News | June 6, 2024

Sol Systems Launches Innovative Solar And Sustainable Agriculture Project In Illinois

First-of-its-kind solar project to boost local economy, enhance biodiversity, and drive sustainable agriculture in the region

 Washington, DC (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Building upon its approach to combining clean energy infrastructure with community and ecological impact, national renewable energy company Sol Systems today unveiled its latest project, Eldorado Phase II. Once completed, Eldorado Phase II will increase the overall project’s capacity to over 300 MW, making it one of the largest solar projects in the region, and one of the largest combined solar + crop cultivation projects in the country. This expansion will significantly stimulate the economy in Saline County, Illinois, adding nearly half a billion dollars in regional investment.

Eldorado Phase II will be one of the most environmentally innovative large-scale solar projects in the United States, incorporating Kernza® grain cultivation, pollinator-friendly vegetation, as well as a host of local educational and other community impact programs to tie the project’s economic benefits to the local community. The Eldorado Phase I and Phase II projects are also the first in the United States to use American-produced, advanced-technology tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) modules from Canadian Solar USA Manufacturing.

The Eldorado projects will collectively drive a robust $480 million investment into the region, including $21 million in expected tax revenue over the project life and millions of dollars in funding specifically to support the surrounding communities. This revenue highlights Sol Systems' Infrastructure + ImpactTM approach and reinforces its mission to integrate clean energy solutions with tangible community and ecosystem benefits.

Portions of the solar project will be used to grow and harvest Kernza®, a perennial grain known for its ability to sequester carbon and improve soil health. The Kernza will be cultivated, harvested, and then supplied to local partners to support local businesses. The Eldorado Phase II project will also create a pollinator-friendly environment around the solar arrays, incorporating a mix of grasses and wildflowers to promote healthy ecosystems and contribute to the biodiversity of the region. This project will also participate in Sol Systems’ research partnership with the American Farmland Trust to study soil health and the benefits of perennial vegetation.

"Clean energy infrastructure can extend far beyond power generation. Architecting the right investments with the right financial partners, and collaborating with key local partners, enables and fosters ecological integrity and community prosperity,” said Yuri Horwitz, CEO of Sol Systems. “Sol remains dedicated to developing, building, and operating clean energy infrastructure that maximizes community and ecological impact.”

Eldorado Phase II was financed and developed in partnership with institutions that have worked with Sol before, including Monarch Private Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank, the National Bank of Canada, ING, National Australia Bank, and Comerica Bank.

Vince O’Hara, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank, commented, "It’s been an honor to arrange financing for Sol Systems’ innovative projects. The Eldorado Phase II project is another step forward for sustainable energy solutions that are economically viable and environmentally responsible. We are excited to see the combined effect of Eldorado Phase I and Eldorado Phase II as powerful catalysts for community and ecological well-being."

"Monarch is excited to continue our partnership with Sol Systems and provide equity to the second phase of Eldorado," said Bryan Didier, Partner and Managing Director of Renewable Energy at Monarch Private Capital. "We strongly believe in Sol’s deliberate and intentional development approach of engaging all community stakeholders. We’re proud to facilitate investments that result in measurable impacts, both in terms of strong economics for the participants — offtakers as well as the developers and their participants — and in advancing the decarbonization of the grid.”

“It is an honor to serve our US customers, like Sol Systems, and other partners with American-made and assembled products,” said Thomas Koerner, President, Canadian Solar USA Manufacturing. “We are excited to see our first US TOPCon modules installed in Eldorado, Illinois, which is a great example of the success of our growing US manufacturing operations and our commitment to scale American solar manufacturing under the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Eldorado Phase II has broken ground and is expected to be completed in 2025.

About Sol Systems
Sol Systems is a leading national renewable energy firm with an established reputation for integrity and reliability across its development, infrastructure, and environmental commodity businesses. Sol is currently operating and building over 2 GW of solar projects valued at over $2 billion for Fortune 500 companies, municipalities, counties, utilities, universities, and schools and provides environmental commodity portfolio management services to more than 40,000 customers across the US. The company was founded in 2008, is based in Washington, D.C., and is led by its founder. Sol Systems works with institutional clients, corporate partners, and foundations to create a more sustainable future we can all believe in. For more information, visit

Source: Sol Systems