Alliant Energy’s 1-MW community solar project in Fond du Lac, Wis., announced in December, found its anchor tenant this week in Michels Corp., which is committing to 30% of the project’s solar blocks. The diversified energy and infrastructure contractor has supported the project from the initial stages and is leasing the solar site to Alliant Energy. With Michels’ subscription, the total amount of solar blocks bought now exceeds 75%, just three months after launching the community solar project. The Fond du Lac Town Board gave formal approval to Alliant Energy’s Fond du Lac community solar project on March 8.
“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. “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.”
Alliant Energy’s Community Solar program provides an opportunity for customers to share the benefits of solar power without having to install solar panels on their property. They receive a credit on their monthly electric bills for every block of energy purchased. The credits begin once the facility is in service and will last for 20 years. Participants will realize cost savings over the life of the solar facility. Plus, businesses qualify for annual renewable energy credits to help offset carbon emissions.
“We are finding that businesses are increasingly interested in turning to solar and renewables as an efficient way to meet their sustainability goals,” said de Leon. “The simplicity and flexibility of community solar allows companies, especially those with multiple locations, to gain the benefit of clean energy without having to build their own renewable energy system.”
Alliant Energy continues to partner with businesses and communities as well in utilizing its Customer Hosted Renewables Program. Both Michels and the city of Sheboygan are participating in that renewable offering.
Michels’ headquarters, located in Brownsville, Wisconsin, is about a dozen miles south of the site for the planned Fond du Lac community solar garden. The company also has more than 40 other locations across the U.S. and Canada. Participating in community solar provides Michels the opportunity to have multiple locations benefit from clean energy through receiving renewable energy credits.
“As an energy and infrastructure contractor, we support initiatives to provide reliable power from a variety of sources,” said Pat Michels, Michels Corporation President and CEO. “We look forward to using green energy at our facilities served by Alliant Energy.”
Alliant Energy’s Community Solar program is part of the company’s Clean Energy Vision and its aspirational goal to attain net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity it generates by 2050. It is also part of the company’s Clean Energy Blueprint – a roadmap to accelerate Alliant Energy’s transition to renewable energy.
— Solar Builder magazine