Construction approved for Wisconsin utility’s 250-MW first round of solar projects
Alliance Energy begins construction of solar projects in Wisconsin’s Richland, Wood, and Rock counties after approval from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The projects are included in the company Blueprint for clean energy, a plan to cost-effectively accelerate the transition to renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions, which includes a proposed 675 MW of solar energy projects.
“We are thrilled with the final approval of the PSCW,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. “It’s a historic day as we move from planning and preparation to building our large-scale solar projects. It is a smart investment and creates a long-term sustainable path to cleaner energy that supports our focused strategy to support customers and build strong communities.”
Alliant Energy will contract with Burns & McDonnell to build the Bear Creek (50 MW, Richland County), North Rock (50 MW, Rock County) and Wood County (150 MW) projects, which will be constructed using union workers. Ranger Power will expand the Onion River and Crawfish River projects from this fall. The Grant County project will be built by: Next Era Energy Resources, starting in Spring 2022. All six projects were announced by Alliant Energy in May 2020.
In total, Alliant Energy proposed: 12 solar projects across dozens of communities in nine Wisconsin counties. Collectively, it will add nearly 1,100 MW of solar power to the state’s power 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. When 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 of great change, these projects demonstrate our commitment to advancing clean energy and empowering the communities we serve,” de Leon said. “Most importantly, this solar investment will provide our customers with reliable, environmentally friendly energy for decades to come.”
Together 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 stable revenues through new construction opportunities, creating an estimated 2,000 construction jobs and generating approximately $300 million in revenue for local communities and landowners over an estimated 30-year project life.
Adding solar power throughout Wisconsin also improves the environmental health of the communities Alliant Energy serves in the transition to a cleaner energy mix. All solar installations will be conducted in a manner that is environmentally sustainable, supports land conservation and provides areas for pollinators to find shelter and thrive.
News item from Alliant Energy