Community Solar is an installation of solar panels that provide solar energy and financial benefits to voluntary subscribers. Subscribers can buy or lease a share of the community solar installation.  In exchange, they receive a credit applied to their electricity bill.


Parnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The Oak Park-River Forest PlanItGreen initiative was selected as one of 15 communities across the country to participate in NREL’s peer learning initiative called the Solar Energy Innovation Network. The project incorporates a combination of renewable energy road map planning and implementation, with an emphasis on low-to-moderate income (LMI) and non-profit procurement goals. Strategies and project objectives include:

(1) creating a solar energy development and procurement road map for the villages of Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois

(2) developing and implementing a pipeline of solar projects, including behind-the-meter on-site installations, community solar, and utility-scale project that collectively meet renewable energy, LMI, and non-profit procurement goals

(3) identifying and overcoming barriers to grid connections, LMI household enrollment, and non-profit power purchase agreement contracts

(4) developing outreach, education and enrollment strategies that connect LMI households and multi-family building complexes with solar applications

(5) adapting successful strategies and lessons-learned across Chicago metro area communities

Lead Organization: Seven Generations Ahead

Stakeholders: Village of Oak Park; Village of River Forest; Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation; Oak Park Residence Corporation; Oak Park Housing Authority; Park District of Oak Park; Seven Generations Ahead; Illinois Community Choice Aggregation Network

Geographic Areas Represented: Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois


Check out our helpful Community Solar Infographic!