IMEA is Set to Exceed a Sustainability Goal

Date Posted: 2024-06-28

At its June meeting, the IMEA Board authorized IMEA management to negotiate a contract with a solar developer to be the sole off taker of energy from a 150 MW Illinois solar facility that could achieve commercial operation as soon as December 31, 2026.

If that negotiation is successful and the Board approves the contract, then IMEA will exceed a significant goal of its 2024 Sustainability Plan, which is to add 100 MW of new, utility-scale solar to its portfolio as part of its intention to add a total of 130 MW of new solar to the portfolio by 2027. The agency is already contracted to add 25 megawatts of utility-scale solar from the Big River Solar Farm located in White County, Illinois, starting in 2025.

For the past two years, IMEA has sought to add large-scale solar. Many of the projects under consideration were stymied by bottlenecks in the regional transmission organization permitting queues, or by supply chain issues, or by mineral rights and other issues. The opportunity IMEA is now pursuing is the most feasible of the many options the agency has analyzed. The project is in Ameren Illinois territory and already has a signed Generator Interconnection Agreement with Ameren and MISO. IMEA seeks to purchase all energy, capacity, ancillary services, and renewable energy credits from the project.

If agreeable terms are reached, the IMEA Board will vote on the contract as early as its next meeting in August.