The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to approve the lease for what will be one of the largest urban solar photovoltaic power stations in the United States, according to a report by the Associated Press. The 10MW project, a joint development between Exelon and SunPower, will be built on 41 acres of a former “brownfield” industrial site on Chicago’s South Side and will provide enough electricity to power as many as 1500 homes.
Exelon spokeswoman Judy Rader told AP that the construction on the PV plant will begin once federal loan guarantees from the U.S. stimulus package are secured. The company is seeking a loan guarantee for up to 80% of the project’s $60 million price tag.
Exelon Generation will own and operate the plant and market the electricity and the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates that it generates, while SunPower will supply the 32,800 PV panels and design, manufacture, and install the system. Some 200 construction jobs will be created as a result of the project.
If the loan guarantee is approved soon, construction and activation of the system could be completed
by early 2010.