Chicago Construction News staff writer
Swift Current Energy has secured financing for the 800 MW (DC)/593 MW (AC) Double Black Diamond solar project. Once operational, it will be the second largest solar project in the United States. More than $779 million in project financing was closed for this project, making it among the largest solar project financings in US history.
Located 30 miles west of Springfield, the project is currently under construction and is expected to reach commercial operation in 2024. It is expected to produce enough electricity to provide the equivalent of 100,000 homes and will offset an estimated 1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Double Black Diamond Solar currently employs approximately 450 construction workers. Swift Current selected McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partner. The project utilizes First Solar modules, a majority of which are being manufactured in the US, as well as solar trackers from U.S.-based Nextracker.
Constellation will purchase a portion of the energy and RECs generated by Double Black Diamond Solar to serve the seven customers that have been announced. The City of Chicago will source renewable energy produced by the project to power several energy-intensive facilities, including Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport. Additionally, Cook County Illinois, CVS Health, Loyola University of Chicago, PPG, State Farm, and TransUnion have agreements to purchase power from the project via Constellation.
During its operational life, Double Black Diamond Solar is expected to provide $100 million in tax revenue to Sangamon and Morgan counties in central Illinois, where the project is located.
“Double Black Diamond Solar is a transformative project, not only for our team, but also the American workers it is employing, the massive amount of emissions-free energy it will produce, and the stable revenue it will provide for the communities in Sangamon and Morgan counties,” said Eric Lammers, chief executive officer of Swift Current Energy.