JEFFERSON — The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning committee announced Monday the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved the Crawfish River Solar Project.

The 75-megawatt, 500-acre solar farm will be constructed in the Town of Jefferson.

A spokesperson from Alliant Energy — the utility company, which will own and operate the solar farm once constructed — said Crawfish River Solar will provide electricity for nearly 20,000 area homes.

Additionally, the company says it will pay $125,000 per year in tax revenue to the Town of Jefferson and $175,000 annually to Jefferson County.

According to the project website, the land to be used was “offered voluntarily by landowners interested in participating in the project, with no use of eminent domain.”

Additionally, each row of solar panels are to be surrounded by prairie grasses and pollinators “compatible with grazing and beekeeping.”

Another renewable energy generator in the works for Jefferson County is the Badger State Solar Project. That 149-megawatt project, spanning 1,200 acres in the towns of Oakland and Jefferson, is one of the largest proposed in the state.

But that project currently is on hold while the developers await federal funding and the county conducts an environmental study, which might take up to two years. A spokesperson was unable to be reached regarding the status of the study.

Both the Crawfish River and Badger State Solar projects are being developed by Chicago-based Ranger Power and are part of statewide efforts to shift to renewable energy.

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