Dairyland Power adds three more names to list of new solar projects

Dairyland Power Cooperative said Nov. 3 that it has finalized agreements for three additional utility-scale solar generation projects, bringing Dairyland’s total number of solar installations under contract to 15.

The three new projects will increase the total solar generation from 15 MW to 20 MW in the Dairyland cooperative system.

“Dairyland is celebrating our 75th anniversary this year and the 15 solar projects are an exciting example of our commitment to providing safe, reliable and sustainable energy far into the future. The current amount of solar generation in Wisconsin will nearly double through our expanding solar initiative,” said Barbara Nick, President and CEO.

Two of the new projects will be located in northwest Wisconsin and one in northeast Iowa. They are:

  • Centuria, Wis., 1 MW (Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative);
  • New Auburn, Wis., 2.5 MW (Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative); and
  • Strawberry Point, Iowa, 1.3 MW (Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative).

Last year, Dairyland issued a request for proposals (RFP) for solar generation resources. Earlier this year, Dairyland announced that agreements were in place for 12 new solar facilities in Wisconsin. The addition of these three new projects will bring the total installations to 15.

The power purchase agreements for the three new projects and 11 of 12 of the previously-announced projects are with SoCore Energy (Chicago, Ill.). One agreement is with groSolar (White River Junction, Vt.). The developers will install, own, operate and maintain the solar facilities.

The solar installations will range between 0.5 MW to 2.5 MW in scale. They will be tracking systems which follow the path of the sun to increase energy production. The first projects will begin coming on-line in early November. All are expected to be operational in early 2017. The solar facilities are being built in the service areas of Dairyland’s member electric cooperatives. The advantages of multiple projects in separate locations include: diversified weather, distributed grid infrastructure impacts and locally-based renewable energy.

Although these projects constitute Dairyland’s largest solar investments to date, Dairyland also purchases energy from other major solar installations (Westby, Wis., Oronoco, Minn., and Galena, Ill.). In conjunction with Dairyland’s utility-scale projects, many of Dairyland’s member distribution cooperatives are offering community solar projects to their member-consumers. Community solar provides an opportunity for cooperative member-consumers to invest in or own solar generation without maintenance or location concerns. SoCore is the community solar developer.

Following are the original 12 projects (listed by developer) which were announced in February 2016:

groSolar

  • Phillips, Wis., 2.5 MW (Price Electric Cooperative)

SoCore Energy

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

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). Dairyland’s resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, solar, wind and landfill gas.

SoCore Energy (www.SoCoreEnergy.com) offers companies, electric cooperatives and communities solar solutions that provide energy savings and carbon reduction. SoCore is a 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.