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Olympic Village Apartments Guide Illinois Toward a Solar Future

Updated: Apr 11

Thanks to solar energy, Olympic Village, a 320-unit affordable housing apartment community in Chicago Heights, is offsetting its annual carbon emissions by 200 metric tons — the equivalent of a car driving 513,000 miles each year.   

An aerial view of Olympic Village apartments in Chicago Heights, with rooftop solar panels in view.
Thanks to a 16-building installation from StraightUp Solar, Olympic Village, a 320-unit affordable housing community in Chicago Heights, now offsets carbon emissions equal to a car driving 513,000 miles each year. (Photo by StraightUp Solar)

Thanks to a collaboration with StraightUp Solar, Fresh Coast Solar, and National Preservation Housing Partners (NPH), 16 buildings in the community now boast solar panels totaling 257 KW in solar capacity.  

Funding for this initiative came through the Illinois Solar For All program, supported by the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). This project not only benefits the environment but also provides cost savings that will be reinvested into the community. 

“At NPH, we focus on the purchase, rehabilitation, and preservation of low-income, Section 8 housing,” said Olympic Village property owner Andrew Delman. “The philosophy for our work is that it must profoundly change the life and environment of every resident and community for the better. Therefore, making the switch to solar was an easy decision.” 

Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy and Storage Association, said projects like Olympic Village are important because they provide equitable access to solar energy and contribute to critical climate goals put in place by CEJA.

The success of Olympic Village sets a precedent showcasing the positive outcomes achievable through equitable access to solar energy across Illinois. As the state pursues its renewable energy goals, projects like Olympic Village will play a crucial role in achieving them. 

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