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Partnering to bring agriculture and solar together

We consider ourselves a part of the communities we serve. We're dedicated to collaborating closely with farmers and agricultural operators to create projects that make the most sense for farming operations while meeting the clean power needs of our customers. In that spirit, we're partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a solar and agricultural research project to be established on university-owned land just west of Lake Kegonsa. 

Powering homes and education

Alliant Energy will design, construct, own, operate and maintain the 2.25-megawatt solar and agricultural research project. At maximum output, the project is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 450 homes. UW–Madison will receive renewable energy credits generated by the solar project, which will provide proof that power was generated from a renewable energy resource, distributed to the electric grid and the University is entitled to its attributes.  

The project is part of Alliant Energy’s Customer Hosted Renewables Program which enables customers with available land to host solar facilities and receive lease payments and renewable energy credits. The project also furthers Alliant Energy’s goals to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity it generates by 2050. 

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been an outstanding partner and we are excited to work with them as we strive toward a more sustainable future together,” said Ben Lipari, Director of Resource Development & Customer Solutions, Alliant Energy.  “The project aligns with our mission-driven purpose to have a role in strengthening communities. This project provides UW-Madison with a facility that will enhance student exposure to renewables while providing a venue to consider how renewables will better integrate with community planning in the future.” 

A learning opportunity

Beyond the production of renewable energy, Alliant Energy and UW–Madison are exploring future partnerships to advance the solar research project for education, demonstration and training purposes.  

“This project will provide the opportunity to demonstrate how solar energy and agriculture can be successfully integrated,” said Steve Ackerman, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education at UW–Madison. “In addition, the new array will enable students to do hands-on research while gaining a better understanding of how renewable energy can be embedded in a broader community setting.” 

Construction could begin in Spring 2023 with operation later that year. The timeline is contingent on field study results, design, permitting and equipment availability.

One more way we're working with rural communities

This latest announcement is a great step in our partnership with rural communities. We develop many of our renewable energy projects in tandem with property owners in rural Iowa and Wisconsin. Our dedicated staff works with local officials, residents, landowners and other stakeholders from project planning to completion. We provide information about impacts and opportunities specific to each community.

We know just how important it is for farmers, agribusiness operators and community members to understand our focus on land development, environment and watershed in addition to the environmental and economic benefits renewable energy projects bring to our customers and communities. You can learn more about our utility-scale and customer-hosted solar projects on our website.

“The project builds on UW–Madison’s legacy of environmental stewardship in some really interesting ways. It advances clean energy, cultivates innovative research and creates new opportunities for learning. It gives our students and faculty the opportunity to study soil, water, plant and animal interactions when a solar array is integrated with agricultural land, which will help our understanding of the costs and benefits associated with siting solar energy in Wisconsin and beyond.”
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank
Dana is a Content Strategist specializing in renewable energy. With over a decade of experience crafting thought-leading informational content, she’s passionate about spreading the message of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint and sustainability efforts.

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