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Solar Studies

Pop quiz! You may already know how solar energy works. You may even know that solar energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of energy in the country, and that it provides many economic and environmental benefits. But can you name all the ways solar energy gets to the grid? Let’s count up the methods Alliant Energy uses to include solar in our diverse energy mix.

1) Community Solar

At the heart of every community is a shared interest in bringing people together to make life better for everyone. That same spirit is behind the idea of community solar. Not every location is ideal for solar panels, nor is it always easy to install your own. Community solar helps make solar energy simple and accessible for more people. By investing in blocks, or portions of the electricity generated by a nearby community solar project, homes and businesses receive monthly bill credits for the next 20 years. You can even purchase enough solar to cover up to 100% of your energy use—all without the need to install your own equipment.

We’re working continuously to bring solar options to more communities throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. You can join our community solar waitlist to receive notifications when solar blocks become available when we launch new community solar gardens near you. In the meantime, use our handy calculator to see how investing in community solar could impact your monthly bill.

2) Utility-Scale Solar

When we say we want to bring the benefits of solar energy to everyone we serve, we mean everyone. That’s where utility-scale solar comes in. Utility-scale solar projects generate solar power and feed it into the grid, supplying utility companies like Alliant Energy with the energy needed to power homes and businesses. Unlike rooftop or community solar options, utility-scale solar allows utility companies to provide solar power to all customers. This means everyone using energy from a utility company benefits from solar energy.

Including utility-scale solar in our energy mix strengthens the reliability and resiliency of the energy grid by serving as an additional power source that keeps producing energy even when other parts of the grid may be impacted. That could mean fewer power interruptions and more reliable energy service all year round. It’s also a big part of our transition to a clean energy future. As part of our aspirational goal to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions from the electricity we generate by 2050, we’re working in close partnership with communities and landowners to construct more solar projects in both Iowa and Wisconsin.

3) Customer-Hosted Solar

With Customer Hosted Renewables, we partner with businesses and communities to host Alliant Energy solar farms on-site in exchange for monthly lease payments. This allows customers to put available, otherwise unused land or rooftop space to good use generating clean energy. The best part? Alliant Energy builds and maintains the project, so hosts and their communities can sit back and enjoy the sense of pride at seeing solar panels glistening in their neighborhood.

Pencils down

Did your solar generation knowledge make the grade? If you need to study up, our Solar Generation page has you covered with all the information you need to fully understand the forms and benefits of solar energy.
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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