A new utility scale solar PV project in Jefferson County was approved by the PSC in January. The 149MW Badger State Solar Farm will produce energy for Dairyland Power Cooperative through a power purchase agreement, enabling it to retire a coal plant in 2021 and increase its renewable power mix above the current 23 percent. Currently, Dairyland has 14 solar projects throughout western Wisconsin that produce 14.2 MW of renewable electricity combined. The $100 million Badger State project will be developed and operated by Ranger Power on 1,200 acres (to be underplanted with pollinator plants) in the towns of Oakland and Jefferson and should be completed in 2022. It will provide nearly $2.8 million to the hosting towns and county.
The Badger State Solar Farm, when combined with other PSC-approved solar farms, Badger Hollow (300MW), Two Creeks (150MW) and Point Beach (100MW) will increase Wisconsin’s solar generation six times to 750MW when built. Another group of projects totaling 549MW is expected to go to the PSC for approval in 2020 in Grant, Wood, and Kenosha counties. More than 30 utility-scale solar projects are being considered in Wisconsin that, in total, would use less than half a percent of the state’s cropland. WSJ, WisPolitics.