FOND DU LAC – Alliant Energy's first community solar garden is now up and running in in Fond du Lac County.
The one-megawatt project located southeast of the city, along U.S. 151 near Hickory Road, provides Alliant customers an opportunity to share the benefits of solar power without having to install solar panels on their properties.
Alliant announced the project in December 2020, and construction began the following spring. As of November, the garden is fully subscribed, according to the company.
“As a leader in solar development, Alliant Energy is excited to offer new options that benefit our customers, strengthen the communities we serve and support our aspirational goal to attain net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity we generate by 2050,” Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin Utility President David de Leon said in a statement.
A single solar block, priced at $375 each, is estimated to generate 431 kilowatt-hours the first year.
About 25% of the facility — or 1,000 solar blocks — was allocated to residential customers, and no single subscriber is given more than 60% of the available blocks.
For Wisconsin customers, the minimum solar production credit rates would begin at 6.3 cents per kWh for residential customers and 5.6 cents per kWh for non-residential customers.
In January, Alliant donated $90,000 in solar blocks to Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County, which plans to use the donated solar blocks to reduce the electric bills for people living in Habitat-built homes, Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Katie Karls said at the time.
Additionally, Michels Corp. bought 30% of the blocks in March, clinching a place as an anchor tenant in the solar garden.
Participating customers receive a bill credit each month for supporting the project, and subscribers that paid in full will see their bill credits on their February statements.
A waitlist has started for residential and business customers to cover up to 100% of their energy use. Spots may open up when additional community solar gardens are built in Wisconsin, or if existing subscribers leave the program.
For more information on the program, visit alliantenergy.com/communitysolar.
This article originally appeared on Fond du Lac Reporter: Fond du Lac community solar garden operating through Alliant Energy