MGE Breaks Ground on Solar Project in Madison
Pictured left to right: Don Peterson, MGE Vice President of Energy Technology; Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO; Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, and members of the Hermsdorf family, Dean, Joshua and Emma Hermsdorf.
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) representatives were joined by the Mayor of Madison, representatives of NextEra Energy Resources and members of the Hermsdorf family in late July to celebrate the groundbreaking for an 8-megawatt (MW) solar array in Madison known as the Hermsdorf Solar Fields. The Hermsdorf Solar Fields will provide locally generated solar energy to the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) under MGE's innovative Renewable Energy Rider (RER).
"We are excited to break ground with our partners on another MGE project that will help bring locally generated, cost-effective, carbon-free energy to our electric grid," said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "Partnering with the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District on this project serves as a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together around shared goals. MGE is working every day toward net-zero carbon electricity by 2050 for all of our customers, and if we can go further faster by working together with our customers, we will."
Solar array will power City, school district facilities
The City will take 5 MWs of the output and MMSD will take 3 MW of the output under separate RER agreements with MGE. The electricity generated by this local source of clean energy is expected to increase renewable energy use in City operations by nearly 20% and MMSD by about 16%.
"The City of Madison is excited to break ground on the Hermsdorf solar project with our partners, MGE and MMSD," said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. "Once completed, this clean energy resource will be a significant contribution to the City's 100% renewable goal for municipal operations by 2030. I look forward to continuing to work with partners across our community to allow all of Madison to use 100% renewable energy in the future."
"We know environmental sustainability is an important value shared by our students, staff and community, and we are grateful to MGE for helping us deliver on our commitments to renewable energy," said Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins. "By partnering with us to reduce the carbon footprint of our facilities and operations, MGE is helping us create a future with cleaner and operationally more efficient facilities for generations to come."
A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources is the developer and builder of the project. Construction is expected to begin this summer with the solar array generating electricity by the end of the year.
Renewable Energy Rider grows local clean energy
MGE's RER enables the company to partner with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer's energy needs. The City of Madison and MMSD have entered into RER agreements with MGE, which were approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. RER customers are responsible for costs associated with the renewable generation facility and any distribution costs to deliver energy to the customer. The RER model grows clean energy in our community.