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Solar developer Ranger Power progressing on several Midwest US projects

Private solar energy developer Ranger Power will build a 149-MW solar farm between some of Wisconsin's biggest electric load centers, Madison and Milwaukee, one of several projects the New York-headquartered company has underway in the Midwest U.S.

The Badger State Solar facility will be located on 1,000 acres of private land in Jefferson County.

The planned life of the project is up to 40 years, and it will feature grass and seed mixes below panels to help build soil nutrients on the farmland, the company, also referred to as Ranger Solar, said in a project fact sheet.

Permit applications should be filed with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission later this year, and Ranger Power is targeting a commercial operation date of 2023, a local newspaper, the Daily Jefferson County Union, reported March 7. The report cited a Ranger Power official as saying that Wisconsin is becoming a more appealing market in part because local utility company WEC Energy Group Inc. has a long-term objective of reducing its overall carbon emissions and has been both shutting its older coal-fired generating capacity and investing in renewables.

Meanwhile, the company has been expanding its activities elsewhere in the Midwest.

In late 2018, Ranger Power expanded a relationship it had established with Indiana cooperative Wabash Valley Power Association Inc. by signing a 35-year, fixed-price contract for the output of the planned 199-MW Speedway Solar project in Shelby County, Ind. In March 2018, the two companies signed a 30-year contract for the output of a 99-MW solar facility in Perry County, Ill., called Prairie State.

In January, a planning commission in Shiawassee County, Mich., northeast of Lansing, Mich., approved a special use permit request by Ranger Power for a $250 million solar farm, the Assembly Solar Project. Local reports stated the project's capacity as 239 MW.