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XCEL ENERGY TO EXPAND ONE OF THE NATION'S BIGGEST SOLAR PROJECTS

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved Xcel Energy’s expansion of the Sherco Solar project, which will soon become one of the biggest solar projects in the country. The project is a key element of Xcel Energy’s clean energy transition and will help the company triple the amount of solar on its Upper Midwest system by 2028.  The unanimous vote paves the way for 710 megawatts of solar generation near the existing Sherco coal plant in Becker, Minnesota, by adding a 250-megawatt array to the 460 megawatts currently under construction. All phases of the project are expected to be complete by the end of 2025, replacing the capacity of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit that is scheduled to retire later this year.

The solar portfolio approved by the Commission also includes a plan to purchase power from the 100-megawatt Apple River solar project in northwestern Wisconsin, which will be one of the largest solar projects in Wisconsin.

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XCEL ENERGY TO NEARLY TRIPLE SOLAR ON UPPER MIDWEST SYSTEM BY 2028

Xcel Energy is proposing to add an additional 250-megawatt solar project near the existing Sherco plant site in Becker, Minnesota, which will soon be home to the Upper Midwest’s largest solar development and represents an important piece of the company’s clean energy future.

Xcel Energy has asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to add a third solar array adjacent to the 460-megawatt Sherco Solar project already under construction. The three solar projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2025 and will replace the capacity of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit that is scheduled to retire later this year. As part of its expansion of solar energy it delivers to customers, Xcel Energy is also proposing to purchase power from the 100-megawatt Apple River solar project being developed in northwest Wisconsin.

ALLIANT ENERGY INSTALLS SOLAR PANELS AT BEAVER DAM SOLAR PROJECT

Alliant Energy has begun the installation of solar panels at its 50-MW Beaver Dam Solar Project site. A ceremony was attended by executives, team members, construction partners, local leaders, neighbors, and participating landowners. Located in Dodge County, Wisconsin, just east of Beaver Dam, the project is part of Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Blueprint, an ambitious plan to expedite the development of renewable energy and decrease carbon emissions in a cost-effective manner.  The construction of this particular site is set to be completed by the end of 2023.

Overall, Alliant Energy's Clean Energy Blueprint comprises 12 utility-scale solar projects in Wisconsin, which will collectively generate almost 1,100 MW of energy once they are operational. Three of these projects, producing a combined total of 250 MW, commenced operations in late 2022, while the remaining nine are currently under construction.

XCEL ENERGY PLANS TO NEARLY TRIPLE AMOUNT OF SOLAR BY 2028

Xcel Energy is proposing to add an additional 250-megawatt solar project near the existing Sherco plant site in Becker, Minnesota, which will soon be home to the Upper Midwest’s largest solar development and represents an important piece of the company’s clean energy future.
Xcel Energy has asked the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to add a third solar array adjacent to the 460-megawatt Sherco Solar project already under construction.
The three solar projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2025 and will replace the capacity of the Sherco plant’s first coal unit that is scheduled to retire later this year. As part of its expansion of solar energy it delivers to customers, Xcel Energy is also proposing to purchase power from the 100-megawatt Apple River solar project being developed in northwest Wisconsin.
Sherco Solar is among the largest solar developments in the U.S. and is key to Xcel Energy’s plans to nearly triple the amount of solar on its Upper Midwest system by 2028. The combined projects’ 710-megawatt capacity will generate enough electricity to power more than 150,000 homes each year on average. Solar energy does not have any fuel costs and contributes to a diversified energy mix which helps protect against rising fuel prices. Xcel Energy expects to qualify for federal tax credits that make construction more affordable, helping customers save money.
“These projects will be the lowest-cost solar on our Upper Midwest system and demonstrate our focus on clean energy without compromising affordability,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy - Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota. “We are committed to moving the Sherco Solar project forward to deliver significant new clean energy to our customers and communities.”
“These solar projects continue our leadership in providing carbon-free energy to customers in the states we serve,” said Karl Hoesly, President, Xcel Energy - Wisconsin and Michigan. “Through their development, these projects also help our communities by creating jobs and supporting local businesses.”
Xcel Energy would develop, own, and operate the third Sherco Solar array. Last fall, the PUC approved the first two solar projects at the Sherco plant site. Construction began on the first project in late April.

