Illinois Solar Map

About Illinois Solar Map

With the passage of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) in 2021, Illinois is on a path to 100% carbon-free energy by 2050 and has enabled the rapid expansion of clean energy installations. This map is a first pass at creating a statewide aggregate tracking the status of the state’s rapid expansion of solar projects.

As of Feb 2024, over 2,170,000 kilowatts of operating solar capacity have been installed in the State of Illinois. For comparison, Prairie State, the State’s largest coal power plant, is 1,630,000 kilowatts, illustrating just how far we've come in a few years, but still how far we have to go to reach 100% renewable energy in Illinois.

There are nearly 54,000 solar projects throughout the state, ranging in size from a single 0.6 kW solar panel to the 200,000 kW (200 megawatts) Prairie Wolf Solar project in Coles County.

The Prarie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County
The Prarie Wolf Solar Project in Coles County


Table of contents

Categories of solar projects

All units of power measurement are in kilowatt (KW), specifically alternating current (KWAC).

Solar installations are divided up into 4 categories:

  • Utility: Utility Scale Solar projects built by energy utilities
  • Community Solar (CS): Community Solar projects whose electricity is shared by more than a single property
  • Large Distributed Generation (Large_DG): Large Distributed Generation (DG) systems above 25 kW up to 2,000 kW in size
  • Small Distributed Generation (Small_DG): Small Distributed Generation (DG) for systems 25 kW and below

Top level solar project numbers

Solar installations over time

Our data covers utility solar projects starting in December 2009. Data from the Adjustable Block Program and Illinois Solar for All start in 2019.

Description: Area chart showing the cumulative kilowatts of Utility, Small Distributed Generation, Large Distributed Generation and Community solar installed in Illinois. There is a notable increase in kilowatts installed starting in late 2019.

Advanced map explorer

Looking to dive further into the data? In addition to the main map, you can browse all solar projects in Illinois by geography and category on our advanced map page:

  • Geographies: US Census Tracts, Counties, State Senate Districts and State House Districts
  • Categories: Utility, Community Solar, Large Distributed Generation, Small Distributed Generation
  • Units: Kilowatts or number of projects

The advanced map is powered by kepler.gl, an open source geospatial analysis tool. This tool has a lot of features, including layer toggling, custom map shading, 3D mode and address search. Read the tutorial on using it here: https://docs.kepler.gl/docs/user-guides

IL Solar Map

Open advanced map

Data sources

The raw data for this map is available to view and download here. The code for this website and to categorize and aggregate the project data by category and geography are open source at github.com/chihacknight/il-solar-map.

Solar project sources

Boundary sources

Legislator info

Missing data

This map does not represent every single solar project in Illinois. Our data does not include:

  • solar project that came online after Feb 2024
  • small-scale solar projects that were funded before Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) programs were implemented (before 2018)
  • solar projects that did not get funding from the Adjustable Block or Illinois Solar for All programs

Team and collaborators

This map and the data were created in collaboration with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Renewables Subcommittee and civic tech volunteers at Chi Hack Night.

Questions? Email Derek at derek@derekeder.com

Check out some of the other climate related projects from Chi Hack Night: Decarb My State and Electrify Chicago

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Chi Hack Night