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Wisconsin utilities planning second large solar-plus-storage project

March 18, 2021

Lake Geneva Regional News:

Three of Wisconsin’s largest utilities plan to spend $446 million on a second large-scale solar farm with battery storage.

Madison Gas and Electric and the WEC Energy Group filed a request Tuesday to buy a Walworth County solar farm that would generate enough electricity for about 75,000 homes and include a battery that could discharge up to 75 megawatts for four hours.

Invenergy, a Chicago-based energy company, is developing the 250-megawatt solar plant, which if approved by regulators would occupy about 2,000 acres stretching west from Delavan to the Rock County line.

If approved, WEC subsidiaries We Energy and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. would together own 90% and MGE the other 10%. The utilities say in their application that the project will result in lower rates than continuing to run their existing generators.

The state Public Service Commission has scheduled public hearings for April 22 on the Darien Solar Energy Center. A decision on the construction permit would likely come this summer. If approved, construction is expected to begin late this year with the project coming online by the end of 2023. The purchase will require separate approval from the PSC.

This is the second solar-plus-battery project that MGE and WEC are pursuing. Last month the utilities announced plans to purchase a 310-megawatt solar and storage plant under development in Kenosha County in partnership with Madison Gas and Electric for a combined $426 million.

[Chris Hubbuch]

More: Utilities seek to buy $446 million solar and battery project in Walworth County

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