MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) today received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for an agreement to partner with Dane County on a 9-megawatt (MW) solar array near the Dane County Regional Airport. The solar array will generate enough carbon-free electricity to provide Dane County with about 40% of the energy used by all County-owned facilities, according to the County.
"Clean energy is important to MGE, to Dane County, and to many who live and work here. We support the County's clean energy goals and are excited to partner on this project to add more locally generated renewable energy," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. "Partnerships like this will help MGE achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050."
"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the economy and cause job loss, I am hopeful the large-scale Dane County Regional Airport solar project will create much-needed jobs in the community and help stimulate the local economy," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "In addition to creating local, clean energy jobs and reducing climate change emissions, our partnership with MGE will enable the County to stay on course to achieve 100% renewable energy for its facilities."
Renewable Energy Rider
MGE is building this solar array under the company's Renewable Energy Rider (RER) program. Under an RER agreement, MGE partners with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer's energy needs. RER customers are responsible for costs associated with the renewable generation facility and any distribution costs to deliver energy to the customer. The innovative model grows clean energy in our community.
Details of the 9-MW solar project
The solar array will consist of about 31,000 solar panels and will cover 58 acres of County-owned land north of the airport. Dane County will lease the land to MGE. MGE will construct and own the 9-MW solar array and sell the energy to Dane County.
This will be the largest solar project in Dane County and will be the largest in the state built for a single customer. We anticipate the solar array will be generating electricity by the end of the year.
Net-zero carbon goal
MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by the year 2050. In the near term, under MGE's Energy 2030 framework for a more sustainable future, MGE has been working toward carbon dioxide emissions reductions of at least 40% by 2030 from 2005 levels, which is consistent with U.S. emissions targets established as part of the Paris Agreement on climate change. To reach these goals, MGE is growing its use of renewable energy, engaging customers around energy efficiency and facilitating the electrification of transportation, all of which are key strategies identified by the United States for achieving deep decarbonization.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 155,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 163,000 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.