MGE Announces Large-Scale Solar Energy Plans

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and WEC Energy Group (WEC), through its Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) subsidiary, announced plans in late May for a partnership on two major solar projects in Wisconsin.

MGE, WPS and project developers, Invenergy and NextEra Energy Resources, filed applications with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the two Wisconsin projects. Combined, the utilities would own a total of 300 megawatts (MW) at a projected total cost of approximately $390 million.

"This is another step forward as we move toward a more sustainable energy future and deep decarbonization," said Jeff Keebler, MGE president and CEO. "These projects align with MGE's short- and long-term carbon reduction goals. If approved, we look forward to the opportunity to grow cost-effective, clean energy to reliably serve our customers into the future."

Project details

MGE would 100 MW of the combined output at two locations.

The Badger Hollow Solar Farm would be located in southwestern Wisconsin in Iowa County, near the villages of Montfort and Cobb, about 12 miles west of Dodgeville. MGE would own 50 MW of Badger Hollow. The project is being developed by Invenergy, North America's largest privately held renewable energy company based in Chicago, Ill.

The Two Creeks solar project would be located in the Town of Two Creeks and the City of Two Rivers in northeastern Wisconsin, near the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant. MGE would own 50 MW of Two Creeks. The project is being developed by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, based in Juno Beach, Fla.

"Both of these projects represent opportunities for MGE to partner with proven solar developers with projects ready to begin the regulatory process," Keebler added. "Renewable energy has decreased in cost and increased in efficiency in recent years. As with our Saratoga wind farm project currently under construction, Badger Hollow and Two Creeks are economic projects that lower long-term costs for our customers while meeting their energy needs for decades to come."

If approved by the end of 2018, construction of both projects is expected to begin by spring 2019. Commercial operation of both projects would begin by the end of 2020.