsepower motor.[10]


  • Statistics 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Source: NREL[11]
Illinois Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[12][13][14][15][16][17][18]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2007 2.2 0.2 10%
2008 2.8 0.4 27%
2009 4.5 1.7 61%
2010 15.5 11.0 244%
2011 16.2 0.7 5%
2012 42.9 26.7 165%
2013 43.4 0.5 1%

See also


  1. ^ Illinois - Net Metering
  2. ^ a b Illinois Solar, Solar Energy Industries Association,accessed August 11, 2014
  3. ^
  4. ^ Illinois
  5. ^ A greener field - Energy
  6. ^ Solar power may get chance to shine in Illinois
  7. ^ [1], IKEA, July 25, 2012
  8. ^ Updated: Solar farm construction to start in spring at UI, The News-Gazette, January 20, 2015
  9. ^ Solar Power in Olney, Illinois
  10. ^ Environmental History Timeline
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links

  • Illinois Solar Energy Association
  • Incentives and policies
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