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Dairyland Power to add three solar gardens

April 19, 2018

By Chris Hubbuch   //   Rhymes with Lubbock. La Crosse Tribune reporter and data geek. Covers energy, transportation and the environment, among other things. Call him at 608-791-8217.

LaCross Tribune mastheadDairyland Power Cooperative announced plans for three new solar power installations that will increase the La Crosse-based utility’s solar holdings by more than 20 percent.

Dairyland has signed power purchase agreements with SoCore Energy of Chicago to build 1.5-megawatt solar gardens in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.

Together the projects will bring Dairyland’s solar capacity to about 2.5 percent of the utility’s generation portfolio and fulfill a 2015 plan to add up to 25 megawatts of solar capacity. That’s enough energy to power more than 5,300 average Wisconsin households.

Renew Wisconsin estimates the total installed solar generating capacity for Wisconsin — including rooftop panels — is about 85 megawatts.

Construction is scheduled to begin later this year on the new solar facilities, which will be located in the territories of member cooperatives in Decorah, Iowa; Albert Lea, Minn.; and York, Ill.

Dairyland says each of its 18 solar generation sites double as pollinator gardens, seeded with grasses and flowers to support bees and butterflies.

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