Heat Island Effect is real!!

February 22nd, 2021

Early on in the Grant County solar project, we dug into “heat island effect” and learned it is real and very little study has been done, and what has been doe has been in the desert, not in midwestern climate, not with midwestern vegetation. Everything says “more study is needed.” Yet Wisconsin, and to a lesser degree Minnesota, are siting LARGE solar projects without that “more study.”

Today an article popped up, and the timing is interesting, as just the last two weeks this has been raised in solar dockets in Wisconsin, the Grant County Solar (PSC Docket 9804-CE-100) and Wisconsin Power & Light’s docket to acquire SIX solar projects, including Grant County Solar (PSC Docket 6680-CE-182).

The article referenced this study, released in December, 2020:

There are a few parts that are striking, this sentence in particular:

Solar farms tend to promote more favorable conditions for tropical cyclone development.

This is testimony from Wisconsin PSC’s Burtley regarding heat island effect in the PSC’s 6680-CE-182 docket:

Well, that’s pretty clear!!

We put some studies into the Grant County Solar docket, 9804-CE-100:

These are, individually 5 a, b, and c, above:

More study, NOW! And yet, knowing there is not enough info, that more info is needed, Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission is siting thousands of acres of solar, ignoring the brownfield statute that would facilitate distributed generation, impacts be damned!

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