National Grid Renewables Announces Commercial Operation of 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project in Illinois

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Contact: Lindsay T Smith
Director, Marketing & Communications
National Grid Renewables
[email protected]
612-429-7050

Project will contribute millions to local and state economies through tax revenue, landowner income, and jobs

Minneapolis, MN (December 17, 2021) – Today, National Grid Renewables announced the start of commercial operation for its Prairie Wolf Solar Project (Prairie Wolf), located in Coles County, Illinois. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) located project boasts 200 megawatts (MW) of clean solar power and is contracted through a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with Cargill. Prairie Wolf utilizes next-generation Series 6 thin film solar modules developed and produced by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) and was constructed by SOLV Energy, formerly known as Swinerton Renewable Energy.

At the peak of construction, Prairie Wolf employed approximately 300 onsite workers. During operation, in addition to new onsite operations and maintenance jobs, Prairie Wolf will benefit local and statewide economies through the production of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and landowner income.

“With the start of operations at the Prairie Wolf Solar site, National Grid Renewables continues to deliver upon its commitment to repower America with clean, economically beneficial renewable energy,” commented David Reamer, Head of Development, US Onshore Renewables for National Grid Renewables. “Thank you to our project customer and partners, as well as the community members, who supported Prairie Wolf and enabled enormous benefit to the local economy and farming community.”

Announced earlier this year, Prairie Wolf will also fund a charitable Education Fund for the local school district. “This development will benefit the county in many ways, including donations through grants to organizations and schools throughout the county,” commented Stan Metzger, Coles County Board Member.

Using the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, Prairie Wolf is projected to offset carbon dioxide emissions by 285,000 metric tons annually during operations.

“Cargill is committed to mitigating the pressing issue of climate change and its impacts on our global food system. One of the ways we are doing this is by financially participating in renewable energy sources, such as the Prairie Wolf Solar Project,” stated Eric Hoegger, Director, Global Renewable Energy for Cargill. “Not only will the Prairie Wolf Solar Project play a vital role in helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while contributing to the renewable economy, we’re also honored to contribute to the positive impact it will have on the Coles county community and surrounding counties where Cargill operates multiple plant locations.”

Announced earlier this month, tax equity financing for Prairie Wolf was provided by Bank of America.

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About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables, part of the competitive, unregulated National Grid Ventures division of National Grid (NYSE: NGG), develops, owns and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables develops projects for corporations and utilities that seek to repower America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future.

National Grid Renewables has a robust development pipeline of wind, solar and battery storage projects in various stages of development throughout the United States, as well as geographically diverse operational assets across the country. It supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 
 

National Grid Renewables is repowering America by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future.

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Cordi O Hara

Cordi O'Hara

Chair of the National Grid Renewables Board & President, National Grid Ventures

In her role as President of National Grid Ventures (NGV), Cordi is responsible for the development, financing, construction and operation of large-scale energy assets, including: electricity interconnectors; LNG storage and regasification; onshore wind and solar generation; and competitive transmission.

Prior to joining NGV, Cordi was Chief Operating Officer, US Gas Business for National Grid; where she was accountable for the safe, reliable and affordable operation of National Grid’s gas distribution businesses across the New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island service territories on behalf of the company’s 3.6 million customers.

Cordi also ran the UK System Operator for National Grid, where she oversaw the strategy, planning and operation of over 14,000 miles of gas and electricity networks in Great Britain. In her tenure in this role she integrated over 14 GW of renewable, clean energy into the UK system. She has advocated for innovative solutions to a decarbonized energy market, including clean technology solutions and new demand response initiatives.

Cordi became a fellow of the UK Energy Institute in 2016, acknowledging her significant experience in UK and European energy markets and networks, and was awarded an OBE in 2019.

Cordi has more than 20 years’ experience in the energy industry, managing key relationships with government officials, regulators and customers. She has overseen transformation efforts to improve the customer experience across the National Grid businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining National Grid, Cordi worked for Centrica, the largest UK energy retailer, in a variety of commercial and operational roles; including serving 11 million customer accounts in the United Kingdom.

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