success story

Alliant Energy: Bringing Solar Power to Low-Income Communities

Expanding renewable energy use

Alliant Energy donates solar power to Habitat for Humanity

Alliant Energy wants to expand access to solar energy to help reduce its dependence on fossil fuels for generating electricity—but the cost of installing rooftop solar panels is too expensive for many residents, especially those with lower incomes, so the Madison-based utility company decided to choose a site for an array of solar panels to be erected to serve an entire community.

Fond du Lac residents to benefit

As part of its Community Solar Program, Alliant identified Fond du Lac as the location for a one-megawatt solar garden. Of the 4,000 blocks—or portions—of solar energy expected to be generated, 240 blocks (valued at $90,000 altogether) were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County. The solar blocks will go to lower-income residents to participate in the program. Subscribers to Alliant’s Community Solar Program pay a one-time fee of $375 to buy one solar block. When the solar garden begins operating, power generated through the system will flow to the electric grid, and subscribers will receive credits on their bills, based on solar production during the previous month. Credits will continue for 20 years. For the lower-income households receiving the donated solar blocks, the credits could pay for as much as 50% of their monthly electric bills.

Lower bills for lower-income customers

Construction of the Fond du Lac solar garden began in spring 2021, with completion expected by the end of 2021. The use of additional renewable power will help produce a cleaner, healthier environment and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, while lower-income residents will be able to see a decrease in their electric bills for years to come.