Donato Solar to Directly Power Three New Illinois Data Centers to 9+MW from 100 MW Pipeline

March 29, 2024
Anthony Donato is a longtime Chicago area businessman who started his namesake company in 2022. He's also CEO of solar data center development startup GAIL Technologies.

A startup focused on building solar energy installations to power new data centers in Illinois gained a $14.5 million funding boost to push the projects closer to completion.

SunRocket Capital announced three separate construction-to-permanent funding transactions with Donato Solar

The $14.5 million in financing for the first quarter of this year is connected to three solar data center projects totaling 9.24 MW in capacity.

The solar fields, in addition to directly powering the data centers, are designed to overproduce during the day and provide excess electricity into the main grid. 

Donato Solar received local approvals for the projects in late 2022, and has already started work on at least one of the installations planned for Champaign County, according to news reports.

The financing with SkyRocket Capital eventually extends to Donato Solar’s planned pipeline of 100 MW in projects, totaling close to $100 million in financing. 

Anthony Donato is a longtime Chicago area businessman who, in addition to starting Donato Solar in early 2022, is CEO of data center-focused development firm GAIL Technology Inc., formed several years earlier.

“The team at SunRock Capital has proven to be an exceptional financial partner,” Donato said in a statement. “They operate with speed and efficiency and are very knowledgeable regarding solar development, a unique and important component of helping expedite financing.”

SkyRocket Capital recently changed its name from Sol-REIT LLC. The financing firm also made a few management changes along with the new name, according to a press release late last month.

Each of the Donato Solar projects reportedly will receive solar renewable energy credits (RECs) awarded through the Illinois Power Authority’s program, known as Illinois Shines

The RECs are allocated with the goal of 15-year power generation lifespans.

Read the full story at Microgrid Knowledge.

DCF Editor's Note -- A similar development of recent years is the Elora Solar Farm Energy Project.

Located on more than 1,700 acres near the Tennessee-Alabama border, this 150 MW AC solar farm will interconnect with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) existing electrical grid. 

The TVA, under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA), will sell most of the project's output to solar-inclined Meta/Facebook's $750 million data center located in nearby Huntsville, Alabama.

Huntsville's local ABC television affiliate, WAAY-TV 31 News, had the story as shown below. -- M.V.


Keep pace with the fast-moving world of data centers and cloud computing by connecting with Data Center Frontier on LinkedIn, following us on X/Twitter and Facebook, and signing up for our weekly newsletters using the form below.

About the Author

Rod Walton

Rod Walton is Managing Editor of Endeavor Business Media's Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech, publications focused on the sustainability and resiliency goals of mission-critical and large-scale energy users, including the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities and data centers. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Guide to Environmental Sustainability Metrics for Data Centers

Unlock the power of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in the data center industry with our comprehensive guide, proposing 28 key metrics across five categories...

The AI Disruption: Challenges and Guidance for Data Center Design

From large training clusters to small edge inference servers, AI is becoming a larger percentage of data center workloads. Learn more.

A better approach to boost data center capacity – Supply capacity agreements

Explore a transformative approach to data center capacity planning with insights on supply capacity agreements, addressing the impact of COVID-19, the AI race, and the evolving...

How Modernizing Aging Data Center Infrastructure Improves Sustainability

Explore the path to improved sustainability in data centers by modernizing aging infrastructure, uncovering challenges, three effective approaches, and specific examples outlined...

Julia Ardaran /

Beyond Hyperscale: Quantum Frederick's Vision for Sustainable Data Center Development

Scott Noteboom, CTO of Quantum Loophole, explains how Quantum Frederick created the first carbon neutral industrial zone.

White Papers

Get the full report

Boston Data Center Market

April 27, 2022
The Boston region is one of the most prominent data center markets in the northeast, despite a higher cost of power than is found in most major markets. DCF, in conjunction with...