Exelon Corp. and solar panel maker SunPower Corp. plan to build a solar power plant in an urban area in Chicago with the capacity to produce the electricity required by up to 1,500 homes in one year.

The 10 megawatt solar project will require the installation of 32,800 solar panels and will cost $60 million. Exelon said the project is contingent, and that the group is seeking a loan guarantee enabled by the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program Office, an entity created with economic stimulus money. The group is looking for the government’s loan to fund 80 percent of the project’s cost. If given the green light, the solar plant will be completed by the end of 2009.

As a provider of electrical service in urban areas, we understand the importance of finding urban locations for renewable energy and we are pleased to bring the largest urban solar installation to West Pullman, helping to revitalize an area where industry once thrived, Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe said in a statement on Wednesday.

Once the plant is in operation, Exelon estimates it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 vehicles off the road.

Exelon said the solar plant will be built in the West Pullman Industrial Redevelopment Area in Chicago's south side.