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Illinois Solar Tour - Northern Sites




Scroll to see all Northern Illinois Solar Tour Sites, or click here to see community-based tours!

Arlington Heights

Paul and Diane Culhane

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 11 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4505 kWh

Why I went solar: It has always been of interest to us.

Aurora


Brian Gravenhorst

3167 Savannah Dr.

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 32 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 12 MWh

Why I went solar: The cost of electricity will never go down. I wanted to do my part to be green and help the environment, as well as pay it forward to future generations.

Barrington


Ted and Jan Krasnesky

24974 W Miller Rd

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 18 roof-mounted panels, 12 ground-mounted panels, EVs

Annual Production: 12.7 MWh

Why I went solar: Provides all electrical energy for a 2600 square foot house and two electric cars. Yields 10% return on investment after rebates, SREC and tax credits.

Brookfield

Compassion United Methodist Church

9210 Broadway Ave.

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 50 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 15 MWh

Why I went solar: Because we believe houses of worship have a moral responsibility to be leaders in the drive to net-zero carbon emissions: to get as much energy as possible from renewable energy - solar and wind. When our congregation bought and remodeled an old dry cleaner building as an art gallery/studio and worship space, we were thrilled to be able to donate a PV system that produces 100% of its electricity. (When we install the pottery kiln we dream of for the studio, there's room on the roof to expand the system!)

Buffalo Grove

Jeff Slepak

443 Cedar Ct S

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 27 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 10.76MWh

Why I went solar: To lower our carbon footprint on the planet. The fact that we've paid $0 in electricity usage since the system started up has been great, too! Our home is fortunate to have the best azimuth. Though we have many trees in the back yard, we get full sun on the 27 panels in the summer with no tree shade; in the winter, when the sun is lower, the trees have no leaves, and we get plenty of sun then, too. 

Carol Stream

Wendy Vernon

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 19 roof-mounted panels, backup battery, EV

Annual Production: 7829kWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar because we wanted to help the environment with clean, renewable energy and also wanted to save money on our electric bills. We also installed a battery backup because we wanted some off grid capability in case of a power outage. We felt like the time was right to install solar because of the availability of the federal and state tax incentives.

Cary

James Chen

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 36 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 14MWh

Why I went solar: It is the right thing to do for the environment while making sense financially.

Deer Park

Peter Gorr

408 Bramble Ln.

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 21 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription, EV

Annual Production: 8500 kWh

Why I went solar: This is my second home with a solar PV system. The benefits of pollution free energy, energy independence, and financial gain are just too great to ignore. Over 8 years of data speak for itself. As a parent and grandparent, I realize the responsibility I have to contribute to the mitigation of climate change in any way I can. The biggest individual impact I can have is transitioning my energy use to clean renewables and then let people know how I am benefitting. The Solar Tour is a great way to get my message out.

Earlville


Richard Jones

4233 E 13th Rd.

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 60 ground-mounted panels, backup batteries, EVs,  geothermal HVAC

Annual Production: 24 MWh

Why I went solar: To become energy independent & reduce my carbon footprint. Rid myself from the constant fluctuating gas & oil prices.

Elizabeth

Joe Ambrosia

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 24 ground-mounted panels

Annual Production: 11.23MWh

Why I went solar: It was both ecologically and financially feasible. I figured a 4 year break-even based on electricity rates along with tax and financial incentives at the time, not accounting for the increases we have seen since then. Also, photovoltaic is a proven technology. The process of installing solar panels was simple. Our installer handled all of the permits, site recommendations, energy assessments and installation.

Elmhurst

Sid Chhabra

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 14 roof-mounted panels, backup battery

Annual Production: 4349kWh

Why I went solar: I have been fascinated by the potential of solar power as a clean energy source for a while. This resulted in the DIY project for solar charged battery backup system. Success of that project, coupled with the federal and state incentives for solar, made it a very easy decision to build the larger grid tied system.

Elmhurst


Donald Haraf and Karen Pachyn

286 W Claremont St

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 28 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9141 kWh

Why I went solar: We are always looking for ways to make our home and lives more sustainable. The Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition hosted a Solar Power Hour and we liked the idea of being able to work with an installer that had been approved by both the MREA and CUB. We had talked to other installers and found it all very confusing but the Solarize Chicago program gave us the confidence we needed to move forward. We have been excited with the results and now look forward to getting our electric bill every month, just to see how low it is!

Evanston


Jeff Balch

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 21 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 10MWh

Why I went solar: We bought the house in 1997 partly because the rooftop solar thermal (hot water) panels caught our eye. Our two kids took their first baths in sustainably heated water, first steps in sustainably heated rooms, and grew with the knowledge that their home is warmed by love but also by friendly technology. This year, after a hailstorm forced re-roofing, and with the encouragement of the original installer, we replaced the solar thermals with PVs. But we didn’t landfill the 35-year-old thermals: they shrugged off the hail and went to a neighbor’s house.

