• Ranger Power’s 149 MW Badger Solar Farm has cleared the last round of approvals for its construction
  • The PSCW unanimously approved its construction on agricultural land in Jefferson County
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative has already been roped in as the offtaker once it comes online in 2022

Solar power development company Ranger Power has secured green light for its proposed 149 MW solar PV facility in Jefferson County, Wisconsin from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). Back in March 2019, the project signed up wholesale electricity distributor Dairyland Power Cooperative under a power purchase agreement (PPA) to sell all the power generated by the plant.

Ranger Power plans to break ground on site for the 149 MW plant in 2021 as it aims for a commercial operation date of 2022. It will be located on agricultural land of participating land owners in Jefferson and Oakland towns. PSCW says an independent power producer (IPP) called Badger State Solar LLC, a subsidiary of D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, LLC, sought approval for this project.

Dairyland says approval from the PSCW was unanimous. It came soon after the commission cleared its application to build a $700 million 625 MW natural gas generator that the company claims is critical to provide reliable back-up power to intermittent sources as wind and solar. The electricity supplier also announced shuttering its 345 MW coal power plant in mid-to late-2021.

Wisconsin is one among the 12 states in the Great Lakes and Plains region of the Midwest US which could help the US add 100 GW of solar power capacity additions between 2018 and 2028, according to a Fitch Solutions Macro Research October 2019 report (see Midwest To Help US add 100 GW Solar Over 10 Years).

In November 2019, US utility Alliant Energy said it will develop up to 1 GW of solar PV capacity in Wisconsin by 2023 (see Alliant Energy Shares 1 GW Solar Plan For Wisconsin).