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2,000 solar panels could be installed on Foxconn campus in Mount Pleasant

If approved, the panels would be owned and operated by We Energies.
Posted at 10:19 AM, Mar 09, 2023

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. — Foxconn and We Energies are partnering and hoping to bring 2,000 solar panels to Foxconn's Mount Pleasant campus, a news release from the companies states.

This Spring, the companies plan to submit a 30-year plan with the Mount Pleasant Board of Trustees and Racine County Board of Supervisors to bring the panels to Science and Technology Park.

If approved, the panels would be owned and operated by We Energies. According to a news release, the panels would produce enough energy to power 300 homes.

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Proposed solar panels at the Mount Pleasant Foxconn campus.

“We’re pleased to bring more clean energy to Wisconsin through this partnership with Foxconn,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman at WEC Energy Group. “As Foxconn expands its operations, this project will deliver affordable, reliable, and clean energy for years to come.”

If the panels are installed, the companies say it would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,200 metric tons each year. That is equivalent to taking 260 cars off the roads or planting 20,000 trees.

These numbers are just the beginning though. A news release says the companies hope to grow those numbers to 33,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide removed.

"Foxconn is committed to integrating green and sustainable practices throughout our operations to mitigate the impacts of climate change, thereby further achieving our responsibility of protecting the environment," said Foxconn Technology Group in a news release.

The Foxconn plant was supposed to provide 13,000 jobs and $10 billion in investments, but those goals have not been reached.

Foxconn originally planned to build a Gen 10. 5 LCD facility to produce large screens in Mount Pleasant after former Gov. Scott Walker offered more than $3 billion in tax incentives. But that project was scaled back to a Gen. 6 factory to build smaller screens for phones, TVs, and tablets.

Since then, Foxconn has faced criticism for not holding up to its promise of creating 13,000 local jobs as local and state governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars to usher in what was initially seen as a possible manufacturing resurgence in the state.

Then last October, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced Foxconn did not qualify for the local and state tax incentives. The WED concluded the company did not hire enough employees or make enough investments in the Mount Pleasant facility, per the agreement the company signed with former Gov. Walker.

Foxconn contends it has hired more than 1,000 full-time employees and invested $1 billion at the facility.

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