Shorewood Hills to Power its Facilities With 100% Renewable Energy
The Village of Shorewood Hills has big plans to make a positive impact on the environment. By participating in MGE's renewable energy programs, the municipality will power its facilities with 100% renewable electricity starting in 2020.
The Village of Shorewood Hills is committed to sustainability. Among the leaders guiding the community's environmental stewardship are Village Administrator Karl Frantz, Trustee John Imes, Trustee Tracy Bailey and Sustainability Committee Chair Anne Readel.
This isn't a completely new endeavor for Shorewood Hills as the Village has been purchasing some clean energy through MGE's Green Power Tomorrow Program
since 2009—starting out with 10% of its annual electric use and increasing that to 50% at the beginning of 2019.
The Village also will participate in MGE's Shared Solar program.
"We are committed to sustainability and making smart choices about our energy use. When we learned about the opportunity to green our energy mix further with Shared Solar, we knew it was a good fit," said Village Administrator Karl Frantz. "We plan to also purchase 50% of our annual electric use from this program."
Shorewood Hills will purchase renewable energy through the second installation of MGE's community solar program. The 5-megawatt solar array in Middleton is expected to be online in summer 2020. It gives business and residential customers in MGE's electric service territory the option of powering their business or home with locally generated solar energy at a minimal up-front cost.
"The reasonable cost made Shared Solar an attractive option for us. We evaluated our start‑up expense and energy use going forward. We determined that we will save money over time based on the lower cost we will pay for energy," Frantz said. "The investment we are making now will provide payback down the road. Shared Solar is a good financial decision for the long-term."
"Additionally, we allocated the start-up cost to various funds across our facilities," Frantz said. "Spreading that expense around to different budgets made it more affordable."
The Village also appreciates the flexibility Shared Solar offers.
"We don't have to invest in equipment and changes to our current facilities. We don't have to install solar panels on our roof," Frantz explained. "If we acquire other facilities or move to other buildings in the future, we can continue to participate in Shared Solar."
By participating in Shared Solar, the Village of Shorewood Hills will eliminate more than 280,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by 24 gasoline-powered cars and the carbon dioxide emissions from the energy use of 24 homes for one year.
"As a village of just over 2,200 people, we are committed to being as environmentally sensitive as we can," Frantz said. "Shared Solar is an effective strategy for achieving our goals."
The Village of Shorewood Hills has a Sustainability Committee that sets goals, identifies actions and oversees sustainability actions. Last year, the Committee conducted a survey to learn about residents' priorities for the Village.
"They made it clear that protecting the environment is very important to them," Frantz said. "In fact, residents want Shorewood Hills to not only take part in but serve as a leader in sustainability efforts. Knowing we have community support reinforced our decision to move forward with Shared Solar."
Shorewood Hills is rising to that challenge and modeling environmental leadership.
"Residents can take pride in the fact that our municipality is operating on clean energy," Frantz said. "That includes everything from Village offices, our Police Department and Village Hall to the community pool and Public Works Department.
"MGE applauds the Village of Shorewood Hills for its longtime commitment to renewable energy," said Matthew Matenaer, MGE Senior Account Manager. "Many communities across the country have made similar pledges to transition to 100% clean energy for their facilities—the Village is making it happen."
Interested in Shared Solar?
MGE's Shared Solar program helps meet the needs of customers who want affordable, locally sourced solar energy. Learn more about how your facility can take part in this voluntary effort at mge.com/sharedsolar