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Michels Corp. backs FDL community solar project

Utility contractor Michels Corp. is backing a solar array in Fond du Lac by becoming an anchor tenant for the project, which is the first of its kind in the state.

Alliant Energy’s 1-megawatt community solar project in Fond du Lac allows utility customers to buy part of the solar project in exchange for a credit on their monthly electric bills, saving money as long as the array remains in use. Proponents of community solar projects say they help customers that have no means or opportunity to install solar panels on their own property to support renewable energy projects elsewhere.

Brownsville-based Michels Corp. is backing the project by purchasing 30% of the solar blocks that make up the community solar array. The company is also leasing land for the site to Alliant Energy and has supported the project since its early stages, according to a news release. The array is 75% sold, just three months into the project. Solar blocks cost $375 each.

“As an energy and infrastructure contractor, we support initiatives to provide reliable power from a variety of sources,” said Pat Michels, Michels Corp. president and CEO. “We look forward to using green energy at our facilities served by Alliant Energy.”

Alliant’s solar project in Fond du Lac is the first of its kind in Wisconsin. The arrangement is in more frequent use in states such as Minnesota.

The system starts paying credits once a community solar project goes into service and will last as long as 20 years. Businesses can also qualify for renewable energy credits to offset carbon emissions.

“We have partnered with Michels on energy projects for more than 50 years, and this builds upon the productive and positive history between our companies,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company, in a statement. “Alliant Energy is excited that Michels will be an anchor tenant in our Fond du Lac community solar facility, and we applaud their support for local clean energy.”

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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