Solar Photovoltaic System from Caterpillar Installed in Rantoul, Ill.

For Worldwide Release: February 15, 2017
Release Number: EEPR0317

Cat® dealer Altorfer to supply 1000 kW of solar photovoltaic power to Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

PEORIA, ILL. – Caterpillar Inc. today announced that Cat® dealer Altorfer has commissioned a 1000 kW solar photovoltaic system in Rantoul, Illinois. Built to fulfill a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), the installation was constructed on an eight-and-a-half-acre site near Heritage Lake Park and the University of Illinois Transportation Lab in a southeast section of the former Chanute Air Force Base.

The agreement with Altorfer enables the IMEA to diversify its power generation capabilities by adding photovoltaic components to its existing power generation portfolio. Altorfer Power Systems leads the installation, maintenance and operation of the facility in Rantoul, which is expected to produce an estimated 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

Caterpillar’s solar photovoltaic system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules that are setting the industry benchmark with improved performance over conventional silicon solar panels. Fully scalable and pre-engineered for quick and easy installation, the system offers reliable and predictable energy in all climates and applications with modules that are independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards. 

Caterpillar’s solar photovoltaic offering is a key component of the Cat Microgrid technology suite, an innovative lineup of power systems that adds environmentally friendly solar panels, state-of-the-art energy storage, and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of reliable power generation equipment, including generator sets, switchgear, uninterruptible power supplies and automatic transfer switches. The Cat Microgrid technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy efficiency in even the most challenging environments.

“With the cost of renewable energy rapidly declining, the use of microgrid technology is quickly becoming more popular. Advances in solar panel technology and energy storage have enabled Cat Microgrid technology to become one of the most effective ways to produce clean, reliable and affordable power,” said Rick Rathe, general manager of new ventures for Caterpillar’s Electric Power business. “Cat Microgrid technologies deliver an innovative, financially viable way to incorporate sustainable sources of energy into any existing portfolio of traditional power generation offerings.”

Caterpillar is a leader in the power generation marketplace with power systems engineered to deliver unmatched durability, reliability and value. The company offers worldwide product support, with parts and service available globally through the Cat authorized service and dealer network. In addition, dealer service technicians are trained to service every aspect of Cat equipment.

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About the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA)

The Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) is a not-for-profit unit of local government created in 1984 that is currently comprised of 32 municipal electric systems and one electric cooperative from all across Illinois. Each of those communities owns and operates its own electric distribution system, and some operate local power generation plants. The IMEA’s focus is the reliable delivery of bulk power and energy to its members at low and stable prices. IMEA combines the power needs of all of its members and secures the electricity necessary to satisfy those needs. The agency sells its members all their wholesale power needs under long-term power supply contracts. To accomplish this goal, IMEA has assembled a portfolio of power supply ownership and long-term purchase power agreements.

The IMEA backs its commitment to power supply excellence with a 24-hour-a-day, seven days-a-week operations center staffed by highly skilled power supply professionals. In addition, IMEA provides engineering, legal, communications, economic development, legislative and regulatory oversight services and an energy efficiency program for its members.  Visit


About Caterpillar

For 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent.  Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets.  With 2015 sales and revenues of $47.011 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.  The company principally operates through its three product segments - Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment.  For more information, visit To connect with us on social media, visit

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Press Inquiries

Bob Chase 
Tel: +1 716-629-3230

Rachel Perva
Caterpillar Inc.
Tel: +1 309-675-7267

Rodd Whelpley
Illinois Municipal Electric Agency
Tel: 217-789-4632 or 800-243-4632

Reader Requests Caterpillar Inc.
Electric Power Division
P.O. Box 0610
Mossville, IL 61552-0610