Alliant Energy, a utility provider in Wisconsin, is now offering shares in its first community solar garden. The 1-megawatt facility is planned for development and completed construction sometime in 2021. Alliant Energy revealed that the project will be built near Fond du Lac and will be available to all of its current and future customers in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s second-largest utility provider is offering shares at $1,500 per kilowatt for interested participants. The shares are broken up into 250-watt blocks, and the shareholder will have 100% use of the energy generated by the block they pay for. As the focus of community solar is always the community, the new project will generate returns for residential customers in Alliant’s service area.
Alliant’s first community solar garden will provide homeowners with a bill credit of up to 6.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Small businesses and other commercial customers will see a smaller credit of 5.6 cents. Those that invest in shares in the garden are expected to see a return within 14 to 16 years. Alliant estimates that customers should see a 30 to 40% return spread out over the 20-year agreement.
Like many utility providers around the nation, Alliant has been finding new ways to reduce its carbon output. The Fond du Lac development is the latest push to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030. Its long-term goal is to remove coal-fired power from its portfolio by 2040 and switch to all carbon-neutral electricity by 2050. Over the next four years, Alliant hopes to build an additional 1,000-megawatts of solar installations.
The Fond du Lac facility is planned for groundbreaking by the spring of 2021. The facility will border Highway 151 and sit on land leased from Michels Corp. Alliant isn’t the only one using the land, either, as an additional 250-kilowatt solar facility is planned for a separate portfolio.
To further help the local community, Alliant will donate 62.6-kilowatts of its first community solar garden to 24 Habitat for Humanity homes.
Interested parties can learn more about Alliant Energy’s first community solar project here.