Two DESRI Solar Projects in Illinois Reach Commercial Operations

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments’ (DESRI) Prairie State Solar and Dressor Plains Solar projects have reached commercial operation, and closed debt and tax equity financing. Prairie and Dressor will both utilize term debt from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service (RUS). Each are 99 MW AC solar plants, with Prairie in Perry County, Ill. and Dressor in Fayette County. Ranger Power, an Illinois-based utility-scale developer of solar power, was involved in both projects.

Prairie and Dressor have long-term power purchase contracts with Wabash Valley Power Alliance. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s metrics, the facilities will each produce enough clean electricity to power approximately 21,000 homes each year. Both projects have contracts with the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) for the purchase of renewable energy certificates. These contracts were signed in 2017 by Prairie and 2018, respectively. The projects contribute to Illinois’s commitments under its renewable portfolio standard and the Future Energy Jobs Bill to procure 25% of the state’s electricity from renewables by 2025.

“We are delighted to have completed the RUS financing process for the Prairie and Dressor projects in Illinois: a true team effort,” says Aileen Kenney, executive director of development and project management for DESRI. “Our team is grateful for the hard work from the RUS team, our development partner Ranger Power, WVPA, and IPA for making new renewable energy and local investment available for Illinois customers and businesses.”

Bank of America provided tax equity financing.

SOLV Energy was the contracting engineer, procurement and construction company. SOLV Energy will also provide ongoing operations and maintenance services once the facility is operational.