National Grid Renewables has commenced construction on the 200MW Prairie Wolf solar project in Coles County, Illinois.

Slated to commence operations by the end of this year, the Prairie Wolf project has an executed Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) with Cargill.

The deal is reported to be the second renewable energy VPPA contract signed between Cargill and National Grid Renewables. The first agreement was signed for a portion of the Crocker Wind Farm located in Clark County, South Dakota.

Swinerton Renewable Energy, an engineering, construction, and procurement (EPC) contractor for solar power plants, has been appointed to develop the solar power project.

National Grid Renewables US Onshore Renewables Development head David Reamer said: “Prairie Wolf is on the leading edge of the large-scale solar energy industry in the Midwest.

“We are thankful to the community members in Coles County for welcoming us and look forward to bringing economic development to the local area.”

Upon completion, Prairie Wolf solar project is expected to offset 285,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Cargill Global Renewable Energy director Eric Hoegger said: “The groundbreaking of the Prairie Wolf Solar Project is an exciting step forward in Cargill’s work to support renewable energy as a way to change the way we power our operations, harnessing the innovative, economic and environmental benefits of renewable power.

“We are honoured to continue partnering with National Grid Renewables as we work to fulfill our commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% by 2025, measured against a 2017 baseline.”


Example Geronimo Energy solar project. (Credit: Cision US Inc.)