The Prairie Wolf Solar Project from National Grid Renewables started commercial operations in Coles County, Illinois. Prairie Wolf is producing 200 MW of solar power and is contracted through a virtual PPA with agricultural corporation Cargill.

Credit: National Grid Renewables

“Cargill is committed to mitigating the pressing issue of climate change and its impacts on our global food system. One of the ways we are doing this is by financially participating in renewable energy sources, such as the Prairie Wolf Solar Project,” stated Eric Hoegger, director, global renewable energy for Cargill. “Not only will the Prairie Wolf Solar Project play a vital role in helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while contributing to the renewable economy, we’re also honored to contribute to the positive impact it will have on the Coles county community and surrounding counties where Cargill operates multiple plant locations.”

The array is composed of Series 6 thin-film solar modules developed and produced by First Solar constructed by SOLV Energy, formerly known as Swinerton Renewable Energy.

At the peak of construction, Prairie Wolf employed approximately 300 onsite workers. During operation, in addition to new onsite operations and maintenance jobs, Prairie Wolf will produce millions of dollars in new tax revenue and landowner income for local and statewide economies.

“With the start of operations at the Prairie Wolf Solar site, National Grid Renewables continues to deliver upon its commitment to repower America with clean, economically beneficial renewable energy,” said David Reamer, head of development of U.S. onshore renewables for National Grid Renewables. “Thank you to our project customer and partners, as well as the community members, who supported Prairie Wolf and enabled enormous benefit to the local economy and farming community.”

Announced earlier this year, Prairie Wolf also created a charitable education fund for the local school district.

“This development will benefit the county in many ways, including donations through grants to organizations and schools throughout the county,” said Stan Metzger, Coles County board member.

News item from National Grid Renewables

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