Wisconsin Partners Move Forward On 8 MW Airport Solar Farm

Dane County, Wis., is moving forward on what will be the largest solar farm in the county.

On Monday, Joe Parisi, Dane County executive, joined Jeff Keebler, chairman, president and CEO of investor-owned utility Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), to announce a partnership for a 20,000-panel solar project located on 41 acres of land at the Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA).

The project is anticipated to generate approximately 8 MW of renewable power. Earlier this year, the county issued a request for proposals for project partners.

MGE will own the solar infrastructure, installed on DCRA land leased by MGE from the county. The development is a key component in achieving the Dane County government’s 100% renewable electricity goal. The new project will be the third solar installation at DCRA.

“This historic solar farm will help increase local clean energy jobs, reduce carbon emissions and reduce the tax burden on Dane County residents through lower energy bills,” says Parisi.

The project is being proposed under MGE’s new Renewable Energy Rider, which gives MGE and large energy users the opportunity to partner to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet a customer’s needs. Under MGE’s Energy 2030 framework, the company is targeting carbon dioxide emissions reductions of at least 40% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Beyond 2030, MGE is committed to at least an 80% reduction by 2050.

Before construction can begin, approvals are needed from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. If approved, construction of the project is expected to begin in 2019.

Dane County currently owns 600 kW of solar at 15 facilities across the county.

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