The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has granted Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), the investor-owned utility serving Madison, Wis., approval to move forward with a community solar pilot project.
MGE says the project, a 500 kW solar array at the Middleton Municipal Operations Center, will provide the company’s interested customers an opportunity to obtain up to half of their annual electric needs from local solar photovoltaic generation. The utility expects the project to serve approximately 250 customers, based on an average per customer subscription of 2 kW.
The project next moves to the City of Middleton for review and approval. Upon approval, MGE expects construction to begin on the project in July, with operation slated to begin in late summer.
“Under MGE’s Energy 2030 framework, we have set the goal of supplying 30 percent of our retail electric sales with renewable energy by 2030. This community solar pilot project is a good example of the innovative products and services that our customers want from their community energy company,” explains Gary Wolter, MGE’s chairman, president and CEO.
“A community solar project allows MGE to give customers, some of whom could never install solar generation themselves, the opportunity to benefit from renewable energy,” adds Wolter.
In addition to the community solar project, MGE also will partner with the City of Middleton on a 100 kW solar array on the roof of the Middleton Police Department building. It will provide about 25% of the electricity used by that building annually. The city has a goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025.