The future of solar energy is bright

We believe better is always possible. A sensible, planned move to clean energy sources is the way to solve many of our energy challenges. Our energy mix combines clean and renewable sources with traditional ones. We have been transitioning our system to a more balanced and diverse energy mix. We are also reducing emissions by adding solar and wind energy, and natural gas generation.

How we use solar energy

Madison energy learning lab

We’ve built an energy learning lab at our Madison, Wis. general office with several types of solar structures, multiple electric vehicle charging stations and an energy battery storage system.

Learn more about the energy learning lab

West Dubuque Solar Garden

The West Dubuque Solar Garden is the largest single solar project in Iowa. In September 2017, the West Dubuque Solar Garden came online to bring clean energy to customers. This five-megawatt site uses more than 15,000 panels. 

The annual output of this solar garden is equal to the annual usage of about 727 average Iowa homes. The site covers 21.1 acres of land in a new industrial park in Dubuque, Iowa. This land was sloped and not ideal to build a large manufacturing facility. However, this slope is ideal for a solar garden. Because of the slope, we are able to place the panels closer together without casting shade on the back rows – just like stadium seating.

The West Dubuque Solar Garden and the Port of Dubuque Solar Garden are the result of innovative partnership with the city of Dubuque and the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.

Port of Dubuque Solar Garden

The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden welcomes travelers from the tri-states (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). This project is located between downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi River. The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden features an educational display and information to teach visitors about advancements in clean energy technology.

This is a 1.2-megawatt solar garden, and its annual output is equal to the annual usage of about 126 average Iowa homes. It started generating clean energy in September 2017.

The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden is located on a former industrial site, currently owned by A.Y. McDonald Co.

Indian Creek Nature Center (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

In 2016, the new Amazing Space facility at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids was completed. We own and operate a solar array on the building and on the ground near it. The solar equipment connects directly to our electrical system and produces the same amount of energy the facility needs.

Real-time information from Amazing Space is telling us how various panel configurations affect solar production. It’s part of an effort to help us identify what works best in our service area, how much solar power may feed back to the grid and how often customers may need to supplement their solar energy with power from the electrical system.

Visit Indian Creek Nature Center’s website to learn how they built sustainability into every aspect of Amazing Space!

Rock River (Beloit, Wisconsin)

In winter 2016, we began providing our customers with energy from the 2.3-megawatt Rock River solar project through a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hanwha Q Cells USA. The solar field is located on our closed Rock River Generating Station landfill site in the Town of Beloit.

The installation is the first Wisconsin utility-scale solar installation located on a closed landfill site and represents another step in modernizing our Town of Beloit energy campus. When the facility went into service, it was the largest solar generating station in Wisconsin.

Riverside Energy Center (Beloit, Wisconsin)

Our proposed 700-megawatt natural gas-fired generating station will include a two-megawatt solar installation to offset the facilities’ power needs and improve the project’s environmental profile.

Learn more about the Riverside Energy Center project

Interested in generating your own solar energy?

The steps below will help you get started. You can also check out our solar energy video series to learn more about solar energy for the home.

  1. Decide if rooftop solar is right for you.

    You’re more likely to have a good return on your investment if your electric bills are high and you have a roof that can take maximum advantage of the sun.


  2. Reduce your energy use.

    By investing in energy-efficiency upgrades, you can reduce the size and cost of the solar system you need to install.

  3. Figure out your bottom line.

    While you can choose the number and location of panels on your home, other variables are harder to predict.

  4. Get the right advice.

    Before you begin, talk to solar installers, your tax professional, insurance agent, real estate professional and your local fire department.

  5. Let us help you connect your system with ours.

    Our interconnection process helps ensure a smooth process when you connect with our system.

    Learn more about generating your own solar

Support renewable energy with no hassle!

Through Second Nature™, we use our buying power to bring you the best deal on clean energy.

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A clean energy future

How are we going to get there? With a strong strategy that includes renewable and highly efficient energy sources.

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