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Jefferson County OKs 75MW solar farm to be purchased by Alliant Energy
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Jefferson County OKs 75MW solar farm to be purchased by Alliant Energy

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Jefferson County has signed off on a permit for a 75-megawatt solar farm under contract to Alliant Energy that is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 10,000 typical Wisconsin homes.

The county’s planning and zoning committee granted a conditional use permit Monday for Crawfish River Solar to construct the project on about 450 acres south of Hwy. 18 in the town of Jefferson.

Construction is scheduled to begin next year and the plant is expected to begin operation in 2022.

Crawfish River Solar map

The project will be adjacent to Badger State Solar, a 149-megawatt plant approved earlier this year that will supply electricity for Dairyland Power Cooperative.

The Crawfish River project is expected to generate $300,000 in annual tax revenue for the town and county.

Planning and zoning director Matt Zangl said the permit, currently being reviewed by the county’s attorney, is conditioned on the Public Service Commission authorizing Alliant to purchase the project as well as a joint development agreement to be negotiated between the town, county and developer, Ranger Power.

Plans call for prairie grasses to be planted under the solar panels and pollinator-friendly plants on unused land.

The project is one of six that Alliant has proposed to purchase as part of a $900 million investment in solar generation.

The Madison-based utility plans to submit applications next year for another 375 megawatts of new solar.

Alliant, which plans to produce carbon-neutral electricity by 2050, has told regulators it can save customers up to $6.5 billion over the next 35 years by adding more than 1,600 megawatts of renewable generation, closing one of its two remaining Wisconsin coal plants and taking other undisclosed actions.

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