LOCATION: 90-acre site in Cottage Grove
SIZE: 33,000 solar panels, 17 megawatts
START OF CONSTRUCTION: June 21
PROJECTED COMPLETION: Early next year
EVENTUAL OWNER: Alliant Energy Corp., Madison
CONTRACTOR: SunVest Solar, Pewaukee
SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT: The Yahara Solar Project will be Dane County’s largest renewable energy project, coming in nearly twice as big as the 9 megawatt solar installation now at the Dane County Regional Airport. Once operating, the 17-megawatt farm will be able to generate enough electricity to power 3,000 homes. Combined with existing solar and wind projects, it will mean that all the power needed for county facilities can come from renewable sources.
In returning for delivering energy generated by the project to its customers, Alliant Energy will receive renewable energy credits from the federal government. Alliant plans to use those credits to pay Dane County for the right to lease the land on which the project will sit. This arrangement will help ensure the county can meet its renewable energy goals without an increase in energy costs.
Nearly 70 people are expected to be working on the project at the peak of construction.