Solar power in Illinois

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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 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.[8] In 1904 they set up the Willsie Sun company in St. Louis, and built a 6 horsepower motor.[9]

Statistics[edit]

Source: NREL[10]
Illinois Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[11][12][13][14][15][16]
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%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Illinois - Net Metering
  2. ^ a b Illinois Solar, Solar Energy Industries Association,accessed August 11, 2014
  3. ^ http://www.illinoissolar.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1511256
  4. ^ Illinois
  5. ^ A greener field - Energy
  6. ^ Solar power may get chance to shine in Illinois
  7. ^ [1], IKEA, July 25, 2012
  8. ^ Solar Power in Olney, Illinois
  9. ^ Environmental History Timeline
  10. ^ "PV Watts". NREL. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  11. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  12. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  13. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  14. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008". Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  15. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  16. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 

External links[edit]