Significant savings available to income-qualified residents in the Ameren service area

Nexamp’s Solar Star Urbana Landfill community solar farm is ready to begin delivering savings to low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents through the Illinois Solar for All program. The two co-located arrays that make up the project occupy approximately 40 acres on a capped landfill, feature nearly 14,000 solar panels and generate 5.2 MW of clean energy.

SunPower Corporation, a leading solar technology and energy services provider, originally developed the sites, which were qualified under the Illinois Power Agency’s Solar for All program prior to the eventual transaction with Nexamp in 2020. The City of Urbana project joins Nexamp’s larger portfolio of community solar assets in Illinois where the company has developed a significant presence.

The Solar Star Urbana Landfill project will send clean energy to the grid and subscribers will receive credits on their Ameren bill for their share of the energy produced. In addition to individual LMI residents, the City of Urbana is also enrolled in the project and will benefit from the savings provided while helping to support the expansion of clean energy across the area. Qualified residents throughout central and southern Illinois can join the program to receive a 50% discount compared to Ameren’s electricity supply rate.

“Our collaboration with SunPower marks another milestone in Nexamp’s mission to make clean energy accessible to all,” noted Jackie Chambers, Director of Corporate Development, Nexamp. “We are committed to ensuring that our local solar projects benefit the communities we serve, and that those benefits extend directly to the LMI community as well. To meet that imperative with the successful conversion of a landfill site into a productive asset for the City of Urbana is especially rewarding.”

SunPower worked closely with the city and the Illinois Power Agency to get the proposed project approved in the Solar for All program and to secure a long-term lease on the capped landfill. “We are proud to have developed this project, which represents an important new source of clean energy for Illinois, a major milestone for the City of Urbana, and a savings opportunity that will bring much-needed relief to qualified residents around the state,” said Eric Potts, Executive Vice President of Commercial Direct at SunPower.

The project will offset more than 10 million pounds of carbon and generate credits for nearly 1,000 subscribers, delivering on the promise of clean energy’s ability to improve communities in a variety of ways. During construction, the project also provided local employment opportunities and brought a number of economic advantages to area businesses.

Scott Tess, Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Urbana, added, “There are so many reasons why this has been a good move for Urbana. We are gaining a new revenue stream in the lease and doing something beneficial with a former landfill, while also securing a project subscription that will bring us electricity savings for the city building. Clean energy is the key to a bright future for Urbana and for the nation, so we are happy to be playing a role.”

Since the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), Nexamp has been developing a diverse and robust portfolio of solar assets to serve Illinois residents and businesses. This includes more than 20 community solar farms developed under the state’s Adjustable Block Program and Illinois Solar for All Program. Now, with the passage of the Climate and Equity Jobs Act, the ambitious successor to FEJA, Nexamp looks forward to helping accelerate Illinois’ transition to a cleaner, more equitable energy economy by expanding offerings into utility-scale and brownfield solar, energy storage, and solutions to modernize the grid.

Area residents who are Ameren customers can visit to learn more and see if they qualify for a subscription.