Monthly Archives: August 2015

Solar lab going up at Alliant Energy headquarters in Madison, Wis.

solar liftsWe’re excited to announce that we are breaking ground this week on our new solar demonstration project. We will be installing more than 3 dozen unique renewable energy features as part of a solar lab on the grounds of our corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis. We expect the first solar structure to be in place next month.

More than 1,000 solar panels will be installed from multiple manufacturers, with 11 different types of panels used in all. The primary focus will be to research the operations of the latest solar technologies and how effectively they operate in Wisconsin’s climate.

Phase one of the project includes several ground-level and building-mounted solar panels, solar parking canopies covering nearly 50 parking spaces, 13 electric vehicle charging stations, solar café tables and a battery energy storage system. Five of the electric vehicle charging stations will be open to the public.

“One of the key project goals is to have a monitoring interface available onsite and online where anyone can view real-time performance data,” said ,” said John Larsen, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility. “This multi-year effort will enable our company and our customers to discover the many ways solar energy and renewable technology can be used in a Wisconsin setting.”

We’ll also be examining information on how the structures work and interact, as well as how they impact building operations. In addition, we’ll research their operation, maintenance and safety aspects.

The project will place the solar energy features in various locations, angles and elevations on our office property to see how solar can be optimized in the Midwest. We will share the experience gained from constructing, operating and maintaining the structures.

To that end, we are collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute to collect and analyze site data. We also expect to bring in other partners in the coming months and years to maximize the project’s educational, training, safety and operational benefits.

The initial construction phase is expected to be completed by the end of December, with a second phase planned to break ground in the second half of 2016. The initial project investment is expected to be approximately $5 million.

The company’s offices at 4902 North Biltmore Lane on Madison’s east side in the American Center business park will be the site for the renewable structures.

This project builds on Alliant Energy’s commitment of caring for the environment by utilizing clean energy resources, including over a century of producing hydroelectric power, more than two decades of providing wind power, and assisting more than 1,600 customers with installation of their own renewable energy generation.

August 11 (8/11) serves as a reminder to call 811 before you dig

This August 11th, Alliant Energy reminds customers to call 811 before any digging project. It’s important for everyone, from homeowners to pr811ofessional contractors, to call before you dig all year. We hope this date, 8/11, will be a good reminder.

“Nationally, failure to call before digging results in more than 60,000 unintentional hits of underground utility lines annually,” said Richard Sublett, Senior Manager of Compliance & Operational Performance for Alliant Energy. “Not only is calling a good idea, it’s the law.”

When you call 811, your state’s One Call center notifies utility companies of the project. Homeowners and contractors should call at least three business days before digging. Professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines for free.

Dig with CARE:

C – Call 811 before you dig
A – Allow three business days for marks to be made
R – Respect the marks; hand dig within 18 inches
E – Excavate carefully

For additional information, visit or call 811.

Iowa communities to save energy with tree-planting projects

Twenty-five communities will plant trees this fall through the Branching OutBranching out program. Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility has teamed up with Trees Forever to provide this very popular resource for communities for more than 25 years.

Branching Out is a collaborative process between the community, its volunteers, Trees Forever and Alliant Energy. Community leaders create specific tree-planting projects and Alliant Energy provides grant funding for trees. Experts from Trees Forever make sure the projects improve energy-efficiency, teach volunteers to plant and care for trees correctly.

Volunteers in 25 communities will help with 30 projects this fall. The grants for all of this work totals more than $132,000. These trees continue the investments Alliant Energy makes to improve energy efficiency across the state. Trees block the sun on hot days and the wind on cold days. Trees also improve the environment by capturing carbon dioxide.

“Adding trees is one of the most visible ways Iowans can help lower energy bills for everyone,” said Doug Kopp, President of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “We have many programs to help our customers find energy solutions, and after 25 years, Branching Out has brought value to hundreds of our communities.”

“We have been working with communities to diversify the species of trees they plant and recent applications to the Branching Out program demonstrate the communities’ commitment to this effort,” said Meredith Borchardt, Trees Forever program manager. “A diverse urban forest is the best way to ensure resiliency when faced with threats such as the Emerald Ash Borer, or whatever the next major disease or pest threat might be.”

For a full listing of the projects this fall visit, or contact Trees Forever at  1-800-369-1269 or