Illinois’s Cook County Helps Solar Energy Cooperatives Rise and Shine
In Cook County, Illinois, one of the most populous counties in the U.S., officials are taking an innovative approach to spur job growth and promote sustainable energy. Last April, they launched a program to support community shared solar power in the Chicago area and selected 15 pilot sites — public housing complexes, churches, industrial areas, and landfills, to implement community-owned solar projects.
Their goal was to establish unique models for providing clean, efficient energy to small communities. Instead of asking residents to invest in solar panels for their homes, the officials proposed that they become members of small-scale energy cooperatives.