By Jacob Roushia - November 2nd 2022



Initial site work is nearing completion at both the Alliant Energy Paddock and Albany solar energy projects.

The Paddock Solar Project is a 65-megawatt, 500-acre solar farm in the Town of Beloit near Highway 213 and West County Road Q.

The Paddock Solar Project will include 150,000 to 165,000 solar panels which will power up to 17,000 Wisconsin homes, according to Erik Jensen, construction manager overseeing the Albany and Paddock Solar Projects
The Albany Solar Project is a 50-megawatt solar farm in the Town of Decatur in Green County. Once completed the solar project will power an estimated 13,000 homes, according to Alliant’s news release.

“With our progress so far, we expect to remain on schedule to complete both projects by the end of next year,” said Chris Caporale, communications partner with Alliant Energy. “At our Paddock Solar Project, the ground is a bit rockier, so we expect it will be a bit slower than some of our other projects. However, we’ve accounted for that in our planning, which is why we intend to work throughout the winter to remain on schedule.”

Construction of access roads at both locations began in August, along with site grading to ensure the solar panels are at the proper angle to generate energy.

The crews assigned to the sites will be putting up a 8-foot fence around the sites to prevent wildlife, including deer, from accessing the sites.

Preliminary work is expected to be complete at the Paddock Solar Project this month, Caporale said. At the Albany Solar Project, preliminary work is expected to be done in December.

To reduce the need for mowing and to provide soil health and ground water benefits, low-growth grasses are planted between solar panel arrays.

Once the initial site work is complete, the crew will install metal posts that will be used to anchor the solar arrays and support the tracking system that allows the panels to follow the sun daily from east to west.

Alliant Energy warns that traffic will increase to the sites as construction continues.

Scrappers, bulldozers and graders will get their work done early in the project.

Back in June, Town of Beloit officials raised concerns regarding the Paddock project. Alliant and The Board of Supervisors came to an agreement ensuring Alliant Energy pays for any damage done to the roads in the township and to pay additional permit fees.

“The agreement in June was a Joint Development Agreement, which really sets the standard for both parties on what to expect before and during the construction process since it’s the first project of its kind in the town,” Caporale explained.

Including any damage done to roads during construction, Alliant Energy also has to pay the Town of Beloit $4,502 for the initial operations permit and $521 for additional building permits.

The Paddock project will cost $98 million, according to Caporale, while the Albany project will be a $78 million construction project, according to Caporole.

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