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Alliant, Hanwha unveil plans for solar energy plant at coal ash landfill site

News | August 19, 2015 | By:

An August 17 joint announcement by Alliant Energy and Hanwha Q CELLS USA described plans that are in place for a 2.25-megawatt solar installation to be built on Alliant property near its Rock River Generating Station in Beloit, Wis.

The Aug. 17 press release said that Germany-based Hanwha, with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, Calif., will design, construct, own, and operate the solar facility to be built on the site’s coal ash landfill. Alliant Energy said it is collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to enable the landfill site to be reused for the solar facility.
Under the collaboration, Hanwha will design, construct, own, and operate the solar facility, and Alliant Energy will purchase the clean power from Hanwha.

The press release noted that Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hanwha, which includes an option to purchase the facility at the end of the PPA’s term. Hanwha is using the landfill site at Alliant Energy’s Town of Beloit property for the solar installation.

The Beloit property also includes Alliant Energy’s Riverside Energy Center, its Beloit Operations Center, and the Rock River Generating Station. The new solar project is part of Alliant Energy’s effort to modernize its overall energy campus, according to the release.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with Hanwha to bring more clean energy to our customers and advance our efforts to increase sustainability,” said John Larsen, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility. “Locating this new solar installation on our landfill site benefits the environment and further repurposes our Town of Beloit property.”

“We’re excited by the opportunity to work with Alliant Energy and support their goal of bringing solar energy to their generation portfolio,” said Lawrence Greene, chief development officer of Hanwha Q CELLS USA. “The solar facility will be a state-of-the-art generation resource using high-performing and efficient technology that will transform idle land into an environmentally sustainable source of power for the local community.”

The press release said that Hanwha plans to begin construction of the solar installation later this year. Alliant Energy customers will start benefiting from the clean power from the facility in the first half of 2016, when it goes into commercial operation.

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