Richland County solar project capable of powering 13K homes per day

LONE CREEK, Wis. — Alliant Energy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for the first of 12 planned large-scale solar energy sites, which project leaders say will power thousands of homes in Wisconsin.

The 50-megawatt Bear Creek Solar Project, located in Richland County just northwest of Lone Rock, is expected to bring in enough energy to power 13,000 average homes on a daily basis when the panels are working at peak capacity.

Alliant Energy officials said the Bear Creek project is part of the utility provider’s long-term plan to transition to renewable energy sources.

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Tim Kreft, Alliant Energy’s Senior Manager of Strategic Projects, said the company opted for solar energy in large part because of its cost-effectiveness. According to Kreft, costs for these types of projects have dropped more than 80% over the past decade, which he said makes solar the prime choice for new investments in renewable energy.

“These projects are purpose-built to be a high-quality low-cost installations for our customers’ benefit,” Kreft said. “The power from this installation goes into the power grid to be used by our customers as any of our generating facilities would be used.”

When the remaining 11 solar sites are operational, they’ll be able to supply enough energy to the electrical grid to power roughly 290,000 homes, according to Alliant Energy spokesperson Tony Palese. Three additional projects are expected to go into service later this year.

Because of their involvement in the project, Richland County and the town of Buena Vista will receive an estimated $200,000 in combined shared revenue each year for the next 30 years via the state’s shared revenue program.

More information about Alliant Energy’s plans to transition to clean energy sources is available online.