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Construction approved for Wisconsin utility’s 250-MW first round of solar projects

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 09th July


Alliant Energy begins construction on solar projects in Richland, Wood and Rock counties in Wisconsin following approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The projects are included in the company’s Clean Energy Blueprint, a plan for cost-effectively accelerating its transition to renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions that includes a proposed 675 MW of solar projects.

“We are extremely pleased to receive the PSCW’s final approval,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “It’s a historic day as we move from planning and preparing to constructing our large-scale solar projects. It’s a smart investment and creates a long-term, sustainable path for cleaner energy that supports our purpose-driven strategy of supporting customers and building strong communities.”

Alliant Energy is contracting with Burns & McDonnell to construct the Bear Creek (50 MW, Richland County), North Rock (50 MW, Rock County) and Wood County (150 MW) projects, which will be built using union craft labor. Ranger Power will build out the Onion River and Crawfish River projects, beginning this fall. The Grant County project will be constructed by NextEra Energy Resources, beginning in spring 2022. All six projects were announced by Alliant Energy in May 2020.

In total, Alliant Energy has proposed 12 solar projects, spanning dozens of communities across nine Wisconsin counties. Collectively, it will add nearly 1,100 MW of solar energy generation to the state’s energy grid — enough to power nearly 300,000 homes.

The company is awaiting a decision from the PSCW on its second set of six projects, which were announced in March 2021. If all 12 projects are approved and operational, Alliant Energy will become the largest owner and operator of solar energy in the state of Wisconsin.

“At a time when much is changing, these projects demonstrate our commitment to advancing clean energy and strengthening the communities we serve,” de Leon said. “Most importantly, this investment in solar will provide our customers with reliable, environmentally-friendly energy for decades to come.”

Along with the rest of the Clean Energy Blueprint, these projects will help customers avoid more than $2 billion in long-term costs. They will also provide steady revenue through new construction opportunities, create an estimated 2,000 construction jobs and provide approximately $300 million in revenues to local communities and landowners over an estimated project lifespan of 30 years.

Adding solar throughout Wisconsin also enhances the environmental health of the communities Alliant Energy serves as they transition to a cleaner energy mix. All solar construction will be done in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, supports land preservation and provides areas for pollinators to find protection and thrive.

News item from Alliant Energy



Source: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/07/construction-approved-for-wisconsin-utilitys-first-round-of-solar-projects/