Caterpillar solar PV to backbone Illinois microgrid

Caterpillar has announced that Cat dealer Altorfer has commissioned a 1000 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system in Rantoul, Illinois, US.

Built to fulfill a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), the installation was constructed on an eight-and-a-half-acre site near Heritage Lake Park and the University of Illinois Transportation Lab in a southeast section of the former Chanute Air Force Base.
CAT solar PV
Altorfer Power Systems leads the installation, maintenance and operation of the facility in Rantoul, which is expected to produce an estimated 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, while diversifying the IMEA’s power generation.

The solar PV system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules, an improvement on conventional silicon solar panels. Fully scalable and pre-engineered for quick and easy installation, the system offers reliable and predictable energy in all climates and applications with modules that are independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards.

The offering is a key component of the Cat Microgrid technology suite, an innovative lineup of power systems that adds environmentally friendly solar panels, state-of-the-art energy storage, and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of reliable power generation equipment, including generator sets, switchgear, uninterruptible power supplies and automatic transfer switches.

The Cat Microgrid technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy efficiency in even the most challenging environments.

“With the cost of renewable energy rapidly declining, the use of microgrid technology is quickly becoming more popular. Advances in solar panel technology and energy storage have enabled Cat Microgrid technology to become one of the most effective ways to produce clean, reliable and affordable power,” said Rick Rathe, general manager of new ventures for Caterpillar’s Electric Power business. “Cat Microgrid technologies deliver an innovative, financially viable way to incorporate sustainable sources of energy into any existing portfolio of traditional power generation offerings.”

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