Alliant Energy bringing Battery-based Microgrid to Wisconsin village

Dec. 29, 2021
The $3 million project will include a 250-kW battery storage deemed adequate to provide electricity for up to eight hours in this community

(EnergyTech first wrote about this project in early November, but as the year comes nearly to an end we felt it was worth revisiting).

A quiet village in Wisconsin is ready to make a (symbolically) big noise as part of the energy transition happening around the world.

The Village of Boaz is having a community microgrid installed within its borders. Alliant Energy is developing the resiliency projects which can be islanded (operating disconnected from the main grid) in the event of an emergency.

News reports throughout Wisconsin are calling it the state’s first community microgrid. The $3 million project will include a 250-kW battery storage deemed adequate to provide electricity for up to eight hours in this community with less than 200 residentc and one main distribution line, according to reports.

“This innovative project is one of several research pilot projects Alliant Energy is implementing as we continue to develop our renewable energy portfolio and energy storage solutions,” Mike Bremel, director of Engineering and Customer Solutions at Alliant Energy, said in a release about the Boaz community microgrid.

The battery storage initially will be energized by the main Alliant grid. In the future, solar power capacity could be added.

“This infrastructure upgrade ensures local community members and businesses will have access to safe and reliable power while providing Alliant Energy operational experience and knowledge that may be applied to future development and research,” Bremel added. “From an engineering standpoint, we are excited for this investment in new energy solutions that will shape the transition to more local, resilient and reliable renewable power production for generations to come.”

The project site is located along County Road E in the Dayton Township, Richland County. Project development and initial site construction began this fall and will be followed by the installation of microgrid equipment in the spring of 2022.

Boaz, founded in the 19th century, has rarely seen its population vary outside a range of 100 to 180 people, It is known for the "Boaz Mastodon" skeleton which was discovered by four young farm boys in 1897 and now is on feature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Geology Museum.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can reached at [email protected]).

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.