Solar power is taking root in Wisconsin and solar advocates are taking notice. The 14 site, 18-megawatt Dairyland Power Cooperative/SoCore Energy solar project in Wisconsin and Iowa was named one of four recipients of the 2016 Project of Distinction Award by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). Developed and constructed by SoCore and TRC Companies, the projects range from 600 kilowatts to 2.75 megawatts and are expected to generate electricity to power 2,500 homes.
“SoCore is honored to be part of such a unique project in Wisconsin,” said Laura Caspari, director of development at SoCore Energy. “The Project of Distinction Award was a reflection of the great collaboration between SoCore, Dairyland, TRC and the communities with whom we worked. We are excited about the contribution these developments have made to increasingly clean, reliable and cost-effective energy for Co-op members.”
Winners of the award were evaluated on technological innovation, design, financing options and benefits the projects provided community stakeholders. In addition to the project being the first utility-scale solar farm to feature single-axis tracker arrays in Wisconsin, solar farm is unique in that all 14 sites double as pollinator gardens designed to increase and sustain native bee and butterfly populations. In order to maximize the use of new power grid transmission infrastructure, Dairyland’s member distribution cooperatives can also invest in or own community solar farms next to the current solar sites, allowing them to maximize the cost effectiveness of new power grid interconnections.
“TRC is proud to be part of the team that assisted Dairyland and SoCore on this innovative, award-winning solar project,” said Chris Vincze, TRC’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Every day, across all kinds of electric power generation and transmission and development of renewable energy sources, TRC experts are consistently delivering our clients innovative solutions.’’
Wisconsin’s energy suppliers are starting to add significant and unique renewable energy projects to their generating portfolios. For instance, WPPI Energy and NextEra Energy Resources recently announced the construction of the 100 megawatt Point Beach Solar Energy Center on land adjacent to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Two Rivers. Scheduled to come online in 2021, this massive project will take advantage of existing transmission infrastructure already used by the active nuclear plant.Tweet