Another large-scale solar and battery project in Wisconsin is moving forward. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin unanimously approved Wisconsin Public Service’s (WPS) purchase of the Darien Solar Energy Center on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Located on about 2,000 acres in Rock and Walworth counties, the Darien Solar Energy Center will host up to 850,000 solar panels. The facility features 250 megawatts of solar generation, which is equal to powering about 75,000 homes, and 75 megawatts of battery storage, which can store solar-generated power and discharge it when the sun goes down.
The commission’s approval of the Darien Solar Energy Center is another important step toward WPS, and its parent company WEC Energy Group, achieving its goal of investing $5.4 billion in renewable energy projects in Wisconsin in the coming years. These investments will help create a bright, sustainable future, while providing customers approximately $2 billion of savings over the next 20 years.
“We appreciate the commission and staff’s thorough review and the commission’s approval of this project. The Darien Solar Energy Center is an important part of our plan to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing customers affordable, reliable and clean energy,” said Scott Lauber, president and CEO — WEC Energy Group. “Combining utility-scale solar with battery storage will allow us to extend the benefits of renewable energy and provide our customers sunshine after sunset.”
WEC Energy Group utilities WPS and We Energies will own 90% of the project. Madison Gas and Electric will own the other 10%.
Construction of the Darien Solar Energy Center started earlier this year, and is expected to go into service in late 2024.
WEC Energy Group has committed to industry-leading emission reduction goals from electric generation — 60% below 2005 levels by the end of 2025, 80% below 2005 levels by the end of 2030, and net carbon neutral by the end of 2050.