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, Wis. 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.
Dubuque, Iowa solar project
In spring 2016, we announced a collaboration with the city of Dubuque, the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Company for two new solar energy sites. Together, this one project will be sized for at least four megawatts.
The first site is a former foundry near downtown owned by A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. The second site is planned for the city’s newly acquired land near the Dubuque Industrial Center West. Our project will transform the land into a source of renewable energy and will study how to develop similar sites across Iowa. The system is expected to start generating clean power in 2017.
Indian Creek Nature Center (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
In summer 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.
Rock River (Beloit, Wis.)
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, Wis.)
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.