Oak Park, Chicago partnership offers group discounts on solar panels

An example of a backyard solar panel. | Sun-Times Media File

Oak Park residents in the market for solar panels can save some money through a bulk purchasing program being offered by the village.

Operated through a partnership between the village and the City of Chicago, the Solar Chicago initiative offers “discounted pricing to participants by pooling their collective buying power for solar panel purchases and installations.”

“We hope this program makes it less expensive for homeowners to consider solar panel installations,” said Assistant Village Manager Rob Cole. “The more residents who sign up, the more affordable the program will be for everyone involved.”

As of late July, Solar Chicago had enrolled 878 members, bringing the group price of solar energy purchased through the program to $3.49 per watt. The partnership hopes to register 1,000 participants by Sept. 30.

Juhl Renewable Energy Systems and Microgrid Solar, the vendors for the project, “were chosen through a competitive bid process,” according to the village.

Other participating groups include the World Wildlife Fund, the California-based Vote Solar initiative, the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago and several neighboring municipalities.

The Solar Chicago program is one of two alternatives power initiatives currently underway in Oak Park: in April, the village announced that it would be taking part in a smart-grid pilot project which could see as many as 200 volunteering households “utilized to test and demonstrate the latest in smart grid technologies, including solar power and energy storage.”

That program is being carried out through a partnership between the village and the Korea Smart Grid Institute.

0 Comments

Read about Ernest Hemingway and his ties to Oak Park by clicking here.

Modal