Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

Yahara Solar Project Partnership with Alliant Energy

County Exec Joe Parisi announces solar project

On November 5, 2020 County Executive Joe Parisi joined Alliant Energy Vice President of Business Planning JP Brummond to announce a new partnership - Yahara Solar - to develop about 90 acres of county-owned land in the Town of Cottage Grove into a large-scale solar field. This solar project is Dane County’s largest yet and will bring the county to its goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. 

“We are excited to partner with Alliant Energy on our largest solar project yet and to become 100% renewable at our facilities. Achieving this milestone is a win-win, benefiting both the environment and Dane County taxpayers for many years to come,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This installation will create local clean energy jobs and help combat climate change.”

The 17 MW solar field will include over 33,000 solar panels and produce more than 31,000 MWh of renewable electricity per year. That is enough to power 3,600 Dane County homes. The renewable electricity generated from this new project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equivalent to the emissions produced by over 3,800 vehicles or the burning of 20,000,000 pounds of coal per year.

“Alliant Energy is excited to collaborate with Dane County on a solar project that will provide our customers with renewable energy and support the clean energy goals of both of our organizations,” said JP Brummond, Alliant Energy Vice President of Business Planning. “The new facility represents another step toward our Clean Energy Vision and achieving our aspirational goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity we generate by 2050.”

Yahara Solar will be nearly double the size of the solar facility at the Dane County Regional Airport—a nine-megawatt (MW) project that went online in December 2020. 

For the new project, the county will lease a 90-acre property to Alliant Energy. Alliant Energy will deliver the power generated from the Yahara Solar Project to its customers. Dane County will receive the renewable energy credits (RECs) from the facility, which will offset the county’s greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions and help achieve its goals under the Climate Action Plan.

In addition to the environmental benefits, systems also create local jobs. According to the National Solar Jobs Census, there were nearly 3,000 people employed in the solar industry in Wisconsin in 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the economy, Dane County is hopeful large-scale solar projects like the ones at Dane County Regional Airport and Town of Cottage Grove will create much needed jobs in the community and help stimulate the local economy.

Learn more about this project with the latest press release and other news coverage of the groundbreaking. Then check out our interactive map to learn more about the County's solar projects.