RICHLAND CO., Wis. (WMTV) – Alliant Energy announced on Monday that a solar site in Richland County is now operational, ahead of an economic boost in the surrounding region.
The 50 megawatt Bear Creek Solar Site is located in the town of Buena Vista. Since construction began in July 2021, the project was completed this month with over 120,000 solar panels installed.
The project is expected to generate enough energy to power around 13,000 homes, according to Alliant Energy.
“It’s what we’ve all been waiting for. We have put a lot of time and effort into this program,” said Erik Jensen, Construction Manager. “It’s a great day.”
Beyond the gates of the 456-acre site, the economic impact is directed to the county and township. They will receive approximately $200,000 in combined Revenue Share payments each year for the next 30 years.
Buena Vista clerk Van Nelson said the city would receive about $80,000 a year.
“That means we’re going to have some really nice roads,” he said. “We only do certain things here. We have elections, we fix roads and we provide fire and emergency services – that’s where the money needs to go.
He says the project has already put people to work.
“They brought a lot of people here and they helped a lot of the area with restaurants, motels,” he said. “It was a good thing.”
Nelson said that, for the most part, the community was receptive to the project. While some residents were concerned about the high visibility of the solar panels, Nelson and Alliant Energy officials confirmed that trees were planted around the property to conceal the panels.
Alliant Energy is working to build 11 more solar power sites in the state.
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