WPPI Energy and NextEra Energy Resources will construct Wisconsin’s largest solar farm on land adjacent to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Two Rivers. The 100-megawatt Point Beach Solar Energy Center is expected to provide 23,000 customers with clean energy and will come online 2021. During its construction, it will create 150 to 200 jobs and is expected to boost the local economy.
“We are pleased to partner with WPPI Energy to bring the largest universal solar energy center to Wisconsin,” said Mike O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “This energy center will harness the state’s own sunshine to create clean, renewable energy, as well as good-paying jobs and increased tax revenue for the state and local community.”
Building the solar farm next to an active nuclear plant not only utilizes the space next to a traditional energy production facility but also takes advantage of transmission infrastructure that already exists. Solar farms are increasingly being located near or in some cases replacing power from large power plants, like the Two Rivers facility. In the neighboring state of Minnesota, Xcel Energy will shutter a coal-fired power plant early and replace it with solar power.
The new plant will more than double the amount of solar power the state has. Wisconsin had 25 megawatts of solar at the end of 2015, according to RENEW Wisconsin. Prior to this announcement, the organization estimated 55 megawatts of solar is currently built or under construction across the state.
“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,” said Mike Peters, president and CEO of WPPI Energy. “In addition, WPPI Energy has achieved significant emissions reductions over the past 10 years, and the clean, renewable energy generated by this project will help us continue that effort.”
“Along with Dairyland Power Cooperative, which is building 20 MW of solar projects currently, WPPI Energy is showing that solar power is a competitive resource for electricity providers in Wisconsin,” said RENEW Wisconsin executive director Tyler Huebner.Tweet