Badger State Solar is a proposed 149-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic generation facility located on privately-owned land in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. The project will provide clean, locally-generated electric power to an area utility while providing significant environmental and economic benefits in the local community.
Badger State Solar will utilize about 1,200 acres of land as shown in the map above, west of the City of Jefferson, in the Towns of Jefferson and Oakland. The land is offered by landowners interested in participating in the project. The project will feature rows of solar panels that track the sun throughout the day, with 16 to 20 feet between each row. In all, panels and equipment will cover only about 30 percent of the project area with the most of the balance hosting vegetative cover.
The growth of farm-based solar generation in Wisconsin is not likely to have a meaningful impact on the total amount of agricultural land available in the County or in the State. The Project represents less than 0.5% of the active farmland in Jefferson County. In fact, Wisconsin could produce approximately 50% of the electric energy consumed annually in the state through the use of solar panels on well under 2% of its total harvested cropland.*
The project proposes to use a simple design that minimizes soil disturbance, with solar panels mounted on racks attached to steel posts driven into the ground. Rows of panels will be arranged along a north-south axis, and the panels will rotate from east to west throughout the day to efficiently capture the sun’s energy.
Buried wires connecting the rows of panels will lead first to inverters that convert direct current to alternating current and then from inverters to a step-up transformer, where the voltage will be increased to transmission system levels for connection to an existing transmission substation. As shown in the map above, the substation is located near the intersection of Wisconsin Highway 89 and County Road Q.