North Rock Solar Project

The North Rock Solar Project is an estimated 50-megawatt (MW) solar energy generation project located on 426 acres in Rock County, Wisconsin. It earned high levels of achievements across all five of Envision’s sustainability categories.

An outstanding Alliant Energy – Burns & McDonnell project, North Rock Solar exemplifies the use of clean energy technologies to offset energy generation by fossil fuels, contributes toward improved ambient air quality, increases the quality of surrounding ecologically sensitive areas and demonstrates high levels of leadership and collaboration for sustainability.

North Rock consists of a 50 megawatt (MW) solar array, substation, and an approximately 1.5 mile-long gen-tie line on approximately 426 acres. It will generate enough clean, low-cost energy to power around 13,000 homes annually and serve as a significant source of new local tax revenue for the Town of Fulton and Rock County in Wisconsin. The project, supported by EPC contractor Burns & McDonnell, is part of a portfolio of Alliant Energy solar projects in Wisconsin that will move the state closer to realizing its clean energy goals. Previously, Bear Creek Solar and Wood County Solar earned  Platinum Awards.

“Congratulations to infrastructure owner, Alliant Energy, and the entire North Rock Solar Project team on this Envision award,” said Kristi Wamstad, ISI’s Verification Director. “This is a terrific project that makes strong contributions to environmental sustainability, develops a valuable new source of clean and renewable energy, and adds significant community quality of life benefits.”

ISI’s Envision sustainability framework and rating system enables civil infrastructure projects of various types and sizes to be assessed across 64 sustainability indicators, called credits. Alliant Energy pursued Envision verification for the North Rock Solar Project to drive the alignment of project development practices with the company’s overarching sustainability strategy and goals, and to recognize the exceptional performance of the project team through an objective third-party source. A selection of sustainability achievements on North Rock Solar are described below.

Sustainable Infrastructure Highlights

Clean and renewable energy – The project is expected to result in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, when compared to the air emissions that may occur without the development of the project. A net reduction of 71.089 tons per year (tpy) of air pollutant emissions is forecast with this project. The North Rock Solar Project is part of Alliant Energy’s WPL Solar Program that will add nearly 1,100 MW of solar generation in Wisconsin by the end of 2024. The 12 solar projects are a key initiative of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, which serves as a roadmap to accelerate its transition to renewable energy.

Environmental and public health – The project’s risk assessment regime included robust identification and mitigation. For example, fiber optic cable was selected for connecting the project to dispatch and monitoring centers. Its inclusion, and the consideration and minimization of glare risk through siting decisions, enhance health and safety for the surrounding area. In addition, the project implemented measures to ensure that solar modules do not have the potential to leach GenX or PFAS chemicals, which the EPA considers contaminants of emerging concern, into groundwater over a 30-year period.

Minimize negative construction impacts – Lands adjacent to the site are primarily agricultural, and the project took care to develop and implement measures to minimize negative impacts on this surrounding community during the approximately 17-month construction period. These policies and measures were informed by early environmental and social due diligence studies and public input and included construction work schedule limitations, designated traffic routes, and a proactive roadway maintenance program.

Natural world credits – The project team conducted multiple studies and exercises to identify areas of high ecological value and fully avoided those areas for project development. The project team implemented buffers around wetlands in compliance with state regulations

Infrastructure integration and resiliency – The project provides reliable transmission and distribution of energy to Alliant Energy’s customers. It also ensures the transmission of data used for remote monitoring, programming and scheduling of project operations. Integrating infrastructure networks with fiber optic cables, as seen on this project, helps make the grid more resilient and more efficient.


Name: North Rock Solar Project
Location: Fulton, Wisconsin
Level: Envision Platinum
Date: March 19, 2024
Owner: Alliant Energy
Envision firm: Burns & McDonnell
Total Project Cost: $62.2 million
Delivery Method: Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC)
Phase: Operational

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