Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for a 20-megawatt (MW) solar array to be built in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Known as the O'Brien Solar Fields, the project will provide locally generated solar energy to local businesses, municipalities and public institutions under MGE's innovative Renewable Energy Rider (RER).
"Clean energy is important to MGE, to our project partners and to our community. The O'Brien Solar Fields will add 20 MW of locally generated, cost-effective carbon-free energy to our electric grid," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. "Partnerships like this one advance shared energy goals and help MGE achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050."
"The O'Brien Solar Fields is another demonstration of MGE's commitment to diversifying its energy supply mix through renewable resources," said Jamie Resor, CEO, EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions. "We are pleased to expand our partnership and build another solar facility in support of MGE's goal to deliver cost-effective renewable energy to its customers."
MGE is partnering with the following customers on this project through RER agreements:
City of Fitchburg
Tribe 9 Foods
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Willy Street Co-op
Wisconsin Department of Administration
Renewable Energy Rider grows local, clean energy
MGE's RER enables MGE to partner with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer's energy needs. Customers that will be served by the O'Brien Solar Fields have entered into RER agreements with MGE. The agreements were approved by the PSCW. RER customers are responsible for costs associated with the renewable generation facility and any distribution costs to deliver energy to the customer. The innovative model grows clean energy in our community.
Solar project will be largest in Dane County
The O'Brien Solar Fields will be located at the corner of Lacy Road and South Seminole Highway in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, on approximately 160 acres. EDF Renewables will design, develop, build and operate the project consisting of about 60,000 solar panels. After construction, MGE will own the solar fields and lease the land from the O'Brien family.
Construction is expected to begin this year with the solar array generating electricity in 2021. It will be the largest solar project in Dane County. The project is expected to cost approximately $32 million.
MGE targeting net-zero carbon by 2050
Consistent with the latest climate science, MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. The company continues to work toward carbon reductions of at least 40 percent by 2030, as announced in 2015 and consistent with the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. If MGE can go further faster in reducing carbon emissions, it will. To reach its carbon-reduction 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. Visit mge2050.com to learn more.