TWO CREEKS, Wis. — There’s more green power in Wisconsin’s electricity grid with the completion of a sprawling solar facility near Manitowoc.
Wisconsin Public Service completed the Two Creeks Solar Park this week, a massive project covering hundreds of acres of land.
“The Two Creeks Solar Park is already running and providing clean energy to customers across the state,” WPS spokesman Matt Cullen said. “This facility has 500,000 solar panels installed across 800 acres.”
The park is jointly owned by WPS and Madison Gas and Electric and is part of a WPS initiative to shift some energy generation away from fossil-fuel sources.
“Wisconsin Public Service already operates wind energy facilities, hydroelectric facilities and now a solar energy facility here in Wisconsin,” Cullen said. “That adds to our other, traditional, resources and traditional generation facilities so we can provide safe, affordable, reliable energy to our customers.”
About 26% of WPS’ and WE Energies’ electricity is derived from carbon-free sources.
The solar park is able to generate enough electricity to power 33,000 homes in the state and — in conjunction with another park — is projected to save customers about $100 million compared to protected market prices.
Much of the park and panels is automated.
“Just like your wrist will rotate left and right, the panels will follow the sun from sunrise to sunset every single day, which makes sense for solar in Wisconsin,” said Cody Craig, asset manager of wind and solar sites for WEC Energy Group.
It will operate year round — but will be patricianly valuable during high demand days in the summer. A similar solar park in southwestern Wisconsin is expected to be completed in April.
“Our goals have been to reduce emissions, reduce costs to customers and preserve a diverse mix of generation facilities we can use to provide the energy our customers need,” Cullen said.