TWO RIVERS (NBC 26) — Two Creeks Solar Park is making history in Wisconsin as the first large-scale solar park in the region.
The Manitowoc County facility is capable of generating 150 megawatts of power, and it started harnessing energy from the sun in November 2020.
NBC 26 Today's MacLeod Hageman visited the facility to learn more about how the power is generated and how people from Wisconsin are benefiting from this technology.
"I think it's just trying to understand how you take the energy from the sun and transfer that into the energy that's used in our homes and businesses every day," said Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson, Matt Cullen.
Cullen says the 150-megawatt facility is capable of powering 45,000 homes a year. There are more than 500,000 solar panels spread out across the Two Creeks Solar Park area. Organizers say in the first year of operation, it created enough electricity to power 2,500 home games at Lambeau Field.
"This is a unique facility. It is the very first facility of its kind — the first large-scale solar energy facility to be built and to come into operation here in Wisconsin."
Cullen and WEC Director of Renewable Energy, Cody Craig, says this solar park can generate power in all weather.
"With significant cloud cover, one would drive by and think that site isn't producing anything. That is actually fiction," said Craig.
"It's a facility that has operated reliably throughout the year, no matter if it's cloudy winter days like this or sunny summer days and any types of weather conditions in between," Cullen said.
"We certainly do produce even during snow storm and when there is significant snow coming, we are still producing energy," Craig said.
Cullen says by generating this form of clean energy, it's also expected to help WPS customers save money.
"As we look forward, WPS and its parent company WEC Energy Group are planning to invest $5.4 billion in new solar, wind and battery storage facilities in the state of Wisconsin over the next five years," Cullen said.
Cullen adds that Two Creeks Solar Park and the Badger Hollow location in southwest Wisconsin are expected to save customers up to $100-million over the course of their lifespan. Typically, solar panels can last anywhere between 20 and 30 years—depending on weather conditions.