Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Assets, Information and Services visited the Chicago Urban League to announce an agreement with electricity supplier Constellation to meet the city’s need for renewable energy by 2025.
Swift Current Energy will collaborate with the utility to develop and deliver 100% renewable energy to all city facilities and operations within three years, making Chicago one of the largest cities in the world to make such a commitment.
“I am incredibly proud to advance this commitment to transitioning all city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2025,” said Mayor Lightfoot.
“The signing of this agreement demonstrates that the City of Chicago is leading by example and driving high-impact climate action, building the clean energy workforce of the future and equitably distributing meaningful benefits to foster the local clean energy economy for all.”
The contract will initially enter a term of 5 years which will begin in January 2023. Starting in 2025, the city will partially store its large energy uses such as the airports, Harold Washington Library Center and Jardine Water Purification Plant with clean, renewable energy from a new solar generation installation currently being developed by Swift Current Energy to the south outside Chicago.
The project is expected to begin construction before the end of this year, bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the state of Illinois.
Constellation’s chief commercial officer Jim McHugh said the collaboration will also call for environmental justice initiatives.
“As we work with our customers to implement sustainability initiatives, it is especially important that we help underserved and under-resourced communities participate in the transition to a carbon free future. We look forward to collaborating with Swift Current Energy to bring this project to life for the City of Chicago,” he said.
To support the city’s needs, Swift Current Energy will own and operate Double Black Diamond Solar, a 593 MW facility, one of the largest in Illinois to date. “As the long-term owner and operator of Double Black Diamond Solar, Swift Current Energy will continue to strengthen our relationships with the project customers, Constellation and the host communities to ensure the benefits of the project are robust and long-lasting,” said Matt Birchby, co-founder and president of Swift Current Energy.
The City of Chicago will also procure Renewable Energy Credits from other sources for its remaining power uses, such as small and medium-sized buildings and streetlights.