Clearway Community Solar is proud to announce our entry into the Prairie State – Illinois! We have opened enrollment to our Illinois Community Solar farms, and subscribers are guaranteed to save on electricity with our program.*
Clearway’s compelling offer to support renewable energy without green power premiums (or retail energy gimmicks) has been in development as the state of Illinois has equally made efforts to grow renewable energy generation. According to the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA), Illinois is the fifth-largest energy-consuming state in the U.S. Over 40% of the state’s electricity comes from coal, while Illinois leads the nation in nuclear power generation. Illinois, like many states, is hearing the call to shift away from fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources, toward renewables like solar and wind power.
Illinois, alongside 29 other states and Washington D.C., have renewable energy laws. In 2016, Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs Act (Act), which substantially expanded incentives for new solar development. To achieve the Illinois renewable power goals, solar must be more widely developed and more accessible for residents and businesses alike. The Act launched the opportunity for Community Solar development.
Before the Act, most customers could only take advantage of solar power if they were willing and able to put solar panels on their own property. Community Solar allows customers who want to support (and benefit from) solar generation to “subscribe” to a community solar project anywhere in their electric utility’s service territory.
The effort to develop new Community Solar projects is spearheaded by The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) and the Adjustable Block Program, an IPA-administered program for developing new solar PV systems. The Adjustable Block Program branded as Illinois Shines (Program), incentivizes solar developers and operators to do business in Illinois by requiring utilities to buy Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) produced by solar projects selected under the Adjustable Block Program. Those utilities— ComEd, Ameren, and MidAmerican—then retire the RECs in support of renewable goals under the Act. The IPA registers and oversees certain entities, known as Approved Vendors, that participate in the Program.
Clearway Community Solar is an Approved Vendor registered under the Program. With Community Solar farms in development throughout the ComEd and Ameren utility territories, residents served by either utility are now able to reserve their space on one of our solar farms. That means residents—homeowners and renters alike — can now go solar in Illinois without rooftop installation. In fact, nothing is installed on your property at all. Instead, the Clearway Community Solar farms are managed in offsite locations throughout the state.
Clearway offers Community Solar subscriptions for no upfront cost, with no green energy premiums or Retail Electric Supplier teaser rates. Here’s how Clearway Community Solar works in Illinois:
- Customers subscribe to one of our Community Solar farms. There is no cost to sign up, and you can initiate cancellation anytime. **
- Clearway will provide customers with regular updates on the solar farm’s construction and activation. Customers do not pay any Clearway bills until the solar farm is actively producing power.
- Once the Community Solar projects are up and running, every month the local solar power generated by a customer’s subscribed portion of the solar farm is sent to the power grid, increasing the contribution of renewable energy sources in Illinois.***
- For the same clean energy generated, customers receive bill credits applied directly to their ComEd or Ameren utility bill, reducing their costs. Clearway customers are guaranteed to save on electricity with our program.
- Customers then pay Clearway for the bill credits in a separate invoice from Clearway – our subscribers receive 20% off the value of the bill credits, only paying $.80 for every $1.00 in credits earned.
What this means is that if the value of the bill credits generated by your Clearway subscription is $100, you will only pay Clearway $80 for those credits. Another way to think of it is this: $100 is taken off your ComEd or Ameren Bill, and then you separately pay Clearway $80 for that $100 utility bill deduction, thus saving $20. The dollar amount of savings ebbs and flows with solar farm production but is designed for customers to see savings immediately in the first bills and in bills thereafter.
If you are receiving electricity supply with an Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES), you may still enroll in a Clearway Solar farm, but your savings are not guaranteed unless you switch back to utility default supply service. In the long-term, based on current market rules and trends Clearway expects many Illinois customers to save the most money on utility default service with a subscription to a Clearway. To benefit from the Community Solar savings with Clearway, it is recommended that customers switch to their utility, ComEd or Ameren, for default electricity supply by the time their assigned Clearway Solar Farm goes live.
Clearway is an Approved Vendor of the Illinois Shines program. To learn more about Illinois Shines, please see this brochure.
*Savings calculated as 20% on the value of the net metering credits generated by the residential solar subscription on the default supply service rate with the utility (ComEd or Ameren). Bill Credits are issued by your electricity supplier; the value of Bill Credits may depend on your rate or contract. Customers not on their utility default supply rate may not receive the same savings or any savings. Clearway is not responsible for delays in applying net metering credits to your bill by your electricity supplier.
**Subject to credit approval. Subscription term is 20 years. The cancellation fee ranges from $0-$200, as described further in the Subscription Agreement. A 60-day cancellation notice period is required, meaning your cancellation is effective 60 days after you provide notice of your intent to cancel. Customers must provide an acceptable Notice of Cancellation to Clearway Community Solar. Customers must pay all Clearway Community Solar invoices for service during the 60-day notice period; as long as Customer keeps their utility account, Customer should continue to receive net metering credits from their electricity supplier generated during that time period. Please see your customer agreement for full cancellation terms.
***The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated by the Clearway Community Solar Farm are sold to ComEd or Ameren utilities for retirement and are not owned by Clearway customers.
Clearway does not represent, is not endorsed by, and is not acting on behalf of, a utility or a utility program, a consumer group or program, or a governmental body or program.