Dairyland Power Cooperative doing deals on new solar projects in Wisconsin

Dairyland Power Cooperative out of Wisconsin said Feb. 24 that it has finalized agreements with two developers to purchase over 15 MW of renewable energy from multiple new utility-scale photovoltaic solar facilities in Wisconsin.

“As Dairyland celebrates our 75th anniversary this year, we are excited to announce very significant solar generation plans that far surpass current solar resources in the state,” said Barbara Nick, the cooperative’s President and CEO.

Last year, Dairyland issued a request for proposals (RFP) for solar generation resources. At this point, Dairyland has power purchase agreements in place with two solar developers—groSolar (out of White River Junction, Vt.) and SoCore Energy (Chicago, Ill.)—for 12 new solar facilities to be sited in Wisconsin. Dairyland is also continuing negotiations for additional solar resources in its service territory, with further project announcements anticipated in the near future.

The solar installations will range between 0.5 MW to 2.5 MW in scale. These facilities will be tracking systems which follow the path of the sun to increase energy production. The solar facilities will be built in the service areas of Dairyland’s member electric cooperatives.

“Dairyland’s leadership role with renewable energy projects supports our strategic direction to diversify generation resources. This announcement follows a very robust and competitive RFP process that will provide a win-win for our membership and the environment,” said Nick.

The developers will install, own, operate and maintain the solar facilities. The first projects are expected to become operational this summer, with others continuing to come online into the fall. Here are the proposed locations, projected scale and local electric cooperative:

groSolar

  • Phillips, Wisconsin, 2.5 MW (Price Electric Cooperative)

SoCore Energy

  • Viola, Wisconsin, 0.5 MW (Richland Electric Cooperative)
  • Roberts, Wisonsin, 2 MW (St. Croix Electric Cooperative)
  • Conrath, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Jump River Electric Cooperative)
  • Necedah, Wisconsin, 1.5 MW (Oakdale Electric Cooperative)
  • Menomonie, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Dunn Energy Cooperative)
  • Medford, Wisconsin, 2 MW (Taylor Electric Cooperative)
  • Liberty Pole, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Vernon Electric Cooperative)
  • Hillsboro, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Vernon Electric Cooperative)
  • Town of Hallie, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Eau Claire Energy Cooperative)
  • Eastman, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative)
  • Arcadia, Wisconsin, 1 MW (Riverland Energy Cooperative)

Although these projects constitute Dairyland’s largest solar investments to date, Dairyland also purchases energy from major solar installations (Westby, Wis., Oronoco, Minn., and Galena, Ill.) and supports 10 member cooperative community solar installations, with more planned. In addition, there are 700 consumer-owned distributed generation solar installations located in Dairyland’s service area.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. Its service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois).

groSolar is an industry-leading, large commercial and utility-scale solar developer and engineering, procurement and construction firm. With numerous award winning multi-megawatt projects and over 2,000 installations nationwide, groSolar’s experience spans a broad spectrum of applications.

SoCore Energy is a market leader in cooperative, commercial and industrial solar portfolio development. With hundreds of solar solutions designed and installed across dozens of states, SoCore offers cooperatives, multi-site retailers, REITs and industrial companies portfolio-wide solar and energy storage solutions that provide energy cost savings and carbon reduction opportunities. It is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Edison International.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.