Evanston

Chuck Carrington

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 26 roof-mounted PV panels, 2 Thermal collectors with 80 gal tank

Annual Production: 10.83MWh

Why I went solar: For the health of our planet and for future generations. I have long thought it important to do what we can to reduce the use of fossil fuels. My old house had a few thermal panels, but it was too shaded for PV. By the time I bought my present home, I realized that solar PV is a good investment financially also.

Evanston


Michael Moran

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 2 solar thermal collectors with 80 gal storage tank

Why I went solar: I saw the opportunity to save energy and money when we did a second-floor addition and could add solar thermal panels to our roof. The economics convinced me there was no reason not to do it. And solar-heated showers feel better!

Frankfort


Ray Stadt

20032 S Mallory Dr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 20 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 7100 kWh

Why I went solar: Wanted to reduce our carbon footprint, as well as install early (2015) to help boost the technology and its visibility in our community. Have been electrifying the house since and continue to stay within our production.

Glen Ellyn


Richard Whitney

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4000kWh

Why I went solar: Concerned about climate change, we made a philosophical choice to live our values and reduce our carbon footprint. I did not believe in 2010 that PV would be purely justifiable on a cost-benefit basis, but felt that everyone must do what they can to reduce their impact on the earth. As it turned out, the move to solar has paid for itself, not even counting any additional increase in home value.

Glenview


Mary Munday and Richard Clark

2309 Linden Leaf Dr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 19 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 4500 kWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar so we could charge an EV on sun power. We also wanted to help decarbonize the electric grid. We wanted to lower our electric bills, too. Installing solar accomplished all three goals.

Grayslake


College of Lake County

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System:

CLC just installed a 1.9 MW Solar PV system in 2021, which includes both rooftop and ground-mount systems. The college has solar thermal collectors on 8 different buildings. There are two closed-loop geothermal systems, totaling over 120 wells running 500 ft deep each.

Why I went solar: The College of Lake County is a leader in sustainability. Hosting solar PV, solar thermal, and geothermal heat exchange systems not only saves the college operational costs, but provides demonstrations of energy innovation for students and the community, renewable resources to be tapped for a more sustainable future.

Grayslake


John & Kathleen Wasik

1278 Prairie Orchid Ln

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 13 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription, hybrid cars

Annual Production: 4600 kWh

Why I went solar: Reduce our carbon footprint and lower our ComEd bill. 

Highland Park

Jay Futterman

1399 Green Bay Rd

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 25 roof-mounted panels, EV, heat pump water heater, heat pump HVAC

Annual Production: 7400kWh

Why I went solar: I am very concerned about climate change. One of the major contributors to this is coal, and I can see train cars full of coal passing through my town. Rather than just getting mad about this, I decided to do something about my own personal contributions to this disaster and power my house and car with the sun. While I unfortunately won't be available to speak with anyone on September 25th, I'm happy to talk or email with interested folks any other time!

La Grange


Bertold Kraessig

437 7th Ave.

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

System: 33 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 11.3 MWh

Why I went solar: I believe every building should have solar energy collectors on its roof. I wanted to do my part in this endeavor and be an example for my neighbors.

Northbrook


John and Merilee Novinson

1105 Adirondack Dr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: Roof-mounted panels in two different arrays

Annual Production: 5200kWh

Why I went solar: The south facing 2009 panels are far less efficient than the 2019 array on the north side of the house. We will have technical data available at the tour. We have 6 grandchildren and believe anyone with the means to reduce fossil fuel based energy is morally obligated to do so for the sake of the generation that follows. We also wanted to encourage others to invest in the future. Finally, as evidenced by the improvements in 10 years, we wanted to invest in the industry.

Northbrook


Aaron Stash

1833 Maple Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Northbook Community Tour!

System: 39 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 15 MWh

Why I went solar: Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time and we wanted to take action. Our home is LEED Platinum certified (2014) - before solar - and this was an obvious next step once the Illinois incentives stabilized. With government support for renewable energy, we can all make a difference that’s affordable and right for the planet. 

Northbrook


Bernadette Knight & William Johnson

2602 Prince St

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Part of Northbrook Community Tour!

System: 41 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: ~15 MWh

Why I went solar: We installed solar as we wanted to use a clean energy source rather than use electricity from fossil fuels. We want to reduce our carbon footprint to support global efforts to tackle climate change. The federal subsidy made this project affordable and it made financial sense.

Northbrook


Bob Israel

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 30 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: Too early to tell!

Why I went solar: To reduce my carbon footprint and help make the world a slightly better place.

Northbrook


Northbrook Court

Site Type: Business

Tour Type: Video

Link to Drone Footage

System: 3095 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 1300MWh

Why I went solar: Northbrook Court is committed to sustainability! Part of that commitment is generating 1.2M kWh of carbon-free electricity each year through our investment in Solar.

Oak Park


Ana Garcia and Jim Doyle

165 N Taylor Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 48 roof-mounted panels, geothermal, greywater system, LEED Gold Certification

Annual Production: 20.3 MWh

Why I went solar: We installed our solar panels because after our home renovation in 2012 (we were on the GreenBuilt Home Tour several times), we had already converted our 100 yr old home to geothermal. Solar was the next step, to get us more energy independent, able to generate our own electricity to run most of the property (house & garage). Also, it's how our family wants to live and the "right" thing to do for long term sustainability of our home and our community. We are lucky and privileged to be able to have done this work.

