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.

 

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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. 

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