Utility Alliant Energy plans c.400MWh BESS at retiring coal plant in Wisconsin


Utility Alliant Energy will deploy a 99MW/396MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at a coal plant which it will retire in 2025.

Alliant yesterday (1 February) revealed its plans to begin building the Edgewater Battery Project in 2024. It expects the four-hour system to come online shortly after the Edgewater Generating Station coal plant retires in 2025.

The project still needs to be approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW), with which Alliant Energy recently filed its application in which it said the project is “a cost-effective solution that will help meet projected customer needs”.

“This battery system represents the next phase of energy generation that will enable more sustainable growth and greater resiliency,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company. 

The project is in addition to a previously-announced plan to deploy 175MW/700MWh of four-hour BESS projects in the Badger Stat, spread across two sites both co-located with solar PV generation, with a total investment of US$354 million. The utility operates across Wisconsin and Iowa.

The projects are part of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, its two separate plans for each state to decarbonise through deploying solar PV and energy storage.

The move to transform current, former or retiring legal fossil fuel plant sites into renewable and battery storage hubs has picked up pace in the last few months. They make ideal locations thanks to their existing substantial grid infrastructure and potential cost-savings through co-location.

Investor Arclight this week committed US$150 million to its energy storage platform Elevate to deploy BESS projects at its portfolio of legacy plants.

Retiring coal plants were recently selected as the sites for two separate 1GWh deployments of startup Form Energy’s novel iron-air battery, too, while the Australian state of New South Wales recently sought projects totalling 1,400MWh of battery storage for its retiring coal plants in a competitive procurement process.

Other utilities in the state of Wisconsin are also increasing their portfolio of renewables in storage. In March 2022, Energy-Storage-news reported on Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and WEC Energy receiving the regulatory green light to buy 200MW solar PV and 110MW of BESS.

Energy-Storage.news’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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