Installation begins next week on a new solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at Deer Creek Racquet Club. The new system will provide an estimated energy savings of $4,000 or approximately 11% per year for the Club. The Park District entered into a lease agreement with Realgy, LLC in December 2020 to provide the new Deer Creek solar plant as part of the Park District’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint. The new system will generate 180,000kWh annually, equivalent to powering over 17 average Illinois homes per year. Utilizing solar also provides a clean alternative to coal. The new Deer Creek system will substitute 245 tons of coal burned which means removing 127,000 lbs. of CO2 into the environment annually, the equivalent of planting 9,800 trees.
In the agreement, the Connecticut-based Realgy will pay for the installation and ongoing maintenance of the Deer Creek PV Solar Power Plant. The term of the lease is 25 years. The new PV Solar Power plant is a 149 kW system. Based on Deer Creek’s 2019 usage, the system is estimated to produce 39% of the building’s energy needs. The remainder of the energy needs will come from the power grid and be supplied by Realgy, which averages 5% below ComEd rates. Annual credits are built into the agreement for additional savings.
It will take two to three weeks to install the new PV system on the Deer Creek roof. Once the system is inspected, commissioned, and tested, it will be operational in January 2022. During this time, Deer Creek will remain open for its regular hours of operation.
“The partnership with Realgy is another example of our Park District’s ongoing efforts to provide economic, environmental, and health benefits for our residents,” said Brian Romes, executive director for the Park District of Highland Park.