Skip to main content

Community solar in Illinois

See community solar projects near you
Community Solar Location

With community solar, you can subscribe to a share of a solar farm near you. If you have an electric bill, you can support renewables without installing anything on your property – and save money!

Illinois is one of the most recent states to adopt community solar, having done so with the passing of the Future Energy Jobs Act in late 2016. Since then, the market has grown substantially thanks to the Illinois Shines program, which provides financial incentives for community solar projects. Though later to the game than other Midwestern states (looking at you, Minnesota), IL is well-positioned to become one of the top states for community solar in the U.S.

What is community solar?

A community solar project is a solar farm whose electricity is shared by more than one property. The primary purpose of a community solar farm is to allow members of a community to share the benefits of solar power even if they cannot or prefer not to install solar panels on their property. Project participants benefit from the electricity generated by the community solar farm, which costs less than the price they would ordinarily pay to their utility.

How much can I save with a community solar farm near me?

Savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar subscribers in Illinois receive a 5-10% discount off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.

See community solar projects near you

Community Solar FAQs

Electricity bill savings differ from program to program, and also vary by month. On average, most community solar farm subscribers receive a discount between 5-10% off of traditional electricity costs over the course of a year.

After subscribing to a community solar program, you will start receiving two separate bills: you’ll continue receiving a monthly bill from your utility company, but this bill will include any applicable credits from the community solar farm. You will also receive a separate bill from your community solar provider for the cost of your share or subscription.

Sign up or membership fees vary depending on the project, provider, and payment model – many community solar providers offer $0-down subscription options, while others may charge a small, initial sign-up fee to get you up and running.

It depends – if you’re moving to a location that’s still in the same electricity service territory as your current home, you may be able to transfer your community solar subscription to your new address. However, if you’re moving further away, you may need to cancel your subscription or transfer your contract to another utility customer (whether that be the new homeowners or someone else in the project’s service territory). Cancellation and transfer terms and applicable fees vary by project and provider, so confirm these policies with your provider prior to signing up.

Before signing a contract with a community solar provider, it’s important to compare estimated savings, cancellation terms, project location, payment model, subscription fees, and more. Using the Community Solar Marketplace, you can compare multiple local options and find the best project for you.

What are the benefits of community solar?

Local Energy

Community solar programs help support local renewable energy jobs and project development in Illinois, connecting you directly to clean energy projects in your community.


You can save 5-10% off of your annual electricity costs with community solar.


Unlike rooftop solar, you don’t need to own your property to take advantage of community solar (you just need an electric bill!)


Many community solar farms have no subscription fee and are easy to opt-out of. Plus, you don’t need to install or maintain any equipment on your property.

Who offers community solar in Illinois ?

There are 5 community solar developers offering 11 active projects in Illinois.

Show More

Community solar vs. rooftop solar in Illinois

Community vs Rooftop

Which option is right for you?
Here’s some of the main differences to keep in mind as you’re deciding between community and rooftop solar:

  • Cost
    Community solar: No upfront cost
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Does have an upfront cost; $0-down financing available
  • Savings
    Community solar: Lower savings
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Maximum long-term savings
  • Accessibility
    Community solar: Available to renters & property owners
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Only available to property owners
  • Maintenance
    Community solar: No maintenance required
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Maintenance may be required and is the responsibility of the system owner
  • Incentives
    Community solar: Not eligible for most solar incentives
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Eligible for state and federal solar incentives (e.g. the federal tax credit)
  • Property value benefits
    Community solar: Has no impact on property value
    Rooftop solar (ownership): Increases property value