Making Brownfield Sunny

A manufacturer of solar systems has planned to develop the country's largest urban solar power plant at a brownfield in Chicago.
June 5, 2009, 9am PDT | Liyuan Huang
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"Solar power plants are blooming all over the world, each one claiming to be the biggest and most powerful. But instead of the Mohave Dessert or the Qaidam Basin, Exelon Generation, an energy company that serves the Northeast, parts of Texas, and the city of Chicago, and SunPower Corporation, a manufacturer of solar systems, plan to develop the nation's largest urban solar power plant at a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side.

Exelon is arguing for the importance of finding urban locations for renewable energy in order to provide electrical services in urban areas. The project is planning to lease and make use of a 39-acre brownfield owned by the City of Chicago at the West Pullman Industrial Redevelopment Area. This 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) facility, featuring 32,800 solar panels that will produce enough clean energy to fulfill the annual requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 homes, will displace approximately 31.2 million pounds of greenhouse emissions annually (the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 cars off the road or planting more than 3,200 acres of forest)."

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Published on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in The Architect's Newspaper
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