Southern Illinois solar array could be largest-ever in state

PICKNEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials say a proposed solar array in southern Illinois could be the largest-ever in the state and more than double Illinois’ solar energy output.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that the Wabash Valley Power energy co-op has signed a long-term agreement to be the sole purchaser of power from Prairie State Solar Project’s Perry County array. New York-based solar development company Ranger Power will build the array on private property. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2019 with operations starting 2021.

Officials say the array will generate enough energy to power an estimated 15,000 homes. The project also is estimated to bring nearly $100 million in new investment to southwestern Illinois and contribute to tax revenues. About 200 jobs will be created during construction.

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