MADISON, Wis. & MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and WEC Energy Group (WEC), through its Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) subsidiary, today announced plans for a partnership on two major solar projects in Wisconsin.
MGE, WPS and project developers, Invenergy and NextEra Energy Resources, filed applications today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the two Wisconsin projects. Combined, the utilities would own a total of 300 megawatts (MW).
"This is another step forward as we move toward a more sustainable energy future and deep decarbonization," said Jeff Keebler, MGE president and CEO. "These projects align with MGE's short- and long-term carbon reduction goals. If approved, we look forward to the opportunity to grow cost-effective, clean energy to reliably serve our customers into the future."
"Investing in these solar projects is the first step in our overall plan to add solar capacity to our generation portfolio and save WPS customers more than $100 million over the economic lives of the projects, as compared to projected prices in the power market," said Gale Klappa, CEO of WPS.
WPS would own 200 MW and MGE 100 MW of the combined output at two locations.
The Badger Hollow Solar Farm would be located in southwestern Wisconsin in Iowa County, near the villages of Montfort and Cobb, about 12 miles west of Dodgeville. WPS would own 100 MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Badger Hollow. The project is being developed by Invenergy, North America's largest privately held renewable energy company based in Chicago, Ill.
The Two Creeks solar project would be located in the Town of Two Creeks and the City of Two Rivers in northeastern Wisconsin, near the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. WPS would own 100 MW and MGE would own 50 MW of Two Creeks. The project is being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, based in Juno Beach, Fla.
"Solar projects are well suited to providing energy on the hottest summer days—times when our customers need it most—making solar a viable renewable generation option," said Klappa.
"Both of these projects represent opportunities for MGE to partner with proven solar developers with projects ready to begin the regulatory process," Keebler added. "Renewable energy has decreased in cost and increased in efficiency in recent years. As with our Saratoga wind farm project currently under construction, Badger Hollow and Two Creeks are economic projects that lower long-term costs for our customers while meeting their energy needs for decades to come."
The total cost of both projects is expected to be approximately $390 million.
If approved by the end of 2018, construction of both projects is expected to begin by spring 2019. Commercial operation of both projects would begin by the end of 2020.
Madison Gas and Electric generates and distributes electricity to 151,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 158,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.
Wisconsin Public Service Corp. is a utility subsidiary of WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: WEC). The company serves approximately 444,000 electric and 328,000 natural gas customers in northeastern and north central Wisconsin. Visit wisconsinpublicservice.com and WEC Energy Group at wecenergygroup.com.