Alliant to study solar energy generation locally

Alliant Energy began a multiyear project this week to study the prospect of generating solar energy in Wisconsin.

The project’s $5 million first phase, located on the 25 acres that houses Alliant's headquarters at 4902 N. Biltmore Lane, is expected to be complete by the end of the year, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. The first phase includes ground-level and building-mounted solar panels, solar parking canopies covering nearly 50 parking spaces, 13 electric vehicle charging stations, solar café tables, and a battery energy storage system. More than 1,000 solar panels will be installed, with 11 different types of panels used in all.

A second phase expected to begin in 2016 will add more panels, as well as a solar-powered bus stop shelter and a station for bike-sharing program Madison B-Cycle. Plans for the third phase are not yet developed.

Alliant’s wants to study how solar energy can work in Madison, and determine the technology that works best in a cold-weather climate.