New Illinois solar power farm to help power Chicago airports

State officials on Monday announced plans for Illinois’ biggest-ever solar power facility.

"By 2025, hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans will get their energy needs met by an entirely renewable energy source," Gov. JB Pritzker said.

The facility will be built in central Illinois, nearly 200 miles south of Chicago.

But City Hall has agreed to buy some of the energy to power publicly owned assets, including O’Hare and Midway airports.


Gov. Pritzker said construction on the 593-megawatt solar power farm will start soon in Morgan County and Sangamon County.

"In the next few months, we will begin construction on the largest utility scale solar generated facility in Illinois' history, creating nearly a thousand new jobs," Pritzker said.

More such renewable energy projects are likely, if, as expected, the U.S. House approves a measure passed by the Senate on Sunday. While it's called the "Inflation Reduction Act," it includes the largest-ever initiatives related to climate change.

"When you take this bill and you lay it on top of the bipartisan infrastructure law where we're building roads and bridges and airports and ports and clear air and clean water, we're also transitioning into a new way that people drive, and so this bill is another down payment on that and protecting us from the climate crisis that we're having," said Mitch Landrieu, Senior White House Advisor.

"What this bill's going to end up doing, it's going to hamper innovation, it's going to raise taxes on the middle class," said Republican Congressman Pat Fallon.

If the House does pass the proposal by Friday, as expected, the President Joe Biden would likely sign it into law next week.

Gov. Pritzker noted that earlier, state legislation set a goal of putting one-million new electric vehicles on Illinois’ roads by 2030.