Saratoga Wind Farm

Saratoga map

MGE plans to build, own and operate a 66-megawatt (MW) wind farm near Saratoga in Howard County, Iowa. If approved, construction on the site and the 33 wind turbines could begin in early 2018, making Saratoga Wind Farm our largest to date. It would deliver renewable energy to approximately 47,000 average homes.

This proposal for adding clean, renewable energy advances our Energy 2030 framework. It continues the progress we have made increasing renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. Under Energy 2030, we have set goals to further increase renewable energy and further decrease carbon emissions.

Location

This construction-ready site is about 200 miles west of Madison—located in the northeast section of Iowa. This high, flat and open area provides an excellent wind resource and is close to an established substation and transmission lines to carry the power.

The 13-square-mile parcel spans mostly large grain farms. Most of the farmland will stay in production with crops surrounding the wind turbines.

Turbines

Wind turbine technology has improved with larger turbines producing energy more efficiently, making them a cost-effective, clean-energy option. The anticipated turbines for Saratoga extend nearly 500 feet tall, which is 100 feet higher than turbines at MGE's Top of Iowa wind farm and 210 feet higher than turbines at our Rosiere wind farm. Larger blades result in a larger "swept area," and therefore, capture more energy per turbine at moderate wind speeds.

Saratoga height comparison

Saratoga Timeline

MGE began site selection on this project in 2015. Negotiations for the Saratoga site began in the summer of 2016. MGE secured the rights to the site last year from the initial developer, RPM Access LLC, which had designated the site for wind development.

MGE has filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to construct the approximately $107 million wind farm. This new project would allow MGE to take advantage of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind, which would help reduce costs for all of our ratepayers.

If approved, the Saratoga wind farm will continue our ongoing transition toward a more sustainable future for our customers and our communities. Under our Energy 2030 framework, MGE will supply 30% of electric sales with renewable resources, such as solar and wind, by 2030. Energy 2030 also includes a targeted 40% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.

Saratoga Timeline