Alliant Energy begins construction on 414 MW of solar in Wisconsin


Regulators in Wisconsin have granted final approval to second phase of Alliant Energy’s solar development plans, meaning that a new 414 MW of utility-scale solar have been given the green light to begin construction.

The six projects are among 12 utility-scale solar sites Alliant Energy is developing as part of its Clean Energy Blueprint, a plan that will add nearly 1.1 GW of solar energy generation to Wisconsin’s energy grid, effectively increase the state’s installed solar capacity by just under 130%, and make Alliant the largest owner and operator of solar generation in the state.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, the state has installed 855 MW of solar thus far, but is expected to construct 3.2 GW over the next five years, good for 12th in the nation over than span.

The six new projects will be constructed in mostly rural parts of five counties. The company expects to begin construction this summer and finish in late 2023. Alliant Energy will contract with Burns & McDonnell and utilize craft labor from several local union halls.

Five of the project are being self-developed by Alliant Energy, and include:

Once the projects are operational, Alliant said local communities will receive around $50 million in shared revenues for the next 30 years. Over the same period, local landowners are set to receive a combined $60 million in lease payments.

“We are excited to break ground and begin construction on these solar projects as we accelerate toward a cleaner energy future,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. We expect our solar development plans to create hundreds of new construction jobs and deliver safe, reliable, affordable energy for years to come.”

In total, the 12 solar projects proposed under Alliant’s Clean Energy Blueprint will create more than 2,000 local construction jobs, provide an estimated $130 million in local tax revenues over the next 30 years and help customers avoid more than $1.6 billion in long-term costs, if all come to fruition.

Combined with upcoming retirements of the Edgewater Generating Station and Columbia Energy Center, Alliant Energy said it is well positioned to achieve its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil-fueled generation in half from 2005 levels by 2030.

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