The largest solar farm in Illinois is now under construction.
WMAY and the Sangamon County Growth Alliance say work on the Double Black Diamond Solar Farm began once crops were harvested from the farmland where the solar panels will sit between Morgan and Sangamon counties. The 4,100 acre project will provide power to Chicago and other Illinois communities over the next 35 years, according to the lease agreement.
Swift Current Energies owns the project. The Illinois Times reported on Thursday that Swift says the project will bring $71 million in tax revenue over the 35-year life of the project, and that it is expected to generate 976 jobs during its 12-to-18-month construction.
The project is expected to double the state’s megawattage for residential homes, producing approximately 593 megawatts, enough to power approximately 85,000 homes in the state. Opponents of the project say it takes valuable farmland out of use.
The project is expected to cost $535 million and is expected to be fully operational by 2025.