Economic Director Debb Ladgenski is working with Citrine Power to try to bring a community solar project to the city that would benefit lower-income residents.

The solar farm, which would be located on 10-15 acres at St. Bede Academy, would be part of Illinois Solar for All, which aims to bring greater access to clean and solar energy to low-income households and non-profits.

Citrine Power develops and invests in renewable power on a large scale, selling renewable energy credits to local power companies who then pass savings to consumers through credits.

If successful, the farm would provide energy discounts to residents in Bureau, Putnam and LaSalle counties. Citrine would export power to the local electric provider who then gives subscribers bill credits through metering.

Ladgenski reported to the city council that Citrine Power will attempt to get the project approved, and if all goes well, is targeting 2020 for construction. The company previously had attempted approval for a solar farm at St. Bede, but was not chosen in a lottery.

A community solar farm is a way for communities to take advantage of solar energy and its savings, but without the need to add solar panels to individual homes.

"It's good for the environment and good for our city," Ladgenski said.

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