Park Ridge


Kenneth Doody

1025 S Home Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 12 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 5353 kWh

Why I went solar: Environmental concerns and reduce personal cost of electricity. I plan on buying an electric car so solar panels will offset increased use of electricity.

Park Ridge


David Ziegenhorn

1304 S Greenwood Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 34 roof-mounted panels, backup batteries, EV, heat pump

Annual Production: 11.7 MWh

Why I went solar: Along with the usual benefits of going solar, saving money, saving the planet, etc. I've always been a big fan of being self sufficient and being able to create and store my own energy at the house is a huge peace of mind. No matter what happens to the world I can power my family and our car to do what we need to do.

Park Ridge


Kenneth Jaconetty

100 Shoreline Dr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Part of Park Ridge Community Tour!

System: 17 roof-mounted panels, backup batteries, EV

Annual Production: 4500 kWh

Why I went solar: My house roof has a flat roof and unobstructed access to the sun. Climate change is real and traditional energy production can release significant carbon. State and Federal credits helped bring down the installation cost of the solar system.

Rockford


Steven Hall

7706 La Harve Dr

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 16 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 5000 kWh

Why I went solar: To make my world a better place to live and save some money. It was a no brainer. We were lucky that we had the money to purchase the system. That is how you can really save money for the next 25+ years.

Stillman Valley


Michael Winter

9489 E Scott Rd

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 40 ground-mounted panels, geothermal

Annual Production: ~20 MWh

Why I went solar: PV - Interesting project, use less energy from grid and save on electricity bills. Geothermal - We had the land available and no access to natural gas.

Warren


Matthew Alschuler

5949 N Canyon Park Rd

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

System: 25 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 12 MWh

Why I went solar: I always believed in living as light on the Earth as possible by recycling, insulating buildings, caulking windows, using high efficiency appliances, and buying an electric car. Installing solar was the obvious next step. I'm going to transition my farm house from propane powered heat, hot water, and cooking to an electric heat pump hot water heater, and inductive cooking. I had the room to install the modules, and a clear southern sky, so it was time to move ahead with the installation.

Warrenville


Connie and Michael Schmidt

3S501 Landon Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 13 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 4350 kWh

Why I went solar: We are retired and care about out energy costs. However, as a very involved leader in the Sierra Club we also want to lead by example using clean energy. It was also encouraged by our very enthusiastic son who works in this industry.

West Chicago

Mike Bullock

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 41 roof-mounted panels, air-based heat pump

Annual Production: 11.4MWh

Why I went solar: We installed Solar PV to reduce our carbon footprint and because it is the best financial investment we can make in our home. We are on a path to electrify everything and meet our energy needs with the sun. With other efficiency improvements, we expect to meet almost 100% of our electricity needs this year from the sun. This includes driving the Volt and providing heat for the house (except for the coldest days).

Wheaton


Jeff Gahris

1826 E Willow Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 8 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 3700kWh

Why I went solar: We were excited to join the clean energy revolution for both financial and environmental reasons. We have enjoyed sharing our solar lifestyle with others who are interested in going solar.

Wilmette


Beth Drucker

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 12 roof-mounted panels, solar thermal, EVs

Annual Production: 5000kWh

Why I went solar: When we had to reroof the house, we had to remove the eight year old solar panels. Efficiency has improved so much that we were able to replace the old panels with a similarly-sized system and make twice the energy.

Wilmette


Bruce Davidson

123 17th St

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 18 roof-mounted panels, community solar subscription, EV

Annual Production: ~6500 kWh

Why I went solar: We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint and save money on our energy use. The monetary payback estimated at 9.12 years, and was achieved in about 7+ years.

Winnetka


Ted Wynnychenko

1086 Oak St

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 45 roof-mounted panels, geothermal, rain water collection, native garden

Annual Production: 11 MWh

Why I went solar: We had been concerned about the environment and our legacy to our planet for some time. When we had the opportunity to build our home, we decided to incorporate as many energy saving/environmentally friendly systems as we could.

Woodridge

James and Beth Galbreath

6688 Foxtree Ave

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing & Video

Link to Video

System: 16 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 5900kWh

Why I went solar: We have been passionate about the environment and safe, renewable energy forever! But living in homes we didn't own for 43 years, we focused on energy conservation until retirement. At last owning our own home, we are doing everything we can to cut our carbon footprint, for the sake of all creatures who live on God's good earth. In 2020, we bought a lightly used Nissan Leaf EV and expanded the 10-panel system with six more (newer tech) panels to feed it. Of course, that year we didn't go many places! But in 2021 and 2022, especially now with gas pushing $6/gallon, and more and earlier heat waves, our solar panels are truly profitable!


Community Tours

Northbrook


More info coming soon!

Park Ridge


More info coming soon!

Wilmette


More info coming soon!

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