Dairyland Power to build solar project in Westby

| March 11, 2014 | 0 Comments
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La Crosse, WI— Dairyland Power Cooperative is expanding its renewable energy resources with the addition of another commercial solar project. The new solar installation will be approximately
520 kilowatts (kW), and could produce enough energy to power nearly 60 homes. The project will be located adjacent to Vernon Electric Cooperative’s headquarters along U.S. Highway 27 in Westby, Wis.

Dairyland has signed an agreement with Clean Energy Collective to purchase the renewable energy produced by this large solar facility, which will be developed, owned and managed by Clean Energy Collective of Boulder, Colo. Construction of the solar facility is scheduled to begin this spring and planned to be operational by June 1, 2014.

“For many years, we have been steadily adding renewable resources to our system while balancing reliability and affordability for our members,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “Solar powered generation was part of our long-term resource plan, and this project is a good fit with Dairyland’s overall strategic plan.”

This project expands and complements Dairyland’s already diverse renewable portfolio (wind, biogas, biomass, hydro, solar). Dairyland’s renewable resources provide about 12.5 percent of the energy delivered to its members, which is ahead of current renewable energy requirements in Wisconsin.

Dairyland is proceeding with its first commercial solar project announced in January along U.S. Highway 52, north of Rochester, Minn. That solar project will be owned and managed by Minnesota Three, LLC. It will fulfill the requirement for a commercial solar project as outlined in Dairyland’s 2012 settlement with the EPA. Although the settlement does not specifically require two solar projects, the second project was chosen to further diversify Dairyland’s renewable energy portfolio. It is also beneficial to Dairyland’s members in that it fulfills additional environmental mitigation requirements outlined in the EPA agreement.

Dairyland also purchases the excess energy output from a 368 kW solar generation facility owned by the City of Galena, Ill., and a number of smaller distributed generation projects. There are over 350 customer-owned solar photovoltaic facilities in the Dairyland system and that number continues to grow.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, biomass, landfill gas, animal waste and solar. For more information, please visit www.dairynet.com.

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