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Policy: Environment & Energy

Solar farm planned for East St. Louis

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News,Business,Energy and Environment,Solar Energy

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Work is underway in East St. Louis to convert a former industrial site into what could be a $65-million solar farm, if state lawmakers sign off on it.

The Belleville News-Democrat (http://bit.ly/1sLDiXZ ) reports cleanup of the former 400-acre Alcoa site began in March.

Officials say the 20-megawatt farm of solar panels could power roughly 4,000 homes.

The project is being developed by Wellesley, Massachusetts-based Brightfields Development LLC, which has turned polluted properties into renewable-energy sites.

Brightfield Development's Michael Singer says the development still hinges on a now-idled state bill that would require utility Ameren to buy power from the solar farm for 20 years. Ameren Illinois would pass the cost along to consumers in the form of a rate increase of about 32 cents per customer per year.

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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

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