Ground breaking held for Two Creeks Solar Park

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- “This is a historic day for Wisconsin,” said Governor Tony Evers as he stood at the edge of a Manitowoc County corn field on Thursday, for the groundbreaking of the Two Creeks Solar Park.

Governor Tony Evers helps break ground on Wisconsin's first large-scale solar facility in Manitowoc County.

With officials from Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) by his side, Gov. Evers highlighted how the state’s first large-scale solar park will put the state on track to achieve 100 percent use of clean energy by 2050.

“This project itself at Two Creeks alone will provide more than double the amount of energy we produced for solar in 2018,” said Gov. Evers.

The solar park will house 500,000 solar panels across 800 acres of land, which is anticipated to provide power to more than 33,000 homes.

“Over the past five years we've seen the efficiency of this technology increase dramatically and the price has dropped by approximately 70 percent. Utility solar is now a cost effective option for our customers,” said Tom Metcalfe, president of WPS.

How this project will impact the energy bill of customers has yet to be determined by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, which is in the review process.

“We do anticipate that this will save money for our customers throughout the life span of this project,” said Matt Cullen, spokesperson for WPS.

Those in economic development hope the 150-megawatt project will make the area more attractive for businesses.

“As you see some focus on some of the coal and oil powered plants are actually closing, this actually gives this area of Manitowoc County and Kewaunee County a lead in alternative energy that Governor and private industries are looking to as a focus really coming into up to 2050,” said Peter Wills, executive director of Progress Lakeshore.

The Two Creeks facility is expected to be up and running by December of 2020.