Nexamp, one of the biggest solar providers in America, has announced their US$2 billion expansion plan for their Illinois headquarters. Nexamp’s first Chicago office opened in 2019 with five team members and has grown to 80 team members in five years.
Impact of the new headquarters
They will create nearly 4,000 jobs and generate close to 300 MW of energy. This is enough to offset the power needs of 50,000 average households. Further, the company develops, designs, builds, operates, maintains, and owns community solar and storage projects. These projects feed renewable energy to local power grids. In addition, there are roughly 75 projects in operation or under development in Illinois.
Why Chicago was selected for the new Nexamp headquarters
The Illinois facility will serve as the company’s second headquarters and was endorsed by Governor Pritzker who was present at the announcement. Nexamp’s decision to have their second headquarters in Illinois was catalyzed by the Pritzker Administration’s landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The CEJA legislation invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs of the future. Furthermore, it institutes key ratepayer and residential customer protections. Additionally, it prioritizes meaningful ethics and transparency reforms. The State of Illinois is no stranger to welcoming companies from near and far that are ready to call Illinois their home. It has more than 30 Fortune 500 company headquarters in Illinois.
Nexamp has developed new construction management roles. However, they will only be offered to EEP candidates living in the greater Chicago area as part of its collaboration with FEJA organizations. This will help bring workers from all backgrounds into the solar industry. These efforts will ensure that Nexamp meets Illinois’ Minimum Equity Standard. The standard continues to play an important role in ongoing implementation of CEJA.
“Illinois’s commitment to sustainable energy wouldn’t be possible without innovative companies like Nexamp, and their decision to open a Chicago headquarters underscores the role Illinois is playing in the national solar conversation. Furthermore, as solar energy companies like Nexamp expand throughout the Midwest, we see a ripple effect of job creation and skills-building. Just like clean energy itself, will benefit communities and generations for years to come,” said Governor JB Pritzker.
The Double Black Diamond Solar project
Elsewhere within the state, Double Black Diamond Solar, the second largest single-phase solar power project in the country is under construction. Construction begun in March last year for the 800MW solar plant. It is owned and operated by Swift Current Energy.
The solar project is expected to be completed later this year, the project has been estimated to cost US$800 million. The project will produce enough green energy to power 100,000 homes. Additionally, it will offset regional CO₂ emissions by approximately one million tons a year.
Located within Sangamon and Morgan counties, the Double Black Diamond solar project will see the installation of 1.6 million solar panels. They will be mounted on solar trackers that rotate to follow the sun’s movement. This maximizes output by up to 30% compared to fixed tilt panels. Moreover, approximately 100 invertors will also be installed on the project site.