PSC: Approves 675 MW of new solar generation in Wisconsin

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) voted unanimously today to allow Alliant Energy’s (Alliant) subsidiary, Wisconsin Power and Light Company, to acquire or construct, own, and operate a total of six solar electric generation facilities capable of producing a total of 675 megawatts (MW). The projects, two of which still need PSC approval for construction, will be located in Rock, Grant, Jefferson, Sheboygan, Richland, and Wood Counties.

“It’s fitting that we approved these projects on the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. As our state and utilities continue to pursue shared goals of ensuring that all electricity consumed in Wisconsin be carbon-free by 2050, projects like these will continue to allow for the closure of coal-burning power plants while we ensure safe, reliable, and affordable service for customers,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq.
Alliant received approval to acquire or construct and operate:

  • 200 MW of solar generating capacity from the Grant County Solar project;
  • 150 MW of solar generating capacity from the Wood County Solar project;
  • 150 MW of solar generating capacity from the Onion River Solar project in Sheboygan County;
  • 75 MW of solar generating capacity from the Crawfish River Solar project in Jefferson County;
  • 50 MW of solar generating capacity from the North Rock Solar project in Rock County;
  • 50 MW of solar generating capacity from the Richland County Solar project.

Due to the size of their generating capacity, separate approval is needed to construct the Grant County, Wood County, and Onion River projects. The PSC unanimously approved the Wood County Solar Project (docket 9803-CE-100) in January of this year. The Grant County Solar (docket 9804-CE-100) and Onion River Solar (docket 9805-CE-100) projects are still under PSC review. 

The estimated total cost of the solar projects is $887 million, but Alliant’s customers will see savings of approximately $127 million due to the retirement of higher cost coal-fired generation. Prior to today’s decision, the PSC had approved 1078 MW of utility-scale solar generation in Wisconsin.