System will be one of the largest in the Midwest

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently signed a contract with ComEd to complete one of the largest solar energy installations in the Midwest atop the SSA building in Chicago. The system’s solar panels will produce as much as 82kW of electricity—enough energy to power 50 average homes—and should be complete in August.

Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the system will displace more than four million pounds of the primary greenhouse gas CO2 over its 30-year design life, which is equivalent to the CO2 absorbed by 20 acres of trees. The system will also save the equivalent of almost 6,000 barrels of oil.

ComEd is providing support to cover 7,920 square feet of the building's roof space with PV modules, which will convert 18.5% of the solar energy to electrical energy. The company is also using a specially designed PV tile system that offers roof shading and protection from ultraviolet rays, while providing thermal energy savings in winter.