Utility Regulators Approve $649 Million Purchase of Wisconsin’s Largest Renewable Energy Plant

Three utilities have received approval from Wisconsin utility regulators to buy the state’s largest renewable energy plant.

On Thursday, the Public Service Commission approved the $649 million purchase of the Koshkonong Solar Energy Center by We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas and Electric.

The utilities are buying the solar plant from Chicago-based developer Invenergy. The commission approved its construction last year in the towns of Christiana and Deerfield in Dane County, the solar panels covering roughly half of the 4,600 acre site.

We Energies and WPS will own 90 percent of the plant while Madison Gas and Electric will own 10 percent.

The project has received the support of renewable energy and environmental groups. RENEW Wisconsin said the plant is the largest addition of zero-emission generation and storage capacity in state history.

“This is going to be one of the anchor renewable energy generating facilities to serve basically the entire state,” Michael Vickerman, clean energy deployment manager for RENEW Wisconsin, told Wisconsin Public Radio.

Construction of the plant is set to start later this year and go online by the end of 2025. Vickerman said the addition of Koshkonong would replace the shuttering of coal-fired units at a roughly 1,100-megawatt power plant in Columbia County owned by Alliant Energy, Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas and Electric. The plant is set to be shutdown by mid-2026 after supply chain constraints and fears of an energy shortage postponed its retirement.