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MGE, Dane County Announce Large-Scale Solar Project

MGE, our regulated utility, and Dane County announced on Oct. 1 a partnership to move forward a solar installation of up to 8 megawatts on county-owned land next to Dane County Regional Airport. MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi unveiled plans for the project during a news conference. Watch the brief video to hear some of their remarks.

The solar project builds upon MGE's long history of partnering with Dane County to advance sustainability. MGE purchases electricity generated from methane at the Dane County landfill and from a manure digester.

The proposed 41-acre solar project requires approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2019.

Renewable energy rider

The project is being proposed under MGE's new Renewable Energy Rider. MGE will own the solar infrastructure, lease the land from Dane County and sell the energy to Dane County. The Renewable Energy Rider provides MGE and large energy users the opportunity to partner to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet a customer's needs. The innovative model is one way to grow renewable energy in our service territory.

The model, unique in Wisconsin to MGE, is designed to meet the needs and goals of companies or organizations that support or have signed on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles, a collaboration facilitated by the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

Clean energy goals

The collaboration between Dane County and MGE advances the county's goal of 100% renewable energy for its facilities and MGE's goal of deep decarbonization. MGE is working to further reduce carbon emissions by growing the use of renewable resources, engaging customers around energy efficiency and advancing the electrification of transportation—all of which are strategies identified by the United States as key strategies for deep decarbonization.