Agreement makes Chicago one of the largest U.S. cities to commit to clean energy


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Chicago has signed a $422 million agreement with retail electricity supplier Constellation, in collaboration with Swift Current Energy, to purchase renewable energy for all city facilities and operations by 2025.

The agreement also includes workforce development and equity commitments.

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

Key terms of the contract include:

  • An energy supply agreement with an initial five-year term with Constellation beginning in January 2023.
  • Beginning in 2025, Chicago will partially source 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 in downstate Sangamon and Morgan counties.
  • Construction of the solar project is expected to start before the end of 2022 and is anticipated to create hundreds of jobs in Illinois.
  • Swift Current Energy will own and operate Double Black Diamond Solar, which at 593 megawatts, is expected to be one of the largest solar projects in Illinois to date.

The project will also be a source of renewable energy to other major organizations in Illinois. 

“We are providing a clean energy solution that will help the City of Chicago significantly reduce its carbon footprint and make a tangible, positive impact in the fight against climate change,” said Jim McHugh, chief commercial officer, Constellation.

The agreement is a major step in reducing Chicago’s carbon footprint and accelerating the transition to clean, renewable energy outlined in the 2022 Climate Action Plan.

As a next step, AIS and the Chief Sustainability Officer will also lead strategic planning to identify opportunities to encourage additional local, distributed renewable generation, city asset energy efficiency projects, and energy storage in the city itself.

“The landmark Clean Energy and Jobs Act put Illinois on the path to a greener, more sustainable future while also prioritizing jobs and equity,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “I’m proud to see Chicago take significant steps to put consumers and a diversified workforce at the forefront of this new power supply project. Together we continue to make Illinois a leader in the clean energy revolution.”


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