Comments from the Chairman and CEO
MGE breaks ground on Shared Solar expansion
Middleton Municipal Airport groundbreaking on Oct. 29, 2019
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) representatives were joined by leaders from the City of Middleton and the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District in late October to celebrate the groundbreaking for the company's 5-megawatt (MW) solar array at the Middleton Municipal Airport. The Morey Field Solar project will be the second array in MGE's popular Shared Solar program. The expansion of the program gives residential and business customers throughout MGE's electric service territory the option of powering their home or business with locally generated solar energy.
"Our first Shared Solar project in Middleton set the foundation for this expansion and for MGE's ongoing collaboration with the City and the school district," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. "What started a few years ago has helped to grow locally generated clean energy in Dane County and serves as a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together around shared goals. Working together with our customers will help MGE reach our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050."
MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler addresses crowd at groundbreaking.
MGE's first Shared Solar project is a 500-kilowatt array on the roof of Middleton's Municipal Operations Center. It began serving customers in January 2017. The more than $8 million Morey Field Solar project is expected to be operational in 2020.
Solar array powers city, school district facilities
Seventy percent of the solar array at Morey Field will serve Shared Solar participants. A 1-MW share of the array will serve the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District under a Renewable Energy Rider (RER) agreement. A 0.5-MW share will serve the City of Middleton under a separate RER agreement.
Under an RER, MGE partners with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer's energy needs. RER customers are responsible for costs associated with the renewable generation facility and distribution costs to deliver the energy to the customer. The model advances shared sustainability goals and grows clean energy in our community.
MGE number one for electric reliability
MGE remains a national leader in electric reliability, ranking number one nationwide for the fewest number of electric outages, according to a utility industry survey based on 2018 statistics. The company ranks second for the shortest duration of outages per customer. The survey includes more than 80 electric utilities across the country.
MGE has ranked in the top three utilities nationwide for the fewest number of outages in each of the last 12 years. MGE invests in its people, infrastructure and operations to provide continued top-ranked reliability. Our culture of continuous improvement helps us to identify and analyze opportunities to improve our service.
MGE, City of Madison pursuing solar partnership
In mid-October, the City of Madison Common Council approved an agreement between the city and MGE to pursue 5 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to power city facilities under a Renewable Energy Rider agreement. Under the agreement, MGE will sell to the city the energy from a planned 7-MW solar array southeast of Madison.
The agreement between MGE and the city needs approval by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, construction is expected in spring 2021 with the array expected to be operational by the end of 2021. The 50-acre project is being developed by NextEra Energy Resources Development LLC at an estimated cost of $13.6 million.
Environmental and sustainability reporting
Environmental accountability is a core focus throughout our company. MGE is committed to reducing environmental impacts across all areas of the organization and to advancing transparency and disclosure around our sustainability efforts. The company publishes an annual Environmental and Sustainability Report, which was recently released online.
MGE also participates in the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) environmental, social, governance (ESG) and sustainability reporting templates. The industry tool enhances transparency and disclosure by offering meaningful, easily accessible and relevant information for investors and other stakeholders.
EEI, which represents U.S. investor-owned electric companies, developed the voluntary, industry-specific templates to offer more uniform and consistent reporting of data and information from the electric sector. The quantitative template includes data related to MGE's energy portfolio (generation and capacity), emissions, capital expenditures, and human and natural resources. The qualitative template includes information related to our company’s management and oversight of and strategies for transitioning toward deep decarbonization and greater sustainability.
Visit mgeenergy.com/environment to access our EEI reporting templates and 2019 Environmental and Sustainability Report.
MGE Energy reported in November third-quarter earnings of $30.7 million, or 88 cents per share, compared to $29.5 million, or 85 cents per share, for the same period last year.
An increase in owned renewable generation assets contributed to electric earnings growth compared to 2018. Electric retail sales remained relatively even quarter over quarter. The average daily temperature for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2019 and 2018 was normal.
Investors directly registered with MGE Energy: If you received MGE Energy dividends during 2019, the 1099-DIV tax information will be mailed with your December dividend payment notification. It also will be available to print at computershare.com.
For tax information regarding your sale of MGE Energy shares, the required tax information will be mailed on or before Feb. 15, 2020.
Investors owning shares through a brokerage firm: Your broker will provide the necessary tax forms. Please contact your broker if you have any questions. Thank you for your investment in MGE Energy.
We monitor federal, state and local legislation and regulations. On behalf of our regulated utility, MGE, the company has lobbyists who advocate positions that are in the best interest of our customers and shareholders.
Federal lobbying efforts: We employ the lobbying firm Michael Best Strategies, LLC, which files lobbying reports for its activities on our behalf with the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
State lobbying efforts: The Wisconsin Ethics Commission requires lobbying reports be filed every six months detailing an organization's time, expenses and the legislation or proposals lobbied.
Local lobbying efforts: The City of Madison posts each person registered to lobby and an expense statement on behalf of that person or organization. MGE typically does not incur lobbying expenses with the city at a level that would trigger a detailed report. If it does, information on its efforts would be available on the city's website.
For links to access reports of the company's lobbying efforts, visit mgeenergy.com/lobbying.