Gibraltar Industries’ Terrasmart renewable energy arm has supplied its racking system for Chicago’s largest commercial solar installation. The rooftop and carport solar installations combined yield 213 KW DC of solar generating capacity for the Chicago Urban League, one of the country’s oldest urban advocacy organizations for the advancement of African Americans.
The system represents the league’s commitment to bring clean, renewable energy to Chicago’s South Side community. Terrasmart supplied the fixed tilt racking system for two surface-lot canopy canopies that make the 162 KW solar vehicleport. Terrasmart’s carport can be made to any size and with many geometric and structural options. It produces solar energy while also providing shade for Chicago Urban League members. Renewable Energy Evolution LLC designed, built and installed the system.
“We are excited about what this means for environmental justice across our communities in Chicago,” says project lead Andrew Wells, vice president of the Workforce Development Center at the Chicago Urban League. “Our project is bringing greater awareness, inclusion, and access to the clean energy economy for the people of the South Side.”
The solar system highlights the Chicago Urban League’s commitment to advancing the community’s access to renewable energy. Through its Workforce Development Center program that includes solar incentives from Illinois, the League launched two training programs for solar installation and sales in 2017. The League’s annual cohort of 75 trainees can access job fairs in renewable energy, which are held in partnership with organizations like the Illinois Solar Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
“We are honored to have played a part in such a monumental project,” states Ed McKiernan, Terrasmart’s president. “Not only is this the largest PV commercial installation in the city of Chicago, but it’s an important milestone in providing more equitable access to the solar economy. Terrasmart is proud to have partnered with the Chicago Urban League and Renewable Energy Evolution.”
“Terrasmart went above and beyond on this milestone project,” adds Brian Maillet, founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Evolution. “Their help in engineering, design, permitting and implementation of the city’s largest solar carport system was critical to the success of the project.”
Wells and his team will be adding two electric vehicle charging stations. He also plans to build a community solar farm for renters who want lower electricity bills.