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NextEra Energy and WPPI Energy Plans Solar Facility In Two Rivers, Wisconsin

NextEra Energy and WPPI Energy will build a 100 megawatt solar generating plant next to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

According to press releases from the two organizations, the planned 100 megawatt (MW) facility will be the largest solar generating facility in Wisconsin. When it comes online in 2021, it will produce enough energy to power 23,000 homes, city officials said.

NextEra, owner of 1,200 MW Point Beach Nuclear Plant just north of Two Rivers, is the largest generator of energy from clean, renewable sources in North America. The company currently has 12,500 megawatts (MW) of generation from wind and 1,000 MW of generation from solar.

WPPI Energy is a not-for-profit regional power organization based in Sun Prairie, serving 51 member-owner municipal utilities in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley said “Two Rivers is proud to have been a founding member of WPPI, and our community has benefitted greatly from this affiliation over the past 37 years. WPPI had issued a request for proposals back in June of last year, seeking an additional 100 MW of electricity from renewable sources, to be added to its power generation portfolio within the next few years.

WPPI has long been a leader in developing a diversified portfolio of energy sources, including state-of-the-art coal generation, natural gas, wind, hydro, landfill methane and solar. A 20-year power purchase agreement between WPPI and NextEra will make the Point Beach Solar Energy Center possible, he added.

Back in 2011, WPPI contracted to purchase all of the additional energy output, approximately 162 MW, resulting from the “uprate” project that increased energy output at the Point Beach Nuclear Plant by about 17 percent. That power supply contract added another large increment of non carbon-emitting production to WPPI’s energy portfolio.

As a public power community, co-owner of WPPI Energy, and proud home town to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant, the City of Two Rivers welcomes this investment by NextEra, Buckley said.

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin-based nonprofit WPPI Energy has agreed to buy the solar power for 20 years and supply it to 23,000 homes, most of which will be in Wisconsin, said Andy Kellen, Vice President of Power Supply Resources for the nonprofit.

"The timing of the request for proposals was kind of driven by the fact that those tax credits are being phased out over the next several years, so we wanted to try to take advantage of resources while the tax credit was still available," Kellen said.

There is no indication that a change in presidential administrations will affect the credits, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

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