Chicago Signs $422 million Agreement to Source City Sustainably

Chicago skyline. Photo by Max Bender/Unsplash
Published On
Sep 1, 2022

The City of Chicago has signed a $422.2 million agreement with electricity supplier Constellation NewEnergy Inc. to have all city amenities sourced by renewable energy by 2025.

In collaboration with the city, Swift Current Energy is currently developing the new solar generation installation that will eventually be used to power Chicago’s airports, government buildings, streetlights and more. According to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, this installation is set to be “the largest utility-scale solar generation facility in Illinois’ history.” It is also expected to create 1,000 jobs.

“The signing of this agreement demonstrates that the City of Chicago is leading by example and driving high-impact climate action, building the clean energy workforce of the future and equitably distributing meaningful benefits to foster the local clean energy economy for all,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement released on Aug. 8.

This agreement marks a major milestone in the city’s 2022 Chicago Climate Action Plan, which outlines a goal for a 62% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. According to the city, Chicago is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by over 290,000 metric tons each year by converting its city operations to solar energy.

“We are providing a clean energy solution that will help the City of Chicago significantly reduce its carbon footprint and make a tangible, positive impact in the fight against climate change,” said Jim McHugh, chief commercial officer for Constellation.

Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States to source renewably, joining Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, which are cited as the top three “Solar Superstars” for overall solar capacity, in administering large-scale renewable amenities in their city.

Los Angeles County has also been making waves in sustainability. In October 2022, the public agency Clean Power Alliance will provide 100% renewable energy, sourced by wind, solar and geothermal, to all customers of unincorporated areas of the region.

Sustainability is trending. The United States saw a surge in renewable energy in April, hitting a record 28% generated, according to USA Today. The report states that cost-efficiency and windy and sunny weather were the biggest contributors to the record number.

With whole cities and government entities like USPS transitioning towards more sustainable options, the country overall could be a little greener over the next few years.

About the Author
Annabel Rocha headshot

Annabel Rocha

Annabel Rocha is a freelance writer and copywriter for various publications, as well as a multimedia journalist for Illinois Latino News and Latino News Network. A native Chicagoan, she specializes in broadcast production, news writing and...

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