Rob Pratl, President of the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Ridge Park District, announced that the Park District will be adding two roof Solar PV Systems – one at Frontier Park Fieldhouse and one at Freedom Activity Center. The systems will offset nearly 40% of the facilities’ annual electricity usage in year one. The expected 1st year energy production of 221,085 kWh combined is enough to power 25 homes on clean, renewable, locally produced electricity. The system will produce enough clean energy to prevent over 132 tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere annually, while reducing the District’s energy consumption and environmental footprint.
The system will have 471 solar panels that will be installed by Windfree Solar, a commercial and residential solar installer who has been changing the world over the past 10 years and has completed over 400 installations in Chicagoland.
Park District Director, Kevin King, stated that the Park District is taking a big step in fulfilling their stewardship of reducing pollution and scaling down their carbon footprint. Upon completion of the project the Park District and Windfree Solar will host a “solarbration” open house for the community, detailing the project’s specifications and benefits, thereby educating everyone on the benefits of solar power.
The project will be financed through a PPA agreement provided by Sustainable Capital Finance, a solar finance company specializing in public sector/non-profit financing at no cost to the Park District. This agreement will lock in an electricity rate below the District’s current rate with no escalator for 25 years enabling the Park District to save tax payer dollars while helping the environment.