SCEC, DPC Announce 2.34 MW Sunflower II
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Bolwerk, Communications & Events Coordinator
Communications@scecnet.net | 715-796-7000, ext. 613
St. Croix Electric Cooperative, Dairyland Power Cooperative
Bringing 2.34 MW Solar Array to Town of Warren
SCEC Directors conducted ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 1
HAMMOND, Wis., Aug. 2, 2016 – St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors gathered in the Town of Warren Monday night for a ceremonial groundbreaking on a planned 2.34 megawatt (MW) solar array. Once the array – named Sunflower II – is completed later this fall, the site will also be host to 16 acres of pollinator-friendly plants and grasses.
“Sunflower II is St. Croix Electric Cooperative’s second solar project in as many years,” SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast said. “Its AC (alternating current) generation capacity will be 25 times more than Sunflower 1 (90 kW AC). The Sunflower arrays emphasize the commitment of our Board of Directors to local, renewable energy projects, which are developed in the best interest of our members and to help mitigate future rate increases.”
“In 2017, we will celebrate 80 years as a Cooperative. It is important to stress to members that we, as a Board, are concerned about ensuring a financially and environmentally sustainable future for the organization and the next generation of members,” SCEC Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey said. “Sunflower II will put St. Croix Electric Cooperative and our wholesale power provider Dairyland Power Cooperative on the map as leaders in solar generation in the Upper Midwest.”
In February 2016, Dairyland (La Crosse, Wis.) announced 12 solar installations that will be built this year in Wisconsin, totaling 15 MW of renewable energy – enough to power more than 2,500 homes. Dairyland has committed to purchasing power from all 12 sites, which will range in size from 500 kilowatts (kW) to 2.5 MW. Sunflower II will be the second largest with a 2.5 MW site planned by Price Electric Cooperative in Phillips, Wis. Through a competitive bidding process, Dairyland has signed agreements with groSolar (White River Junction, Vt.) and SoCore Energy, LLC (Chicago, Ill.) to purchase the renewable energy produced by the 12 sites. As the project developer, SoCore will install, own, operate and maintain Sunflower II.
“Dairyland’s leadership role with renewable energy projects supports our strategic direction to diversify generation resources,” DPC President and CEO Barbara Nick said in a press release revealing the projects. “This announcement follows a very robust and competitive RFP process that will provide a win-win for our membership and the environment.”
Earlier this year, SCEC purchased 20 acres of land near an existing substation and transmission lines, and will lease the land to SoCore. Pendergast credits SCEC’s experience and determination to bring a large scale solar project to St. Croix County as one of the reasons SoCore selected SCEC as a co-developer. Once Sunflower II is energized, the electricity it generates will be fed directly into the existing infrastructure, powering the homes and businesses of SCEC members served by the Warren substation.
Dairyland has committed to purchasing 93 percent of Sunflower II’s output with SCEC securing a 25-year, fixed price, purchase power agreement with SoCore for 7 percent of the array’s generation. Dairyland also purchases energy from major solar installations in Westby, Wis., Oronoco, Minn., and Galena, Ill., and supports 10 member cooperative community solar installations, with more planned. In addition, there are 700 member-owned distributed generation solar installations located in Dairyland’s four-state service area (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa).
About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was incorporated on Nov. 5, 1937, as a result of five farmers determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. On May 24, 1939, electricity was delivered to the first account. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,760 miles of distribution lines that power nearly 11,000 meters. SCEC helps members realize the Cooperative Difference through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, rebates, and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. More information is available online at www.scecnet.net, and on social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).
About Dairyland Power Cooperative
With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, solar, wind and landfill gas. For more information, visit www.dairynet.com.
About SoCore Energy
SoCore Energy (www.SoCoreEnergy.com) is a market leader in cooperative, commercial and industrial solar portfolio development. With hundreds of solar solutions designed and installed across dozens of states, SoCore offers cooperatives, multisite retailers, REITs and industrial companies portfolio-wide solar and energy storage solutions that provide energy cost savings and carbon reduction opportunities. As a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Edison International, SoCore combines Edison’s Fortune 500 stability with entrepreneurial creativity in order to provide energy solutions that our customers genuinely want and need.