Winter 2016 / 2017
News Briefs

MGE Shared Solar Program Kicks Off

MGE Shared Solar Program Kicks Off

MGE's new Shared Solar program gives participating customers the benefits of locally generated solar power without installing solar panels. MGE has built a large community solar array, and local customers have purchased the power. This innovative solar option is sold out, but we are still taking applications to develop a waiting list.

The Community Shared Solar Program allows participating MGE residential electric customers to purchase up to half of their monthly electric consumption from the new 500-kilowatt solar electric installation on the rooftop of the Middleton Municipal Operations Center located just off Highway 12 and visible from the highway. Under the program, customers can lock in their share of the solar electricity over 25 years. Participants pay a one-time, nonrefundable fee up front and pay a kilowatt-hour charge for the solar power that is locked in for 25 years. Customers can opt to leave the program at any time without any financial penalty.

Customer interest in these types of local "shared" utility solar programs is growing due to the declining cost of solar cells, environmental benefits of renewable energy and no maintenance costs for the customer.

The expansive Middleton Municipal Operations Center's flat rooftop is the ideal location for a shared community solar project. The solar array has 1,728 panels capable of generating about 500 kilowatts. This project is the largest utility-scale photovoltaic array built by MGE and the largest solar array on a municipal building in Wisconsin. Another operational aspect of the array is the ability to communicate with the inverters (devices to convert the DC voltage to AC voltage) and control how the system produces electricity on a real-time basis. The new microinverters installed in each solar panel will greatly enhance how the system interacts with the rest of the local electrical grid and maximize grid integration. Customers will be able to monitor the electricity production of the array with a real-time web-based monitoring system.

For more information about the MGE Shared Solar program or to be placed on the waiting list to participate in the program, go to mge.com/sharedsolar.