The St. Charles Municipal Electric Utility has a program for customers to voluntarily contribute on their monthly electric bill for the City to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs). Funds received are used to buy credits from wind, landfill gas, biomass, and hydro generation facilities located throughout the country. In the most recent purchase, 1,360MWh of renewable energy credits were purchased from Carbon Solutions Group in Chicago. Since a typical home might consume 10MWh per year, the City purchased enough renewable energy to power 136 homes for a year.
The St. Charles Municipal Electric Utility is participating in two wind generation projects through its power supplier the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). NextEra Energy (a subsidiary of Florida Power & Light) operates the wind project in Dekalb and Lee counties along Interstate 88 that has been producing green energy since 2009. IMEA purchased 70 megawatts of capacity from the 217 megawatt project under a long-term contract. IMEA also has contracted with Geronimo Energy to purchase 50 megawatts of energy from a project in Bureau County, IL. “These wind resources, along with the IMEA Solar Plant in the Legacy Development in St. Charles reinforces the City's commitment to renewable energy" said Tom Bruhl, Electric Services Manager for the City of St. Charles. “We appreciate the efforts of IMEA to bring these renewable energy sources into our power mix.”
Founded in 1984, the IMEA is a not-for-profit unit of local government comprised of 32 member municipalities which own and operate their own electric distribution systems. The St. Charles Municipal Electric Utility is an enterprise fund of the City of St. Charles that has provided electric distribution service to residents and businesses in St. Charles since 1892. Current customer base is approximately 15,500 customers; with an all time peak load of about 130 megawatts.