Solar Chicago Appoints Lead Contractor

Solar Chicago

Juhl Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. a subsidiary of Juhl Energy, Inc.  and an experienced provider of solar, wind and battery storage systems for homeowners, small business, municipal governments, schools and farming operations, is pleased to announce that its been named as lead contractor for all rooftop installations through Solar Chicago, a new program serving Chicago, Illinois and several neighboring villages.

“We are very honored and excited to be appointed as the principal rooftop solar system installer for the Solar Chicago program to provide affordable and efficient renewable energy solutions for its residential property owners throughout the Chicago metro area,” stated Dan Juhl, CEO of Juhl Energy, Inc.

Juhl Energy’s engineering consulting division PEC (“Power Engineers Collaborative“) will support the Company’s project management efforts including energy modeling, and the design and installation of the solar projects.

Juhl Renewable Energy Systems partnered with Microgrid Solar and local Chicago-based installation contractors Ailey Solar and Kapital Electric (“Team”) to jointly submit a coordinated proposal in response to a competitive Request for Proposal solicitation issued by the Solar Chicago Program Administrator, Vote Solar, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. A community evaluation committee selected the Juhl Renewable Energy Systems Team as the Solar Chicago contractor.  In addition to helping participants determine if solar is a good fit for their home, the Team will also offer financing through Admirals Bank.

Solar Chicago is offering rooftop solar panel installations to residential property owners through September 30th at 25 percent below market rates through a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (“WWF”) and Vote Solar.  The idea, announced on July 9, 2014, is to jumpstart solar installations in the city, according to Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert.  Similar programs have kicked off hundreds of installations in other regions, she said.

“We think of this as a way to bring more people into thinking about solar as an option,” Weigert said. “And as the market gets stronger with more installations happening in Chicago, we expect there to be more and more growth.”

The city is paying nothing under the program, which stems from a WWF grant. WWF contracted with Vote Solar and the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center to administer the program.

Sarah Wochos, co-legislative director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, said her organization’s role is to get the word out about the program.  “We have contacted every alderman, every neighborhood group, every book club, every chamber of commerce organization. We see value in trying to help push these types of opportunities into the public space. The more that it happens, the quicker the market grows,” she said.

“In just the first few days, we have had over 700 individuals register, a terrific start to the program and already exceeding our expectations,” said Chuck VonDrehle, VP of Sales at Juhl Energy.  “We are starting to see these types of initiatives surfacing in several other regions of the country, and it really confirms the growing demand for sensible renewable energy solutions.  Instead of a just a roof over your head, you can now have a clean energy solution that is not only reducing your energy costs, but also the carbon footprints of the city and states across the country,” added VonDrehle.

According to Vote Solar, allowing the solar industry to serve an aggregated group of homeowners rather than many small residential customers lowers customer acquisition costs for solar companies, and results in lower pricing and attractive terms for participants. In addition to the discounted program pricing, homeowners who complete a project through Solar Chicago will take advantage of a Federal tax credit current set to expire in 2016 (30 percent of the cost of a project) and a rebate from the selected contractor team that increases as more homeowners go solar through the program.

“Solar Chicago provides a new way of tackling the challenge of solar soft costs head on, effectively lowering customer marketing and acquisition cost while reducing complexity for homeowners. The program will also help to bring solar energy into the mainstream in this region, enabling community engagement in local sustainability and economic development goals,” said Jessie Denver, program director for Vote Solar.

Interested homeowners can visit the program website to register Once registered, they will be connected with Juhl Energy/MicroGrid Solar to schedule their site evaluation and receive a proposal. Registration does not obligate homeowners moving forward.


Juhl Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Juhl Energy, Inc. that focuses on providing advanced solar, wind and backup power systems for residential, commercial, agricultural and institutional customers. These systems are designed to meet the specific needs of each customer.  In conjunction with Juhl Energy’s PEC division, a long-standing power engineering firm, Juhl Energy is able to offer unique turn-key solutions and value propositions to customers seeking effective and cost-saving renewable energy solutions.


Juhl Energy is an established leader in the renewable energy industry with a focus on competitive, clean energy solutions and community-based wind power development, ownership and management throughout the United States and Canada. Juhl Energy pioneered community-based wind farms, developing the currently accepted financial, operational and legal structure providing local ownership of medium-to-large scale wind farms in rural America. To date, the Company has completed 24 wind farm projects totaling 240 MW and provides operations management and oversight across the portfolio. Juhl Energy services every aspect of wind farm development from full development and ownership, general consultation, construction management and system operations and maintenance. Juhl Energy also provides a broad range of clean energy solutions.

Juhl Energy operates three primary business segments: renewable energy development, renewable power plant ownership, and energy and telecommunications services. Through its Juhl Energy Development Inc. (JEDI) subsidiary, the Company provides medium and large-scale wind, solar, and cogeneration energy development services. With its acquisitions of the Iowa projects mentioned above,  Valley View, Winona County and Woodstock Hills wind farms; the Company now owns and operates 25 MWs of wind power through its renewable power subsidiary, Juhl Renewable Assets, Inc. (JRAI). Through its third subsidiary, Juhl Energy Services, Inc. (JESI), and its acquisition of Power Engineers Collaborative, Inc., the Company provides a full range of engineering services to the energy industry, building systems markets, and heavy industry.  JESI also provides full sales and service to smaller, on-site wind and solar projects through its Juhl Renewable Energy Systems division. JESI leverages the Company’s deep experience with wind towers to also provide cell and radio tower services through its Juhl Tower Services division. Juhl Energy is based in Pipestone, Minnesota and has offices in ChicagoMinneapolisMadison and Milwaukee.

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