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Sheboygan Solar Field

Redeveloping land for renewable energy

To help stimulate the local economy, state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) teams are dedicated to helping repurpose and bring companies or investments to . can:

  • Revitalize a neighborhood.
  • Create jobs.
  • Increase safety.
  • Create economic growth.

A from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Fiscal and Economic Research Center found development of brownfield sites – abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial facilities –increased assessed value more than 3.5 times the original value, created more than 29,000 jobs and produced 28 million square feet of new or renovated space.

The Wisconsin DNR pulled together more than of brownfield redevelopment that expands on the findings of the study listed above. In other words, former manufacturing facilities, car assembly plants or gas stations that had real or perceived environmental contamination are open for business.

A new brownfield purpose - renewable energy

If brownfield sites are relatively flat and accessible, they can be repurposed into solar projects. That’s what we’re doing in both Perry and Grinnell through our ײƵ® Customer-Hosted Renewables program.

The Perry site is adjacent to a former railroad roundhouse facility that operated for over 100 years. The roundhouse was closed and demolished in the 1950s with site cleanup activities completed in 2011.

The Grinnell site was formerly operated as a manufacturing location for playground and stadium seating equipment while fabricating fiberglass and plastic molding. Site cleanup was officially completed in 2003.

In addition to adding value to the land through the operation and maintenance of renewable energy generation, the environmentally friendly grasses planted under the solar panels help improve soil quality and prevent pollutants from entering local bodies of water.

Learn more about brownfield redevelopment through the and webpages.

Chris is a Communications Partner specializing in ײƵ’s renewable investments. Coming from a journalism background, he’s excited to tell the story of ײƵ’s Clean Energy Blueprint and other renewable trends in new and exciting ways.

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