Alliant Energy has broken ground on the Riverside Energy Center expansion in the Town of Beloit, Wisconsin, US.

The $700m expansion of the combined cycle natural gas-powered facility is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs while complementing growing investments in renewable energy.

The Riverside Energy Center currently comprises a combined-cycle facility and three small peaking generation resources, as well as the retired Rock River generating station.

As part of the expansion plan, the facility will be integrated with 650MW combined-cycle generating facility, which will feature a 2MW integrated solar PV installation to meet the internal power needs of the facility.

The solar field is also expected to enhance the sustainability of the generating station while improving the plant's environmental profile.

Alliant Energy chairman, president and CEO Patricia Kampling said: “Today marks a major step forward in our mission to provide cost-effective, reliable energy for decades to come.

“This highly efficient facility will modernize our generating operations and advance our transition to cleaner energy sources.”

Scheduled to be commissioned in early 2020, the expansion plant is expected to power approximately 535,000 homes upon completion.

The proposed technology for expansion plan includes a 2×1, combined-cycle generating system consisting of two combustion turbine generators, two heat recovery steam generators and one steam turbine generator.

In 2014, Alliant announced its Riverside plant expansion plan that would replace several older generating units in Wisconsin slated for retirement in the next few years.

Image: The Alliant’s Riverside Energy Center in Wisconsin, US. Photo: courtesy of Dual Freq/Wikipedia.