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Illinois Solar Tour - Central Sites

The 2022 Solar Tour was available in a hybrid format, offering both in-person and video tours. Please check individual sites to see which types of tours were offered.

Types of Tours:

  • In-Person: The home or business owner will be there to talk about their installation and answer questions; may or may not include going inside to see equipment
  • Video: The home or business owner filmed a video tour of their system, which is viewable online
  • Outside Viewing: The home or business owner may or may not be available to visitors; visitors can view the system from outside


Ky Ajayi

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

System: 44 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 18.6MWh

Why I went solar: Even before joining a solar energy firm in 2018, I knew I wanted at some point to install a solar array. Ever since hearing that one hour of the sun's output could power the earth for one year, I knew I wanted a piece of that action. As prices continued to drop and system efficiency continued to rise, I pulled the trigger in March of 2022. By the end of May my system was installed and I've reduced my reliance on the grid by an average of 85% so far.


Andy Robinson

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 36 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 8600kWh

Why I went solar: I’ve wanted solar for years, but it had to become an affordable investment for my wife. My kids were old enough to understand that our house and car “don’t make smoke” now.


David Tewksbury

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

System: 16 roof-mounted panels, EV

Annual Production: 4500kWh

Why I went solar: We were concerned about the environmental cost of our electricity use. When a neighbor installed his system, we saw how easy it was to add solar.


Chillicothe Public Library District

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 289 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 135.4 MWh

Why I went solar: The decision to install a renewable energy system was based on our desire to be good stewards of our environment, and the public funds we receive to operate. The opportunity to serve as an educational hub for renewable energy was equally appealing, and further supports the library's strategic plan goals.


Bob Braco

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Outside Viewing

System: 48 ground-mounted panels, geothermal

Annual Production: ~ 18 MWh

Why I went solar: Two reasons: it was our environmental responsibility, and we wanted to be off-the-grid for our retirement years.


Jason Butterick

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 22 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 9100kWh

Why I went solar: I was concerned about environmental costs through utility providers and power plants. I also liked the idea of using sunshine to power my home, and utility use only when needed rather than always. It is great to be a customer with choice rather than at the mercy of utility providers.


Prairie Avenue Christian Church

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 183 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 83.3 MWh

Why I went solar: Prairie Avenue Christian Church desired to make a firm commitment in sustainable energy use and care for God's creation. While reducing our facilities' cost in utilities is another incentive, we also wanted to be a place to encourage discussion, engagement, and decisions for good stewardship of resources through renewable energy.


Ron Feltes

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: Video

Link to Video

System: 24 ground-mounted panels, earth-sheltered home

Annual Production: 8911kWh

Why I went solar: The 8.3% return on investment clinched it. I've wanted one since understanding how CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere causing "the enhanced greenhouse effect." I wanted to do my part to help life on our planet. It was easy and fun.


Kankakee Community College

Site Type: Non-Profit

Tour Type: In-Person

System: We have three PV systems here at KCC that accessible on a walkout lab rooftop. System #1. 16 - Panasonic 325W modules and a Outback ProHarvest inverter, 5.2 kW total. System #2 32 - Mission Solar 310 W modules, Generac Inverter, 9.9 kW total, System #3 32 - Jinko Solar 310 W modules, 14K SolarEdge Inverter 9.9 kW total 

Annual Production: 35 MWh collectively

Why I went solar: KCC has one of the oldest renewable energy training programs in the state. The installations are a part of the electrical program and supply the college with electrical energy as well as supply installation and maintenance skills training.


Phil Geil

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 96 ground-mounted panels, solar thermal (hot water/space heating), EV, passive solar design

Annual Production: ~27MWh

Why I went solar: It was the thing to do, going along with our energy conserving house self-built in 1983. The PV size is needed to heat water for our animals in the winter, exhaust greenhouses in summer; excess credited by Ameren in the summer. System currently consists of 96 panels (21.7 kW), ground mounted, self-installed in 3 sections, retilted 4x/yr to optimum tilt. 10 kW turbine was unfortunately destroyed in May 2022. Note the solar is essentially maintenance free, wind is several hundred $/year. Production of 2012 installed 8 kW array has been 13% greater than estimated for equivalent power 30° constant tilt ground mount and 33% greater than a 14° tilt roof mount.


Tung Nguyen

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person

System: 29 roof-mounted panels

Annual Production: 8000kWh

Why I went solar: I went solar because I wanted to support renewable energy and a better environment.


Marya Ryan and Pete Resnick

Site Type: Residential

Tour Type: In-Person & Video

Link to Video

System: 27 roof-mounted panels, back up battery

Annual Production: 7500kWh

Why I went solar: We installed our system not only to "do the right thing" for renewable energy, but also to provide backup power for a home office, and to play with the latest technology. It had the added bonus of providing some shading, and therefore reducing the heat load, on a south facing roof right over the home office. Our final installation of panels were put in to take advantage of the Grow Solar / Solar Urbana-Champaign program.

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