Xcel Energy: To build solar garden in Ashland

ASHLAND, WIS. (May 1, 2018) – Earlier this year, Xcel Energy announced plans to develop a third Solar*Connect Community garden in Ashland, if the company received sufficient customer interest. Thanks in part to a number of subscription commitments, Xcel Energy will move ahead with construction of the 1-megawatt solar garden, part of Solar*Connect Community, which is currently Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program.

OneEnergy Renewables, a leading developer of community and utility-scale solar projects across the country, will build the garden on property owned by Xcel Energy. The program’s first 1-megawatt community solar garden was energized in October 2017 in Eau Claire and construction of a 1-megawatt garden in the greater La Crosse area is planned for later this year.

Northern communities support locally-sourced community solar

With significant commitments from northern Wisconsin customers, Xcel Energy is able to add the final solar garden to the pilot program. The new garden is approximately 70 percent subscribed, leaving 30 percent available. “The city of Washburn has been supportive of sustainable energy initiatives for many years,” said City Administrator Scott Kluver. “We are happy to be able to participate in this mutually beneficial project with Xcel Energy that allows the city to utilize more solar energy and reduce our energy costs going into the future.”

Lower cost subscriptions available now

The cost to build solar facilities continues to come down, benefiting all new and existing subscribers. Subscriptions are on a first-come, first-served basis and open to any Xcel Energy electricity customer in Wisconsin. Xcel Energy is offering subscriptions at a cost of $1,600 per kilowatt. The minimum subscription size of 200 watts costs $320. Customers pay a deposit of $200 per kilowatt, and bill credits begin shortly after final payment is received. The garden in Ashland is expected to be built in 2019.