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Eldorado Solar Project

Details & benefits

project Details

Proposed Size

150 megawatts (MW)

Location

Saline County, Illinois. The power will be transmitted to the Ameren Muddy-Norris City 138 kV line.

Land Area

The project will have a footprint of approximately 2,600 acres of land to locate solar panel arrays, an operations and maintenance building, inverters, and access roads.

Local Investment

$180 million local estimated investment.

Power Generation

The project is expected to generate enough solar energy to power the average electricity consumption of approximately 28,000 Illinois homes each year.

Project Lifespan

Once constructed, the project has a 35-year useful life. After this time, it will be decommissioned in accordance with a decommissioning plan and bond.

Economic Development Study

An independent study conducted by Strategic Economic Research, LLC and authored by Dr. David G. Loomis, a professor of economics at Illinois State University, estimates that the Eldorado Solar Project would bring broad economic benefits to Saline County, including:

 

Construction Jobs

260 full-time equivalent jobs, including 101 located in Saline County.

Operations Jobs

2 full-time operations and maintenance jobs.

Taxes

Property taxes totaling $20.4 million, including $3.9 million to Saline County and $11.7 million to area school districts.

Gross Domestic Product

Over $21.2 million during construction and $1.4 million per year during the project's 35 years of operation.

Eldorado Solar Project Timeline

Business handshake

MID 2021

Local Agreements

MID-LATE 2021

Engineering and Permitting

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EARLY 2022

Final Approvals

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2022-2023

Begin Construction

Electricity-Nikola Tesla

2023

Operational

Eldorado Solar Project Timeline

Business handshake

MID 2021

Local Agreements
Engineering concept

EARLY 2022

Engineering and Permitting
Close-up Of A Person's Hand Stamping With Approved Stamp On Document At Desk

LATE 2022

Final Approvals
Solar power plant worker in hard hat checks the surface of the photovoltaic panel

2022-2023

Begin Construction
Africa solar energy concept

2023

Operational

Eldorado Solar Project Benefits

Project Benefits

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Economic Benefits

  • Millions of dollars in landowner lease payments – stable revenue stream that diversifies income 

  • Millions of dollars in tax revenue, with very little burden on local services, like schools and hospitals 

  • Hundreds of construction jobs, as well as long-term operations jobs 

  • Additions to the county’s gross domestic product (GDP) 

  • Economic activity for local restaurants, hotels, and other retail and wholesale business

    An economic impact study to quantify these benefits is underway. 

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Quiet Neighbor

Operating solar fields are quiet business neighbors that have minimal impact on the surrounding area:

  • No proven health or safety risks

  • No sound outside the fence line

  • No odor or emissions

  • No tall towers or equipment; solar panels typically sit 12 feet or less from the ground

  • No increase in local traffic

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Environmental Attributes

  • Use of the sun’s rays to generate renewable energy

  • Emissions-free power generation

  • Aids utilities in meeting Illinois’ renewables portfolio standard, which requires 25% of electrical sales to come from renewable sources by 2025

  • Land under solar panels is rested for future agricultural use

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