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Badger Hollow Solar Park Delivers Clean Energy To Wisconsin Homes

Photo Courtesy WEC Energy Group

Wisconsin’s Badger Hollow Solar Park delivers reliable, clean energy to Wisconsin Public Service Corp and Madison Gas and Electricity customers. The WEC Energy- and We Energies-sponsored renewable energy facility in Iowa County has 830,000 solar panels

Each panel has photovoltaic cells on both sides that pivot to allow them to capture direct sunlight, which is particularly useful on days when snow covers the ground, reflecting light back up. The two-phase project is expected to generate power for close to 100,000 homes and propel the companies to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

“On a summer day, that might not matter as much, but if we get some snow this winter, they can really produce a lot of energy,” Brendan Conway, WEC Energy Group director of media relations, told WTMJ. “As the sun reflects off the snow and bounces back on, those panels are being powered on both sides. They move very slowly, and they’re scheduled every day to track from sunrise to sunset.”

Photo Courtesy WEC Energy Group

Located near the communities of Montfort and Cobb, the first phase of the Badger Hollow facility came online in 2021 and produced up to 150 megawatts (MW) of power.

Wisconsin Public Service Corp., Madison Gas and Electric, and parent companies WEC Energy and We Energies worked together on the first phase, which features approximately 500,000 solar panels spread across Dodgeville in Iowa County. The second phase, announced online in January, increased the output to 300 MW.

“From frigid winter mornings through the hottest summer days, Badger Hollow Solar Park will play an important role in helping us deliver affordable, reliable, and clean energy,” Scott Lauber, We Energies president and CEO, said in a statement.

Photo Courtesy WEC Energy Group 

WEC Energy Group and Madison Gas and Electricity have set goals for carbon-neutral energy generation by 2050. Each plans additional projects across the state, including the 200-MW Paris Solar-Battery Park in Kenosha County and the 250-MW Darien Solar Energy Center in Walworth and Rock counties.

The partnership of numerous utility companies across the state is just the next logical step in the long history of cooperation between the state’s utilities.

Photo Courtesy Paris Solar Farm

“The completion of Badger Hollow is another step in our ongoing transition to greater use of cost-effective, carbon-free, renewable energy to serve all MGE electric customers,” Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, president and CEO, said in a news release. “By 2030, we expect every MGE electric customer will have 80% fewer carbon emissions from their electricity use simply by being an MGE customer as we work toward our goal of net-zero carbon electricity.” 

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin estimates 11 utility-scale solar projects will come online between 2023 and 2024. WEC also announced another major step toward reduced carbon emissions, with accelerated plans to close the remaining coal plants in Wisconsin. Each step is essential to helping the United States reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.


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