Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that the city of Chicago has signed a deal worth up to $422 million to partially power some of its largest buildings with solar power starting in 2025, aimed at combating climate change. Is.
The city said that as part of a contract with retail electricity supplier Constellation, the city will buy solar power that will partially power Chicago’s airports, the Harold Washington Library Center and the Jardin water purification plant starting in 2025.
The energy will come from a new solar generation installation currently being developed by Swift Current Energy in Sangman and Morgan Counties, the city said. According to the city, construction on the project is expected to begin later this year.
“We must work as hard as possible to reduce the devastating effects of climate change, which we see manifesting almost every day across the country and around the world,” Lightfoot said at a news conference on Monday.
The announcement comes months after the government’s JB Pritzker signed legislation that aims to put Illinois on a path to 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, with coal, oil and natural gas power plants set to close in the coming decades. Huh. It seeks to spur the development of wind and solar power across the state, put more electric vehicles on the road and make it easier for Black and Latino workers and businesses to enter the renewable energy industry.
Overall, coal plants will have to be closed by 2030, while natural gas plants will have to close by 2045. But in the meantime, the measure also called for a nearly $700 million bailout of three nuclear power plants owned by the Commonwealth’s parent company. Edison is plagued by a bribery-for-jobs scandal that has led to a multimillion-dollar fine for the power company and a series of criminal indictments against former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Pritzker and Lightfoot celebrate Chicago’s partnership with Constellation in a rare show of rapport between two elected officials who are in the midst of re-election bids. Pritzker said the solar power project would create about 1,000 new jobs.
“Over the next few months, we will begin construction on the largest utility-scale solar generation facility in Illinois history,” Pritzker said. “And by 2025, hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans will meet their energy needs entirely from renewable energy sources. This is important.”
The federal budget package approved by the US Senate on Sunday also includes hundreds of billions of dollars in initiatives to address climate change. The legislature would still have to go through the House of Representatives.