Wisconsin’s Dairyland Power Announces Historic Co-op Solar Advance

Farm Energy.Org

The Wisconsin cooperatives' new facilities will use sun-tracking technology to boost energy generation. Photo credit: pv magazine

The Wisconsin cooperatives’ new facilities will use sun-tracking technology to boost energy generation. Photo credit: pv magazine

Wisconsin’s Dairyland Power Cooperative and its member cooperatives announced a historic investment in solar energy on Wednesday, unveiling plans to build more than 15 megawatts of new solar energy at 12 locations across Wisconsin . . . Brad Klein, Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said the Dairyland announcement sends a strong signal to rural electric cooperatives across the Midwest.

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According to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, “Member-owned electric cooperatives have nearly 240 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity online or on the drawing board across the country.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is the national service organization for more than 900 nonprofit rural electric cooperatives and public power districts providing retail electric service to more than 42 million consumers in 47 states and whose retail sales account for approximately 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States. NRECA’s members include consumer-owned local distribution systems — the vast majority — and 66 generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives, such as the Dairyland Power Cooperative, that supply wholesale power to their distribution cooperative owner-members.

Wisconsin electric cooperative to procure power from 15 MW of solar PV, by Christian Roselund, pv magazine. Wisconsin currently only has around 25 MW of installed PV, which means that this 15 MW will increase the state’s installed solar capacity by 40%.

Dairyland Power Cooperative Invests Heavily in Solar Energy, by Hope Kirwin, Wisconsin Public Radio. Dairyland’s Business Development Manager Craig Harmes said the new facilities will use sun-tracking technology instead of the typical fixed array.