MMEU's newest large-scale solar energy project – the Point Beach Solar Energy Center – supplies power to Maquoketa and other member utilities who purchase power from WPPI Energy. The project went online in September, 2021.
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center spans 465 acres near Two Rivers, Wis., and is adjacent to the Point Beach Nuclear Plant, which also supplies power to Maquoketa through MMEU. Construction for the Point Beach Solar Energy Center lasted 10 months and generated a significant economic boost to the region, creating 200 construction jobs and stimulating the purchase of regional goods and services.
The Point Beach Solar Energy Center features more than 315,000 photovoltaic solar panels that convert the sun's energy into electricity, and the center has the capacity to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. The energy will power Maquoketa through its not-for-profit wholesale power provider, WPPI Energy, of which MMEU is a member-owner. The power purchase agreement will be in effect for 20 years.
With the addition of Point Beach Solar Energy Center, the WPPI Energy membership is on track for reducing carbon dioxide emissions approximately 45% by 2025 when compared to 2005. The adjacent Point Beach Nuclear Plant has been producing reliable, zero-carbon energy since the early 1970s, and WPPI Energy already purchases a portion of the power that facility produces to serve member utilities.