Two Wisconsin utilities are seeking approval
from state regulators to acquire a new wind farm planned in southwest Wisconsin for $162 million.
Wisconsin Public Service Corp., a subsidiary of Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, and Madison Gas and Electric are proposing to buy the Red Barn Wind Farm when it is ready for commercial operation.
The utilities are seeking approval for their acquisition by Dec. 1 so construction can begin in January 2022 with completion by the end of 2022. The project needs to be in commercial operation by the end of next year to qualify for certain tax credits.
The Red Barn project is being developed across 12,220 acres in the towns of Wingville and Clifton in Grant County. PRC Wind is developing the project with 28 turbines with 91.6 megawatts of generating capacity. Allete Clean Energy will build the project.
"We are doing everything we can today to lower carbon emissions as quickly and as cost-effectively as we can," said Jeff Keebler, chairman, president and CEO of MGE.
If approved, the project would be the largest WPS wind facility in the state, WEC Energy Group spokesman Brendan Conway said in an email.
"Adding another wind facility to our fleet means more safe, affordable and reliable clean energy for our customers," he added. "Along with other renewable energy projects, the Red Barn Wind Park builds on our commitment to create a bright, sustainable future."
Under the proposal from the utilities, WPSC would own 90% of the project and MGE would own the remaining 10%. A third party would provide operations and maintenance services.
This is the third renewable energy generation project the utilities have partnered on acquiring this year. WPS and MGE combined with We Energies on plans
to buy two separate solar farms
with battery storage capacity. The utilities would pay $782 million to acquire those two projects with WEC Energy Group utilities owning 90% of each.
WEC Energy Group plans to invest nearly $2 billion in natural gas and renewable energy generation and storage by 2025. Red Barn and the solar projects represent a combined investment of around $850 million for the company.