Wisconsin’s Alliant Energy to spend $900 million buying 675MW of solar capacity

first_imgWisconsin’s Alliant Energy to spend $900 million buying 675MW of solar capacity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Wisconsin utility Alliant Energy will spend $900 million buying 675 megawatts of utility-scale solar projects as it moves to replace uneconomic coal-fired plants with renewables.Alliant, which serves about 1 million customers in the Midwestern states of Wisconsin and Iowa, currently relies on renewables for about 20 percent of its generation capacity, largely wind power in Iowa, with twice as much coming from natural gas plants. On Tuesday Alliant said it will “acquire” six large-scale solar projects in Wisconsin from developers NextEra Energy Resources, Ranger Power and Savion. The projects, ranging from 50 megawatts up to a 200-megawatt development owned by NextEra, represent a huge leap forward for Wisconsin’s solar market. The state has around 150 megawatts of installed solar today, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.Alliant’s solar news comes just days after it announced plans to close the remaining 380-megawatt unit of its coal-fired Edgewater Generating Station in Sheboygan by the end of 2022, a move it said will save customers “hundreds of millions of dollars in costs.” Alliant subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light closed two other, older units at Edgewood over the past five years.In 2018 Alliant established its “Clean Energy Blueprint,” which aims for 30 percent renewables by 2030 on the way to an 80-percent carbon emissions cut by 2050. The blueprint includes a goal of 1 gigawatt of solar by 2023, as well as an accelerated closure of the coal plants that still made up 30 percent of its generation as of last year.Most Midwestern states are not known for their solar markets, but utilities across the region are increasingly staking out clean energy and decarbonization plans that move beyond onshore wind and embrace large-scale solar. Over the past few years, the active interconnection queue for Midwestern grid operator MISO has steadily shifted from wind to solar as its primary renewable resource. According to a May 2020 report from MISO, of the 68 gigawatts of projects seeking interconnection, 40.6 gigawatts are solar projects.[Jeff St. John]More: Wisconsin has 150MW of solar. Alliant just bought 675MW morelast_img

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