Wisconsin Energy Company Plans to Build Solar Farm
A solar panel in full action. Photo courtesy of foresightinvestor.com.

Wisconsin Energy Company Plans to Build Solar Farm

Wisconsin is taking a step towards using renewable energy sources as the biggest solar energy center in the state is now in the works to be built.

Regional utility provider, Wisconsin Public Power Inc. or WPPI, announced Jan. 30 that it will partner with NextEra Energy Resources to build a solar energy center in Two Rivers.

WPPI will buy solar energy produced by NextEra Energy Resources, a Florida-based renewable energy company and the largest provider of renewable energy in the country. The contract between WPPI and NextEra will last for twenty years.

Mike Peters, CEO of WPPI, said in a public statement, “This solar energy center adds diversity to WPPI Energy’s power supply portfolio in a way that’s more cost-effective than other opportunities currently available to us.”

This will almost triple the amount of solar energy produced in the state, according to RENEW Wisconsin.

NextEra says this project will provide 23,000 people with solar produced energy once operating at full capacity. The project will also provide 150 to 200 people with jobs during construction.

The solar facility is not scheduled to be built for another four years, and will not be operational until 2021.

While solar energy is generally considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly ways to harvest energy, there are some concerns due to the amount of land a solar farm can take up. Large amounts of industrial land consumption can sometimes have disruptive effects on the environment.

Such concerns in this instance are minimal since most of the land is already used for industrial agriculture.

The solar energy center will be built near Point Beach nuclear plant, which was purchased by NextEra in 2007. It will take up the better part of the 1,200 acres that surround the nuclear plant.

 

Connor Schoelzel

Reporter

connor.L.Schoelzel@uwsp.edu

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