Developer Hires Community Representative, Opens Local Office in Eldorado
ELDORADO, Illinois – A 150-megawatt (MW) solar field proposed for Saline County is anticipated to bring tax revenue, construction jobs, landowner lease payments and other economic benefits to the community. The project near Eldorado is being developed by Capital Dynamics and Tenaska and represents an estimated $135 million investment.
“The demand for solar is growing, and we are excited to bring this project to Saline County,” said Justin Johnson, CEO of Arevon, an affiliate of Capital Dynamics. “Solar fields are quiet neighbors that provide significant economic benefits with very little burden on services. We look forward to developing this project here and becoming a part of the local business community for many years to come.”
The Eldorado Solar Project is planned for roughly 2,600 acres between US Hwy 45 and Route 142 near the town of Eldorado. Land for the solar field is under voluntary lease with local landowners. Pending necessary approvals, construction is anticipated to begin between 2022 or 2023 and span one year. Once complete, the solar field will be operational for 35 years.
A solar field of this size is an important economic driver for the local economy. A study conducted by Strategic Economic Research, LLC, in collaboration with Dr. David G. Loomis, a professor of economics at Illinois State University, estimates that the Eldorado Solar Project would result in:
- Over 260 full-time equivalent construction jobs (direct and indirect), including 101 jobs in Saline County.
- 2 full-time operations jobs on-site, plus 11.6 indirect jobs, for the 35-year project life.
- A contribution of $21.2 million to Saline County’s gross domestic product (GDP) during construction, with a $1.4 million addition to GDP each year during operations.
- Estimated tax revenues of $20.4 million, including $11.7 million to local schools, over its lifetime; at the same time, the solar field would place little burden on public services.
Operating solar fields are considered good neighbors: little to 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); and no increase in local traffic.
The Eldorado Solar Project team is committed to building strong local relationships. Randy Vickery and David Martin have been hired as the project’s local representatives.
Vickery has lived on the family farm in Gallatin County for the last 60 years and has worked many jobs during that time. The last 23 years before retirement, he worked for Illinois Department of Transportation in Saline County as a highway maintainer and before that at Illinois Youth Center – Harrisburg as a youth supervisor. He has been involved with the local FFA Alumni chapter, being one of its founders and served as president for three years. Vickery was the first in Gallatin County to install solar at his home and enjoys the savings and green power it provides.
“A few years ago, I installed a solar system to power my home. To be involved in what will be the largest commercial system ever built in Illinois is exciting,” Vickery said. “Saline County and the surrounding area will see great benefits for many years to come.”
Martin has been in the electrical and coal industry for over 40 years. After leaving the coal mines in 2015, Martin pivoted into the solar industry. He currently owns and operates D&D Electric with his wife, Darla, and son Davy. His company specializes in small-scale solar design and installation.
“It’s an exciting time in energy production and I’m proud to be a part of this solar development; a brighter future for generations to come,” Martin said.
Vickery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-479-4048. Martin can be reached at email@example.com or 270-213-0782. Vickery is also available at the Eldorado Solar Project’s new local office at 1604 Locust St., Eldorado. Office hours are 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and 1-5 p.m. Thursdays or by appointment.
Additional project information is available at https://eldoradosolarproject.com/.
Tenaska is one of the leading independent energy companies in the United States, with a reputation for high standards and expertise in natural gas and electric power marketing, energy management, development and acquisition of energy assets, and operation of generating facilities. Forbes magazine consistently ranks Tenaska among the 50 largest private U.S. companies. Gross operating revenues were $7.7 billion in 2020.
Tenaska is a 2021 U.S. Best Managed Company, a recognition given by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal to private companies that demonstrate excellence in strategic planning and execution, corporate culture and financial results.
Tenaska has developed, managed and/or operated approximately 22 gigawatts (GW) of natural gas-fueled and renewables generation. Its development portfolios include more than 16 GW of solar, wind and energy storage projects. The current Tenaska operating fleet includes 7.5 GW of generating facilities.
Arevon is a global provider and North America’s leading renewable energy company, offering comprehensive renewable energy infrastructure solutions to institutional investors and long-term owners that maximize value across the entire lifecycle of assets. Arevon is an affiliate of Capital Dynamics, benefitting from the global scale and extensive market insight of the global Capital Dynamics Clean Energy Infrastructure (CEI) platform.
Arevon’s global fleet of PV solar and onshore wind assets now exceeds 6.5 GWdc, representing over $9 billion in invested capital. Arevon operates the 2nd-largest portfolio of operating solar assets in North America, with over 3.5 GWdc of commercially operating utility-scale, commercial/industrial, distributed generation, and battery storage assets. With an additional 3.0 GWdc of solar assets currently under construction in the United States, Arevon is leading the renewable energy revolution in one of the most exciting industries of the 21st century. In addition, Arevon in the UK manages CEI’s platform of over 200 MW of operational onshore wind and solar assets in the UK, a further 450 MW of construction assets in Europe and is mandated on the acquisition, development and construction of an extensive pipeline of utility-scale solar assets in the UK and Europe. For more information, please visit www.arevonenergy.com.