by General Manager Steve Stroshane
I'm excited to announce Georgetown Solar, a second utility-scale solar project for our service area.
The co-op is partnering with Seattle-based OneEnergy Renewables to develop a 15-acre solar site in Georgetown, about 10 miles east of our Centuria office.
Power output and ownership
The 2 MW solar array will generate about 4,500,000 kWh of electricity annually, enough to power 375 homes.
Georgetown Solar will be built, owned and operated by OneEnergy Renewables. Polk-Burnett will purchase solar energy output from the array at a fixed rate for 25 years. Solar energy will feed into our electric distribution system to benefit all co-op members. The project provides both operational and financial benefits by generating some of our own power locally.
Georgetown Solar is located next to the Bunyan Substation, at the intersection of Cty Rd I and H in the Town of Georgetown, Polk County. This site was selected to help alleviate summer overload at the Bunyan Substation.
The array has 5,148 panels that operate on a tracking system to follow the path of the sun for maximum power generation.
The ground under the panels will be restored as prairie for pollinator habitat, with about 30 plant species suited to the soil and geography.
We are coordinating the timing of this project with other Wisconsin co-ops to get a volume discount.
This co-op partnership will deliver clean, renewable energy at a fixed rate, not only reducing electricity from fossil fuels, but also providing long-term, stable energy prices for co-op members across Wisconsin.
We are in the planning stages and hope to break ground in early 2023. Once construction begins, we expect the site will be operational within six months, hopefully by late fall 2023.
We'll share more details as we progress.
Our first utility-scale solar was dedicated in 2017. It sits on 10 acres behind our co-op office in Centuria. Like our new Georgetown project, SunTuria is owned and operated by a solar developer, and the co-op purchases solar energy output. We invite you to see energy output and learn about tours for school and community groups on our website.
Both of our solar projects are part of a balanced strategy to diversify energy generation for a lower-carbon future. We support sustainable growth of alternative energy when it aligns with our mission for safe, reliable electricity at a competitive cost.