Alliant Energy: Construction complete on Alliant Energy’s first utility-scale solar project

Contact: Tony Palese (608) 458-3132 | [email protected]

A new dawn for solar as 50-MW Bear Creek array begins generating energy in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (Aug. 22, 2022) – Today marks a major milestone for clean energy in Wisconsin. Alliant Energy’s first utility-scale solar project is now operational. At 50 megawatts (MW), the Bear Creek Solar Project in Richland County is Wisconsin’s newest large-scale utility solar farm. The site can generate enough electricity to power approximately 13,000 homes.

“This project represents a significant, long-term investment in our community,” said Van Nelson, town of Buena Vista clerk. “The township very much appreciated how well they were kept informed of progress throughout the project. The strong partnership with Alliant Energy and its commitment to responsible stewardship ensures that this solar farm will deliver economic, environmental and financial benefits for decades to come.”

In addition to this site producing clean solar energy to power homes and businesses, Richland County and the town of Buena Vista will receive an estimated $200,000 in combined shared revenue payments annually for the next 30 years through the state’s shared revenue program.

“Across Wisconsin, Alliant Energy is working with families, farmers, businesses and communities to develop renewable energy projects both big and small,” said David de Leon, Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin president. “This project is an incredible milestone for our customers. Guided by our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build stronger communities, this solar farm diversifies our energy portfolio, boosts American energy independence and increases access to affordable electricity.”

Alliant Energy is following the plan outlined in its Clean Energy Blueprint to bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to customers for years to come. The plan includes constructing more than 1,000 MW of utility-scale solar energy at 12 sites across Wisconsin. The Bear Creek Solar Project is the first of these 12 sites to become operational. Three additional projects are expected to go into service later this year.

Construction of the Bear Creek solar farm began in July 2021. Burns & McDonnell was the EPC contractor for the project and utilized operating engineers, carpenters, laborers and electricians from several local union halls – increasing the positive economic impact and community benefit. 

“When businesses partner with the skilled forces of Wisconsin’s unionized building trades, they know they’re going to get a safe, quality product that delivers superior value for everyone,” said Emily Pritzkowexecutive director of the Wisconsin Building Trades Council. “By prioritizing the use of local unionized labor on renewable energy projects, Alliant Energy is supporting a strong workforce, keeping project dollars in the community and boosting our state economy.”

Alliant Energy aspires to eliminate coal from its generation fleet by 2040 and achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity it generates by 2050. Following the plans laid out in its Clean Energy Blueprint, Alliant Energy’s 12 utility scale projects 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.

For more information on how Alliant Energy acts today to meet customers’ energy needs tomorrow, visit alliantenergy.com/poweringwhatsnext.