UTILITY REGULATORS APPROVE $649M PURCHASE OF WISCONSIN'S LARGEST RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANT

Three utilities have received approval from Wisconsin utility regulators to buy the state’s largest renewable energy plant.

The Public Service Commission has approved the $649 million purchase of the Koshkonong Solar Energy Center by We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, and Madison Gas and Electric.

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WEC ENERGY GROUP TO ACQUIRE EIGHTY PERCENT STAKE IN TEXAS SOLAR PROJECT

WEC Energy Group has announced an agreement to acquire an eighty percent ownership in a large solar project in Texas. 
The company says it will be spending about $250 million on the Samson I Solar Energy Center, located about 140 miles northeast of Dallas. The facility began commercial operation in May 2022 and is currently covered by a long-term power purchase agreement with AT&T, according to a release. 

“The Samson Solar project is an exciting addition to our Infrastructure business and highlights our continued investment in affordable, reliable and clean energy,” WEC Energy Group Executive Chairman Gale Klappa said in a statement. “This project will help one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies meet their clean energy needs for years to come.” 

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PRIVATE SOLAR COMPANY SHUTDOWN LEAVES CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS

The abrupt shut down of privately owned Sun Badger Solar  has left customers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota wondering if their solar installations will be finished or if they will lose deposits for work that was never started.

Customers have lodged dozens of complaints with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Wisconsin Better Business Bureau, and law enforcement agencies in multiple communities are investigating customers' complaints of fraud. Furloughed employees of the Waukesha company wonder, without much hope, if they'll be called back or paid for work they did before the company as its finances unraveled.

MGE APPROVED TO BUY SHARE OF SOUTHERN WISCONSIN SOLAR ENERGY CENTER

Madison Gas and Electric has been approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to purchase more solar energy and battery storage.

MGE can now purchase solar energy and battery storage from the Darien Solar Energy Center and will own 25 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and 7.5 MW of battery storage from a solar battery storage facility in Rock and Walworth counties in southern Wisconsin.

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PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION APPROVES THIRD PARTY SOLAR FINANCING

The Public Service Commission has voted 2-1 to approve a petition on third-party financing of small-scale solar power systems. PSC’s order will allow North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative to build solar panels on a family’s home and lease them to the family. Renewable developers and environmental advocates supported the decision, while utilities argued that solar financers are effectively building power infrastructure and selling energy to the public through leases and power purchase agreements. PSC has yet to issue a full written order, and the legal implications of its decision are still unclear.

WUI and utilities had opposed the action and questioned whether the Commission had the authority to make the decision without legislative action.

WEC ENERGY GROUP WILL SPEND $360 MILLION TO OWN PART OF ILLINOIS SOLAR FARM

WEC Energy Group will become the majority owner of a large Illinois solar farm that will provide energy for a single Fortune 100 company.

The 250-megawatt Maple Flats Energy Center is being built in south central Illinois by Invenergy, a renewable-energy developer based in Chicago. The 1,500-acre solar array will produce enough electricity to power 75,000 homes, but that energy will be sold under a long-term contract to a single customer that the company did not identify.

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XCEL ENERGY RECEIVES APPROVAL FOR MINNESOTA’S LARGEST SOLAR PROJECT TO REPLACE COAL GENERATION

Xcel Energy will move forward to build Minnesota’s largest-ever solar project at the Sherco plant site in Becker, as it transitions away from using coal at the site in the coming years. Today, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) provided the final approvals needed for Sherco Solar, which is a key component of Xcel Energy’s plan to nearly triple the amount of solar on its Upper Midwest system by 2028.

In addition to being the largest single solar development in Minnesota, the Upper Midwest and among the largest in the United States, Sherco Solar will provide clean energy while also being the lowest-cost solar on Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest system. It will also create jobs and investment in the Becker community as the Sherco coal plant is retired in the coming years. The solar project will serve as a direct replacement for most of the capacity of the first coal unit retiring at the Sherco plant.

Six More Solar Farms Approved for Alliant Energy in Central Wisconsin, Enough to Power 100,000 Homes

Alliant Energy is about to begin construction on six new solar projects in central Wisconsin that will generate enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes annually once completed. The utility has received approval for the projects from the Public Service Commission. 

The projects are Albany Solar in Green County, Beaver Dam Solar in Dodge County, Cassville Solar in Grant County, Paddock Solar in Rock County, Springfield Solar in Dodge County and Wautoma Solar in Waushara County. 

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