TWO RIVERS — Jefferson Utilities Senior Energy Services Manager Greg Hoffmann joined state leaders and executives from WPPI Energy and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC to celebrate the commissioning of Wisconsin’s newest large-scale solar energy project — the Point Beach Solar Energy Center.
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center spans 465 acres near Two Rivers, and is adjacent to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant, which also supplies power to Jefferson through Jefferson Utilities.
Construction for the Point Beach Solar Energy Center lasted 10 months and generated a significant economic boost to the region, creating 200 construction jobs, and stimulating the purchase of regional goods and services.
“We look forward to supplying Jefferson with cost-effective, renewable energy produced by Point Beach Solar,” said Hoffmann. “We know our friends and neighbors in the area value affordable, responsible power, and this new project aligns perfectly with our goals.”
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center features more than 315,000 photovoltaic solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity, and the center has the capacity to generate 100 megawatts of electricity.
The energy will power Jefferson through their not-for-profit wholesale power provider, WPPI Energy, of which Jefferson Utilities is a member-owner. The power purchase agreement will be in effect for 20 years.
“We are excited to see this project come online,” said Mike Peters, president and CEO of WPPI Energy. “Not only will Point Beach Solar provide cost-effective energy to our member communities, but it will also further diversify our portfolio and help us continue to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with supplying power. It’s the type of project where everyone wins.”
With the addition of Point Beach Solar Energy Center, the WPPI Energy membership is on track for reducing carbon dioxide emissions approximately 45% by 2025 when compared to 2005.
The adjacent Point Beach Nuclear Plant has been producing reliable, zero-carbon energy since the early 1970s, and WPPI Energy already purchases a portion of the power that facility produces to serve member utilities.
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center now is online and already supplying renewable energy to Jefferson.