Despite the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic, your community energy company continues to serve its customers and communities safely, reliably and with increasing sustainability.
This year, we announced several major investments in our ongoing transition toward greater use of renewable energy. In 2021 alone, MGE has introduced plans for more than 80 megawatts (MW) of new wind and solar and 35 MWs of battery storage.
These investments to serve all customers will help meet future energy and capacity needs cost-effectively with the planned early retirement of the coal-fired Columbia Energy Center. MGE is a minority owner of the plant, which we intend to fully retire by the end of 2024.
By 2025, with the planned retirement of both units at Columbia, MGE will have eliminated approximately two-thirds of the company’s coal-fired generation capacity. By 2030, the company’s remaining use of coal is expected to be reduced substantially, and by 2035, MGE is expected to eliminate coal as an energy source.
In 2019, MGE was one of the first utilities in the nation to commit to a goal of net-zero carbon electricity by mid-century. We established our goal consistent with global climate science. It followed the carbon reduction goals we set in November 2015 in our Energy 2030 framework, under which we pledged to reduce carbon at least 40% by 2030 from 2005 levels. To date, MGE has reduced its carbon emissions 30% since 2005, and we expect to achieve carbon emissions reductions of at least 65% by 2030.
We’ve said since setting our goals, if we can go further faster by working with our customers, we will. Our Energy 2030 framework continues to guide our work to advance our strategies for deep decarbonization—growing our use of cleaner energy, engaging around energy efficiency and electrifying transportation. This report highlights some of those efforts as well as our commitment to ensure all of our customers benefit from this transition to a more sustainable future.
We also continue our work to invest in our people and our systems to deliver safety and reliability and collaborate across our communities to assist in the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. Our field personnel continue to operate under enhanced safety protocols. Meanwhile, our office employees, most of whom continue to work remotely, have developed new ways to engage our customers, including those who are the most vulnerable.
We consider it part of our responsibility as a critical services provider to meet our customers “where they are.” Our commitment to equitable service and to what we call the power of working together drives how we seek to fulfill our mission and strengthen our communities.
Thank you for your interest in this report. It is a privilege to serve our communities, and we look forward to continued partnership with all of our stakeholders to meet shared sustainability goals.Jeff Keebler
Chairman, President and CEO
MGE Energy and Madison Gas and Electric
Our mission at MGE goes beyond our fundamental obligation to provide safe, reliable energy. Our company culture puts safety, responsibility and sustainability at the forefront. We understand all are critical to our long-term success as a company and to our commitment to serve as a critical services provider and community partner.
In my role as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, I oversee our safety, sustainability and environmental affairs areas. Our Environmental and Sustainability Policy helps to guide our work with suppliers and other vendors, regulators and with our customers and communities. We are committed to accountability and transparency, to continuous improvement—and to superior environmental performance.
To advance these priorities, MGE voluntarily participates in two statewide environmental performance programs. In 2021, MGE earned the Green Master designation for the eighth consecutive year from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. Only the top 20% of applying companies receive this designation. The independent, points-based benchmarking program evaluates applicants in nine key areas. MGE was the first utility to be awarded the distinction in 2014.
Under our Green Tier certification, administered through a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, all MGE operations are covered under our Environmental Management System (EMS). An EMS is a continuous improvement process that evaluates, prioritizes and manages environmental risks. Our EMS drives environmental improvements, reduces risk companywide and further demonstrates our commitment to goal-setting and environmental accountability.
Our employee-led Sustainability Steering Team oversees our EMS process and supports our external sustainability engagement and benchmarking efforts. The team also prioritizes continuous improvement opportunities, assembling our Continuous Improvement Sustainability Teams to undertake specific initiatives, such as enhancing our battery recycling and source reduction efforts. The Sustainability Steering Team is overseen by our Executive Sustainability Team, which has officer representation from across MGE.
Effective and strong oversight by our Board of Directors helps to ensure MGE continues to take a holistic and proactive approach to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters and sustainability in our fundamental obligations and in our commitment to corporate responsibility. As part of our regular dialogue with the board, executive management shares this report annually with directors to provide updates and to answer questions.
The report is organized to be consistent with the framework identified by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We appreciate the opportunity to share with you our efforts toward creating a better, brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.Cari Anne Renlund
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
MGE Energy and Madison Gas and Electric