Our customers can reap the benefits of new technology and lower costs as we continue to build a clean energy future.
In late May 2018, we announced plans to add a new 150-megawatt wind farm to our energy mix for Wisconsin customers. The Kossuth Wind Farm project will be located in north-central Iowa, which has consistently strong wind resources. This project can generate enough energy for 70,000 homes. Pending regulatory approval, construction is expected to begin in summer 2019 with planned completion in fall 2020.
In early April 2018, we also finalized our acquisition of a 55-megawatt ownership interest in the Forward Wind Energy Center near Brownsville, Wis.
Both of these projects add to our existing fleet of two other wind farms serving Wisconsin customers: Cedar Ridge and Bent Tree.
Why are you adding more wind energy now?
- We are taking these steps today so that our customers can benefit from the improved economics of wind and receive low-cost, renewable energy for decades.
- Wind has no fuel costs, which helps provide cost stability to customers.
- New technologies have helped drive down the cost of wind, making it competitive with other sources of energy.
- Improvements in technology have increased power output. Taller towers capture wind at higher elevations, leading to better performance.
- Turbines and construction costs continue to decrease as the wind market grows.
- Tax incentives are only available for a limited period. If we don’t move forward today, we will miss an opportunity to provide our customers with the net benefits that result from investing in wind.
How will Wisconsin customers benefit from this wind energy?
- With zero fuel costs, it will help mitigate fluctuations in customer costs from changing fuel prices.
- We are locating wind projects in areas with strong wind resources. As a result, these new resources will produce more energy than if they were located in a lower wind resource area.
- Wind energy is competitive with other, more traditional sources of energy.
- This and other wind projects will contribute to our target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% from 2005 levels by the year 2030 across our entire service area.
What is the timeline?
The Kossuth Wind Farm project is still being developed, but we expect it to be generating energy in the fall of 2020.
The Forward Wind Energy Center is already providing clean energy for our Wisconsin customers.