May 26, 2020

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

More Solar Developments Shine a Light on Wisconsin’s Energy Future

GREEN BAY– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, released the following statement on Alliant Energy’s announcement of their intentions to build 675 megawatts (MW) of solar energy production in rural Wisconsin: 

“The economic conditions that make solar competitive in the energy marketplace have been a relatively recent shift, but Wisconsin utilities have not idly let this trend pass them by. Making good on their ‘Powering What’s Next’ plan to bring one gigawatt of solar production, Alliant’s announcement today of phase one in their solar development plans could bring 675 MW of homegrown solar energy development to Wisconsin.

“This announcement further reinforces that markets are making more sustainable, secure, and reliable energy infrastructure not only feasible, but desirable. According to RENEW Wisconsin, our state currently has 130 MW of solar installed, with commitments for hundreds of more MW of solar currently in the planning, approval, or construction phases. Alliant’s plan to add 675 MW to the progress already made is a welcome building block in creating a stronger, cheaper energy future.”

According to Alliant Energy, this planned production would be enough to provide 175,000 homes with energy each year. The six solar projects, planned in Grant, Jefferson, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan, and Wood Counties, would create over 1,200 constructions jobs and, over the anticipated 30-year lifespan of these projects, would provide an estimated $80 million in local tax revenues.

“At a time with uncertainty in our state’s employment, this announcement could bring hundreds of family supporting manufacturing, installation, operations, and maintenance jobs to rural Wisconsin. While this announcement is laudable, we must make sure we have the workforce availability in Wisconsin for the good paying careers in this skilled trade.”