Utility Solar Project Will Help Wisconsin Achieve Renewable Goal

wisconsinHalf Moon Ventures says its broke ground on Wisconsin’s first stand-alone utility scale solar energy project in the city of Jefferson. HMV awarded  S&C Electric Company with the EPC contract to construct the project, which is expected to enter into service by the end of the year. The solar energy facility will be the state’s first solar energy project that directly connects to the power grid, and it will help meet Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of 10% of power coming from renewable sources by 2015.

“HMV is excited to enter the renewable energy market in Wisconsin with the largest utility off-take project in the state,” says Michael Hastings, CEO, HMV. “A key goal for us on this project was local content, as HMV has deep roots in Wisconsin. We are proud to be providing the state with a boost in employment activity by awarding the EPC contract to S&C, which has a regional engineering office in Franklin, Wis. In addition, we are purchasing Ingeteam’s first 500kW inverters, which are currently manufactured in Milwaukee.”

The project will be located in the business park in the city of Jefferson. HMV has contracted with WPPI Energy to purchase the output from the project. WPPI Energy is the wholesale power supplier serving the community’s municipally owned utility, Jefferson Utilities, as well as 50 other locally owned, not-for-profit utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.

“The solar power generated in Jefferson will become part of WPPI Energy’s diverse and extensive portfolio of renewable energy resources,” says WPPI Energy Vice President of Power Supply Resources Andy Kellen. “We are pleased to support the development of this important project in a WPPI Energy member community.”

S&C will take the lead on the project by engineering, procuring and constructing the balance of plant and utility interconnection. To reduce costs and lead times, S&C’s 25-kV System VI Switchgear will be used as the interconnection solution between the solar farm and WPPI’s electrical distribution system. Green Earth Developers  is also part of the project team, and will provide preliminary engineering and construction management services.

“Grid interconnection is a complex and critical part of completing a solar project on schedule and ensuring it meets utility standards. Plant output and overall profitability can suffer if the interconnection isn’t done properly or on time,” says Dan Girard, director, Business Development, Renewable Energy and Energy Storage, S&C. “With more than a century of experience working with power systems and utilities, S&C’s grid interconnection capabilities help make renewable projects more viable, reliable and profitable—which is especially important for states like Wisconsin that are working toward their renewable portfolio standard goals.”

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013. Once online the solar project will generate more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, enough to power approximately 150 Wisconsin homes. HMV intends to use this project as a template for future utility scale solar developments across the state.