Alliant Energy, a utility based in Madison, Wisconsin, has announced the development of its first community microgrid project.
Expected to be complete in the fall of 2022, the microgrid will serve the Village of Boaz in Richland County, a small community that experienced 10 outages between 2017 and 2019.
After weighing the option of rebuilding roughly 15 miles of distribution lines, the utility chose the microgrid as a less expensive option to improve the reliability of power in the area.
The community microgrid will be installed on County Road E in the adjacent Dayton Township. After scouting several locations in the area, Alliant Energy selected the site based on the existing distribution infrastructure, total load demands and outage comparisons.
In the event of a power outage, the microgrid will serve about 120 customers by islanding from the larger utility grid and continuing to provide homes and businesses in the village with electricity.
Alliant expects to begin construction on the project this fall and says the microgrid is a key part of advancing the company’s Clean Energy Blueprint.
In 2020, Alliant Energy completed the construction of a solar microgrid that helps supply energy to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources site located in a remote state park. Like the Richland County microgrid, it was seen as less expensive than replacing the existing power lines.
“From an engineering standpoint, we are excited for this investment in new energy solutions that will shape the transition to more local, resilient and reliable renewable power production for generations to come,” said Mike Bremel, director of engineering and customer solutions at Alliant Energy.
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