Cass solar project moves forward after company changes hands

BEARDSTOWN – A large solar project near Beardstown is still ongoing after the company overseeing the project was bought by another company in December.

The Cass County Solar LLC project remains in the commercialization phase after Savion Energy, a Kansas City, Missouri-based energy company, was acquired by Shell New Energies US LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, in December.

Johnna Guintry, Savion’s vice president of marketing and public relations, said the company was excited about the purchase and would continue to work.

“All of Savion’s solar projects will continue to move forward without disruption of the company’s ownership transition,” Guintry said.

According to Shell, Savion will continue to operate under the Savion name as a subsidiary of the company under Shell’s Renewables and Energy Solution Integrated Power business.

“The acquisition of Savion complements Shell’s existing investments in the United States in a range of zero-carbon and low-carbon assets and technologies and continues Shell’s strategy to develop an integrated energy business as it is poised to become a net-zero energy company by 2050, in tune with society,” Shell said.

The proposed Beardstown project, which will be built near Edgewood Drive, is a 150 megawatt project that will cover approximately 1,500 acres or less of farmland.

The project has a lifespan of 30 years and would create two to five permanent jobs.

“Before the project can move forward, three important milestones must be completed: 1. commercial contracts, 2. final coordination with the South Beardstown Drainage District, and 3. final coordination with the Department of Natural Resources. of Illinois,” Guintry said.

Once the energy rights are complete and the project is finalized, Guintry said construction of the project could begin.

“Assuming the project can achieve these major milestones, the start of construction for the project could be late 2022 or 2023 but is still subject to change,” she said. “We still expect the project to cover approximately 1,500 acres of land near Edgewood Drive and have an operational life of approximately 30 years.”

The project is expected to cost between $100 million and $150 million and generate $15 million to $20 million in tax revenue over its lifespan, according to the company.

According to figures presented at the July 2019 public hearing, 60% to 65% of the tax revenue generated by the project will go to the Beardstown School District, although Beardstown, Cass County and several other county tax agencies will get also part of the income.

Barbara M. Stokes