Alliant Energy envisions solar power enough for 300,000 Wisconsin homes

Alliant Energy reached a major milestone this week as it acquired ownership of the 150-megawatt (MW) Onion River Solar Project, located in the town of Holland in Sheboygan County. 

The Onion River Solar Project is the sixth and final project Alliant Energy acquired as part of an approved filing with the Public Service Commission to add 675 MW of solar energy generation in Wisconsin. 

Alliant Energy acquired the project from Ranger Power and D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) and is contracting with a subsidiary of DESRI to construct the project.

“As global leaders seek solutions to reduce carbon emissions, Alliant Energy is accelerating the American transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future,” said Ben Lipari, director of project development and customer solutions at Alliant Energy. 

“Our investments in renewable energy are reducing Alliant Energy’s carbon footprint, expanding access to affordable energy and helping to build stronger communities. The Onion River Solar Project will create hundreds of jobs, spur local economic development and deliver long-term cost savings for our customers. 

“Ranger Power has been a valuable partner throughout the development phase of this project and we appreciate their ongoing commitment to solar energy generation in Wisconsin.”

This 1,000-acre, 150-MW solar project will create approximately 250 jobs. 

Construction will begin in the spring with a targeted completion date in the fall of 2023. 

Once operational, the project will generate enough electricity to power nearly 40,000 Wisconsin homes. 

Combined, the town and county will receive an estimated $600,000 in annual shared revenues for the next 30 years to be used as determined by local communities and their elected officials.

“By working together with landowners, local residents, community leaders and others, Alliant Energy and Ranger Power are driving forward clean, sustainable and economical energy solutions in Sheboygan County,” said Paul Harris, president of Ranger Power. 

“We are proud Alliant Energy shares our commitment to being a partner in the community and will continue to steward this project forward for the benefit of the communities we serve.”

 For more information, visit Alliant Energy’s solar webpage. 

 In May 2020, Alliant Energy introduced its plan to construct six large-scale solar projects in Wisconsin. 

Then, in March 2021, the company announced plans to build six more projects, making Alliant Energy the largest owner and operator of solar energy in the state of Wisconsin. This is in accordance with Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, an outline of the company’s accelerated transition to clean energy.

In total, these 12 solar projects planned for nine Wisconsin counties will add nearly 1,100 MW of solar energy generation to the state’s energy grid, enough to power nearly 300,000 homes. 

Additionally, these projects will create an estimated 2,000 jobs, deliver long-term cost savings for customers and provide approximately $300 million in revenue to local communities and landowners over the 30-year lifespan of the projects.

These investments in solar generation demonstrate the company’s commitment to advance clean energy solutions and strengthen the communities they serve. 

With increasing sustainability expectations from customers and businesses, now is the time to transition to more renewable energy generation. 

Alliant Energy is committed to elevating its sustainable practices and cost-effectively accelerating renewable energy generation while reducing carbon emissions.   

Solar generating projects have a low profile and are virtually noiseless. 

They generate zero emissions, odors or harmful byproducts. During operation, planted prairie grasses and pollinator habitats create a hospitable environment for pollinating insects and birds. 

When the project reaches the end of its useful life (approximately 30 years), per regulatory agreement, Alliant Energy can seek to extend the project timeline or remove the equipment and restore the land for use as desired, including for agriculture. 


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