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WPS PROPOSES 200 MW OF SOLAR

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and WEC Energy Group (WEC), through its Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) subsidiary, recently announced plans for a partnership on two major solar projects in Wisconsin. MGE, WPS and project developers, Invenergy, and NextEra Energy Resources, filed applications today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the two Wisconsin projects.

Combined, the utilities would own a total of 300 megawatts (MW).  “This is another step forward as we move toward a more sustainable energy future and deep decarbonization,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE president and CEO. “These projects align with MGE’s short- and long-term carbon reduction goals. If approved, we look forward to the opportunity to grow cost-effective, clean energy to reliably serve our customers into the future.”

“Investing in these solar projects is the first step in our overall plan to add solar capacity to our generation portfolio and save WPS customers more than $100 million over the economic lives of the projects, as compared to projected prices in the power market,” said Gale Klappa, CEO of WPS.

WPS would own 200 MW and MGE 100 MW of the combined output at two locations. The Badger Hollow Solar Farm would be located in southwestern Wisconsin in Iowa County, near the villages of Montfort and Cobb, about 12 miles west of Dodgeville. WPS would own 100 MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Badger Hollow. The project is being developed by Invenergy, North America’s largest privately held renewable energy company based in Chicago, Illinois. The Two Creeks solar project would be located in the Town of Two Creeks and the City of Two Rivers in northeastern Wisconsin, near the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. WPS would own 100
MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Two Creeks. The project is being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC based in Juno Beach, Florida.

The total cost of both projects is expected to be approximately $390 million. If approved by the end of 2018, construction of both projects is expected to begin by spring 2019. Commercial operation of both projects would begin by the end of 2020.

WUI REGIONAL MEETINGS HIGHLIGHT RENEWABLES, TRANSMISSION AND ENERGY FORECASTS

WUI 2018 Regional Meetings were held recently in Madison and Oshkosh. They addressed how Wisconsin Utilities are incorporating renewable energy into a cost benefit energy portfolio and how renewables impact the consumer and investor. An overview of the Strategic Energy Assessment (SEA) draft was presented at the Madison meeting by Martin Day, Administrator of the Division of Energy Regulation at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) and the same information was presented at the Oshkosh Regional by Holly O’Higgins, SEA Docket Coordinator for the Division of Energy Regulation at PSCW. Attendees in Madison were treated to an Alliant Energy Solar project presentation and on-site tour led by Dave Sinner, Project Manager II Customer Centric Generation. Robert Bartlett, Director of Public and Community Affairs and Zack Hill, Senior Resource Development Coordinator of Alliant Energy, presented Alliant Energy’s plan to incorporate renewables. In Oshkosh attendees learned about the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission line project by Director of Environmental and Local Relations, Gregory Levesque of American Transmission Company (ATC).

Xcel Energy Announces Plans for Solar Connect Community Garden in Ashland

Community solar gardens continue to grow in Wisconsin. Xcel Energy has announced plans to develop a third, one-megawatt solar garden in Ashland. The garden will be part of Solar Connect Community, Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program.

If sufficient customer interest is demonstrated, the 
Ashland garden will be built in 2019 by OneEnergy  Renewables, a leading developer of community and utility-scale solar projects across the country. The solar garden will be located on property near Xcel Energy’s Ashland service center.

“This past year, we’ve had tremendous support for our 
Solar*Connect Community program from both residential and business customers,” said Mark Stoering, president, Xcel Energy, Wisconsin. “They have told us they want more options when it comes to their energy and this program allows them to support locally sourced solar energy and receive bill credits at the same time.”

The program’s first one-megawatt community solar garden was energized in October 2017 in Eau Claire, and construction of a one-megawatt garden in the greater La Crosse area is planned for 2018.

Xcel Energy Photo      A racking system is built prior to the installation of about 3,000 solar panels that make up Xcel Energy’s first one-megawatt Community Solar Garden in Eau Claire. That project was energized in October of 2017, and a second one-megawatt garden is planned for the La Crosse area this year. The third garden is proposed for construction in Ashland by the fall of 2019.

 

 

 

CLEAN ENERGY SHINES AS IOWA’S LARGEST SOLAR GARDEN COMES ONLINE

Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company continues its move toward a clean energy future by placing Iowa’s largest solar
garden in service. The record-breaking site is one of two new solar energy resources from Alliant Energy. As of late
September, customers started getting solar energy from the five-megawatt West Dubuque Solar Garden, which is
now the state’s largest and most powerful individual site. In addition, customers are also benefitting from the new
1.2-megawatt Port of Dubuque Solar Garden.

Wisconsin’s Largest Solar Project Delivering Power for Alliant

Alliant Energy customers are now receiving clean power from Wisconsin’s largest solar facility. The 2.3-megawatt Rock River solar project recently went into service near Beloit, Wisconsin. The sun-powered generating station includes over 7,700 solar panels, covers nearly 17 acres and produces enough electricity to power 500 homes.

“Investments in clean energy have been central to our plan for decades,” said Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO. “Solar is an important part of our future energy mix and one of many ways we are following a path of sustainability and stewardship.”

The Rock River solar project is located on Alliant Energy’s property in the Town of Beloit, and it is sited on a landfill, a further environmental benefit. The company collaborated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to enable the landfill site to be reused for the solar facility.

Xcel Energy Announces Solar Connect Community

Xcel Energy has announced it is moving forward with development of Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program.  As part of Solar* Connect Community, Xcel Energy will purchase the electricity produced by two, one-megawatt solar gardens. One will be built in the city of Eau Claire and the other in La Crosse County. The solar gardens will be constructed by Pristine Sun, a San Francisco-based leading developer of solar projects.

The City of Eau Claire has signed a lease with Pristine Sun to build the Eau Claire solar array on 7½ acres of an abandoned landfill near the company’s Wisconsin headquarters on West Hamilton Avenue in the Sky Park Industrial Park. The Sky Park landfill operated as a municipal waste facility from 1948 to 1965. With community solar programs, customers share in the benefits of solar energy without the need to install solar panels on their own roof or maintain their own solar array. Through Solar* Connect Community, customers choose their own subscription level, pay a one-time fee to subscribe and receive a monthly credit on their electric bill based on their portion of the solar energy produced.

In addition to the solar garden in Eau Claire, Pristine Sun will construct a similar sized facility on private land in La Crosse County. Xcel Energy may also opt to build up to one megawatt of additional community solar that could be operational in 2017. The two community solar gardens are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.

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