The Point Beach Solar Energy Center spans 465 acres in the town of Two Creeks, Wis., and is adjacent to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant, which is also owned by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources. Construction lasted 10 months and generated a significant economic boost to Manitowoc County and the state, by creating 200 construction jobs and stimulating the purchase of regional goods and services from local vendors.
“We are pleased to work with WPPI Energy to bring the newest solar energy center in Wisconsin online,” said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development at NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy. “This solar energy project will provide millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to Manitowoc County and will generate cost-effective, home-grown solar energy for WPPI Energy member communities for years to come.”
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center features more than 315,000 photovoltaic solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The solar energy center has a capacity to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources built, owns and will operate the project. The energy will serve WPPI Energy member communities under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“We are excited to see this project come online,” said Mike Peters, president and chief executive officer of WPPI Energy. “Not only will Point Beach Solar provide affordable energy to our member communities, but it will also further diversify our portfolio and help us continue to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with supplying power. It’s the type of project where everyone wins.”
With the addition of Point Beach Solar Energy Center, the WPPI Energy membership is on track for approximately a 45% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 when compared to 2005.Over the next 20 years, the Point Beach Solar Energy Center is expected to generate nearly $8 million in additional revenue for Manitowoc County. The adjacent Point Beach Nuclear Plant has been producing clean, reliable energy in Manitowoc County since the early 1970s, providing good jobs for the local economy. It is seeking to add 20 years to the operating licenses for its two nuclear reactors.
“Point Beach Nuclear has been an important part of our community for generations. And now we are already seeing the positive economic impact of Point Beach Solar in our area through jobs and local spending,” said Greg Buckley, city manager of the nearby community of Two Rivers. “As a member-owner of WPPI Energy, the city of Two Rivers is thrilled to be a beneficiary of the clean, renewable energy from the state’s newest solar facility and know it will continue to provide benefits to our community.”
Pictured: Matt Handel, senior vice president, NextEra Energy Resources; Mike Peters, president and CEO, WPPI Energy; Jeff Bryce, project manager, renewable development, NextEra Energy Resources; Greg Buckley, Two Rivers City Manager; and Preston Cole, Secretary of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cutting the ribbon at the Point Beach Solar Energy Center Commissioning Ceremony.