A community solar installation at Christ for Everyone Ministries in Chicago Heights, Illinois, now provides clean, locally generated energy through the Illinois Solar For All program. This 654 kW solar project at Christ for Everyone Ministries was one of the first community solar installations built to serve low to moderate-income households to be approved under the Illinois Solar For All program. This solar installation aids the church in its mission of serving the Chicago Heights community.
As the lead developer, Groundswell used its extensive experience and the findings from its groundbreaking research on successful community solar projects to enable this solar installation, which is expected to provide more than 100 local, income-qualified households with roughly $500 per year per household in clean energy savings. Additionally, this ground-mounted solar installation provided clean energy career opportunities within the Chicago Heights community while supporting Christ for Everyone Ministries’ vision of economic empowerment and community investment through clean energy that empowers individuals and households. This solar installation is possible thanks to the committed leadership of Bishop Kenneth and Pastor Lydena Franklin at Christ for Everyone Ministries and the Groundswell team, in partnership with Sunlight General Capital and My Community Plan Foundation.
Additionally, when the City of Chicago Heights adopted its Comprehensive Plan in 2015, 10.7 percent of land in the city was vacant — including the land where this solar array is now located. The community solar project at Christ for Everyone Ministries allows this space to serve the social and economic development goals of the City of Chicago Heights. The installation has attracted private capital and generates economic benefits for the church, the project subscribers, and the greater community.
Sunlight General Capital — a woman-owned solar investment firm — financed this solar project, and Supreme Solutions — a Black-owned business — oversaw engineering, procurement, and construction for this project with Rethink Electric serving as the installer. My Community Plan Foundation — under the leadership of its executive director, Rev. Mitchell Johnson — coordinated with Groundswell and Christ For Everyone Ministries to ensure that this solar installation will have a transformative impact on Christ For Everyone Ministries and the surrounding community.
As part of the Illinois Solar for All (ILSFA) program, the solar installation at Christ For Everyone Ministries brings the benefits of solar to those who need them most. ILSFA provides greater access to the clean energy economy for low-income communities through incentives that make solar installations more affordable and result in measurable savings.