National Grid Renewables has announced that construction has commenced on the 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County, Illinois. The Praire Wolf solar project is poised to generate millions in tax revenue, landowner income, and charitable initiatives, all while adding more clean energy to the electric grid. Using the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the project is estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions by 285,000 metric tons annually. Prairie Wolf will also benefit local and statewide economies through the production of new tax revenue, the creation of new jobs, increased local spending during construction, and a local charitable fund estimated to contribute US$800,000 over the first 20 years of project operation.
David Reamer, Head of Development, U.S. Onshore Renewables for National Grid Renewables said “Prairie Wolf is on the leading edge of the large-scale solar energy industry in the Midwest. We are thankful to the community members in Coles County for welcoming us and look forward to bringing economic development to the local area. Further, we are pleased to partner with leading companies like Cargill and Swinerton Renewable Energy to prove that Midwest solar is economic, valuable, and the right choice for customers and businesses.”
Prairie Wolf has an executed Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with Cargill, marking the second renewable energy VPPA contracted between Cargill and National Grid Renewables.”The groundbreaking of the Prairie Wolf Solar Project is an exciting step forward in Cargill’s work to support renewable energy as a way to change the way we power our operations, harnessing the innovative, economic, and environmental benefits of renewable power,” stated Eric Hoegger, Director, Global Renewable Energy for Cargill. “We are honored to continue partnering with National Grid Renewables as we work to fulfill our commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 10% by 2025, measured against a 2017 baseline.”