Saratoga Solar is a 150.5-megawatt solar project with a 50 MW battery energy storage system proposed in Wood County, near Wisconsin Rapids. As designed, Saratoga Solar would supply homegrown, affordable, emission-free electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 40,000 homes. If approved, Saratoga will begin producing clean power by the end of 2025. For more information, visit the application HERE and RENEW Wisconsin’s testimony HERE.
Solar projects larger than 100 megawatts must gain approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) before they can proceed to construction. Along the way, there are opportunities for public comment at the township, county, and state levels.
Please help us demonstrate Wisconsin’s enthusiastic support for solar power in general and this project in particular by submitting a comment in support of Saratoga Solar. Be sure to specifically reference the project and the benefits that it can bring to Wisconsin. The deadline for submitting comments is January 6, 2023.
[Note: Your comments need not be as lengthy as the sample below, which was drafted to present a variety of supporting perspectives relating to health, environmental sustainability, and rural economic development. We encourage you to articulate the points that matter most to you. But it’s OK to frame your comments at a very high level if that’s what you’re comfortable with.]
I write in support of the Saratoga Solar project, presently under review at Docket No. 9816-CE-100. This project, like other combined solar and battery storage projects approved by the PSCW in recent years, would protect human health and the natural environment while strengthening the state’s economy.
Consistent with Wisconsin’s Energy Priorities Law, Saratoga Solar will provide these benefits by converting locally available, noncombustible renewable energy resource—sunshine—to electricity and feeding zero-emission into existing power lines and the battery energy storage system onsite. As configured, Saratoga Solar will displace fossil-fueled generation at all times, which will measurably reduce the volume of airborne pollutants and greenhouse gases discharged from Wisconsin sources.
In-state solar projects can be counted on to energize the local economy through increased revenues to local governments while diversifying our resource mix and bringing Wisconsin a step closer to energy self-sufficiency. The economic benefits come in two forms. Initially, Saratoga Solar will create more than 200 jobs in Wisconsin during the project’s construction phase. Second, Saratoga Solar, once placed in service, will provide rental income to participating landowners as well as payments in lieu of taxes to local jurisdictions hosting the project. Projects like these can also provide an economic hedge to farmers and rural landowners whose products are subject to commodity market forces and weather conditions that are beyond their control and can often be unforgiving.
In addition to the health and environmental benefits referenced above, Saratoga Solar will also deliver benefits to the land within its footprint. The developer proposes to revegetate the land with a mix of deep-rooted plants under and around the installation. Managing the land in this fashion will improve soil health, reduce erosion, and increase biodiversity.
I respectfully encourage the PSCW to find that the construction of the Saratoga Solar project is in the public interest and issue a permit enabling the project to proceed with construction.
Thank you for your consideration.