Outdoor recreation is a big part of life in the Midwest, all year round. Many of us love to explore nature trails on foot, on bike or on cross-country skis, watching the landscape change with the seasons. It’s also a thrill to ride around under big, open skies in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in summer or a snowmobile in winter.
At Alliant Energy, we want our solar projects to integrate effortlessly into the landscape, to generate clean energy and positively affect the natural world, and not interfere with anyone’s well-deserved fun. That’s why we design our projects with recreational uses of the land in mind and consult experts in the community to make it work.
For example, when we constructed our Wood County Solar Project, our construction manager Erik Jensen worked closely with Jerry Wiessinger, trail boss of Rome Sno-Bandits Snowmobile Club. Together, they mapped out a new snowmobile route that traversed across our property but outside the solar project boundary.
Wiessinger said Jensen was “super cooperative … He took time out of his busy schedule to drive me around the project in [a utility task vehicle] and on our existing trail to determine the best way to continue the operation of the trail.”
We’ve also partnered with local organizations to reroute ATV and snowmobile trails near our Bear Creek, Springfield and Wautoma solar projects.
By riding around the project boundary, riders stay safe, keep our equipment safe and ensure the safe delivery of clean energy.
“I want to compliment Alliant Energy for being a good neighbor and allowing recreational use of their property outside of the fenced area,” Weissinger said.
It strengthens our communities when we help people use the land in a safe and enjoyable manner. If you’re so inclined, you might consider trekking by one of our solar gardens from a recreational trail yourself.
Learn more about these projects and the steps we take toward a cleaner energy future at alliantenergy.com/cleanenergyblueprint.
Chris is a Communications Partner specializing in Alliant Energy’s renewable investments. Coming from a journalism background, he’s excited to tell the story of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint and other renewable trends in new and exciting ways.