© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

One year later: Hodag Solar Park delivers renewable energy in the Northwoods

The Hodag Solar Park near Rhinelander.
Wisconsin Public Service
The Hodag Solar Park near Rhinelander.

The end of this month marks one year of the Hodag Solar Park being operational.

The 50-acre solar farm is 21,000 solar panels just south of Rhinelander.

When it first went online, the Hodag Solar Park was expected to produce 7.5 megawatts or enough power for more than 2,000 homes.

According to Wisconsin Public Service spokesperson Matt Cullen, it’s been doing just that.

“It did produce enough power last year to power more than 2,000 homes for an entire year. Some other interesting stats and figures when it comes to the amount of energy that it generated: Hodag Solar Park produced enough energy to power more than 3.5 million smartphones for a year last year,” said Cullen.

He also says the power it generated was enough to run 136,000 laptop computers for a year, more than 32,000 refrigerators for a year, 4,000 electric vehicles for a year, or wash and dry a year’s worth of laundry for 24,000 households.

Overall, Cullen says the solar park functioned as it was intended to.

“Really no matter what the weather conditions were or what the circumstances were, Hodag Solar Park reliably delivered that clean energy and that renewable energy to our customers through the last year,” said Cullen.

January 28th will mark one year of Hodag Solar Park being fully operational.
Wisconsin Public Service
January 28th will mark one year of Hodag Solar Park being fully operational.

WPS has set a goal of being net carbon neutral by 2050. It also expects to eliminate coal as an energy source by the end of 2035.

Hodag Solar Park as well as the utility’s other solar facilities are a key part of reaching that goal.

Cullen says WPS and its parent company WEC Energy Group plan to invest $5.4 billion in solar, wind, and battery storage facilities in Wisconsin over the next five years.

“That would quadruple our carbon-free generation here in Wisconsin. Again, that’s part of that focus to deliver affordable, reliable clean energy to our customers,” said Cullen. “We also expect the steps we are taking, adding that renewable energy generation as well as retiring older, less efficient fossil fuel facilities will provide approximately $2 billion worth of savings to our customers over the next 20 years.”

WPS’s net carbon neutral goal matches the one Governor Tony Evers set for the state of all electricity consumed within Wisconsin to be 100% carbon-free by 2050.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content