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City of Chicago commits to 100% renewable energy by 2025

The City of Chicago has announced its transition to 100% clean energy by 2025, making it one of the largest city governments in the country to commit to reducing its carbon footprint. 

“I am incredibly proud to advance this commitment to transitioning all city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2025,” said Mayor Lightfoot. 

Under the plan, Constellation New Energy LLC will provide renewable energy to buildings, facilities and street lights beginning by 2025. A new solar farm in Central Illinois will help power the largest facilities, including O’Hare and Midway airports, the Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant. The farm is being developed by Swift Current Energy in Sangamon and Morgan counties in the heart of Illinois.

This project alone aims to reduce the City’s carbon footprint by more than 290,000 metric tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 62,000 cars from the road.

“This agreement is innovative and should serve as a model for other cities and states across the country,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said.   

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also called the agreement a model for the nation. Without the governor’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and its “explicit attention toward economic equity and climate justice,” the landmark agreement would not have been possible, Mayor Lightfoot said.

The solar farm supporting this transition will be the largest utility-scale solar generation project in Illinois history, Gov. Pritzker said. It will generate 590 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power more than 110,000 homes. The project is expected to employ hundreds of construction workers and create several advanced permanent positions. 

The renewable energy project comes as a result of the City of Chicago’s 2022 Climate Action Plan released on Earth Day 2022. It aims to reduce emissions in the city 62% by 2040.

For more information on how you too can incorporate solar power, visit CUB’s Solar in the Community page