Have you heard the news?
Northwestern University will be your neighbor on these community solar projects!
Clearway Energy Group and Northwestern University announced that Northwestern has signed up for 11.9 megawatts (MW) of Clearway’s community solar projects in Illinois, the equivalent of taking 2,934 cars off the road each year.
Click here to read more about it
Trajectory is partnering with Clearway, the long-term owner and operator of the projects.
With a mission to increase renewable energy via solar and wind energy, they are one of the largest renewable energy companies in the nation.
By subscribing to a community solar project, you are helping support the development of new solar energy generation in Illinois.
Clearway Community Solar is an Approved Vendor of the Illinois Shines program, also known as the Adjustable Block Program or “ABP.” Illinois Shines is a state-administered program for new solar development and solar PV systems.
Learn more about Illinois Shines
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Benefits of Community Solar
By subscribing, you are helping put more solar – a 100% renewable power source – on the grid. Every customer who subscribes to community solar is contributing to the increase of solar power onto the grid. As the state’s energy grid fills up with more solar, the demand for fossil fuels will decrease.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Clearway Community Solar contract?
The contract is for 20 years to ensure your long term savings.
Can I subscribe to Community Solar if I live in a condo or rent an apartment?
Yes. As long as you have a ComEd or Ameren electric bill, you can subscribe to a Community Solar farm.
Is there an initial investment?
No. There are no upfront costs.
How does Clearway determine how many solar panels to allocate to me?
Clearway will review your electric bill, which shows your electricity demand across the past twelve months. From that, Clearway allocates the number of panels to you necessary to provide 100% of your electricity demand on an annual basis. The amount of electricity generated by those panels each month determine your monthly credit that ComEd or Ameren subtracts from your bill. If there is more electricity produced than you used, the excess is credited to your account and it rolls over to the next month. This process will continue until the credits are used up in a later bill.
If I already have solar panels on my roof, can I subscribe to a Community Solar farm?
Yes. If you do not produce all of your energy needs with your solar panels, you may be able to subscribe for the remaining portion. A Clearway Energy Consultant will be able to help assess your home’s viability for the program.
Will anything need to be installed at my home?
Nothing will need to be installed at your home. Clearway will maintain the solar panels at the farm as necessary, including cleaning.
Will our homes receive the solar power from our Community Solar farm subscription?
No, your Community Solar subscription will not send the energy generated by the Community Solar farm directly to your home. The energy generated by the Community Solar farm is sent directly to the local power grid, replacing polluted energy from fossil fuels, while the environmental attributes are sold to a state program to encourage renewable energy development. Having a new Community Solar farm on the grid and participating in the program helps Illinois reach its clean energy goals and your subscription supports that effort for more renewable power in Illinois.
If I receive my electric supply through an Alternate Retail Electric Supplier (ARES) other than ComEd or Ameren, can I still enroll with Clearway Community Solar?
Yes, you can still enroll with Clearway Community Solar even if you receive energy supply with an ARES—however, the solar bill credits from Clearway may be reduced and savings is not guaranteed. In order to receive the guaranteed discount with Clearway’s program and benefit from the energy savings assurance, you will need to receive energy supply through your local utility on the default supply rate. If you currently receive energy supply through an ARES, you will want to make sure you are switched back to the utility’s default supply service rate before the Clearway Community Solar farm is placed in service. We recommend that customers do not join any real-time pricing programs with their utility during their Clearway subscription as the solar bill credits will be reduced.
Will I be billed for credits between the time I subscribe and when the solar farm is energized?
No. Solar credits will only start showing up on your electricity bill once the solar farm is energized. You will not be billed during development and construction phases.
How does the billing work?
Clearway’s program is separate from your utility, and your energy supply is still through your local utility. Therefore, you will continue to receive your utility bill as usual, but now, your utility bill will show the solar bill credits resulting from your Clearway subscription, which reduces your utility charges. Clearway will send a separate bill to you for the solar bill credits at your contracted rate.
How can I pay my Clearway bill?
You will be able to pay your Clearway bill either online, by phone, or by check. Clearway also offers paperless billing and AutoPay.
What happens if I move and are there cancellation fees?
If you move within Clearway’s service territory, your Community Solar subscription can move with you without any charges. You must provide written notice of your new address at least 60 days prior to your move. If you move outside the utility service area, you may transfer your solar farm allocation by finding an eligible replacement customer. If not, you must provide proof of your new meter address to be waived from the cancellation fee.