MGE Seeks Approval for Large Solar Project at Dane County Regional Airport
MGE partnering with Dane County to build solar array under Renewable Energy Rider agreement.
Madison, Wis., Dec. 11, 2019 – Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) today filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for approval of 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.
MGE and Dane County Partner on Solar
- Large-scale solar array to be built at Dane County Regional Airport.
- Partnership advances shared energy goals of MGE and Dane County.
- MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi discussed the project at the airport in October.
- MGE's Renewable Energy Rider is designed for large energy users.
"MGE is excited to partner with Dane County on this project that will provide locally generated clean energy to the County as we work together to reach our shared energy goals," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. "We support the County's efforts to achieve 100% renewable energy for its facilities as MGE transitions to net-zero carbon electricity for our customers by 2050."
"We are proud to partner with MGE to bring one of the largest solar farms in Wisconsin to the Dane County Regional Airport next year," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "Through this project, we will be able to increase the County's use of renewable energy, reduce climate changing carbon emissions, save taxpayer dollars and create local clean energy jobs."
Renewable Energy Rider
Under a Renewable Energy Rider (RER), 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 business. 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.
The cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $16 million. If approved, this will be the largest solar project in Dane County. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 with the solar array generating electricity by the end of next 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 153,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 161,000 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.