New Jersey-based community solar firm Nautilus has ventured into the Midwest through the acquisition of a 75 MW solar portfolio in Illinois. The company revealed on Tuesday that it has secured 75.6 MW across 16 community solar projects dispersed throughout the state, with an expected operational timeline between 2025 and 2027.
Jeff Lee, Business Development Director at Nautilus, emphasized the significance of the acquisition in demonstrating the company's commitment to the Illinois market. Lee stated, “The scale of this acquisition underlines Nautilus's capabilities and reaffirms our position as a leading community solar company with projects and subscribers located across the country.”
As of now, Nautilus manages and operates solar farms in 10 states, overseeing financing, development, maintenance, and customer service over the lifespan of its projects. The company will assume long-term ownership of the Illinois portfolio, taking charge of construction oversight, long-term performance maintenance, and the acquisition and management of customer subscriptions.
The projects are designed to enable Ameren and ComEd utility customers in Illinois to benefit from cost savings on their electric bills while generating clean energy to serve approximately 10,000 homes and commercial businesses.
This solar portfolio aligns with Illinois' community solar program, contributing to the state's renewable energy targets of 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. The state has emerged as one of the rapidly growing community solar markets in the Midwest.
Eric Paul, Vice President of Partner Development at Nautilus, highlighted the company's commitment to Illinois' renewable energy goals, stating, “Our focus is not just on producing clean energy but ensuring that the benefits, particularly the cost savings, reach every Illinoisan, especially those from low-to-moderate income backgrounds and historically disadvantaged communities.”
Community solar programs continue to gain momentum as a rapidly growing sector within the renewable energy industry. These initiatives provide locally produced, affordable clean energy to residents and businesses, fostering engagement, collaboration, job creation, economic development, and responsible land use within communities.