Major Solar Project in Fitchburg Receives Approval

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Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), a regulated utility and primary subsidiary of MGE Energy, has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for a 20 MW solar array to be built in Fitchburg, Wis. 

Known as the O’Brien Solar Fields, the project will provide locally generated solar energy to local businesses, municipalities and public institutions under MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider (RER) pilot program.

“Clean energy is important to MGE, to our project partners and to our community,” says Jeff Keebler, chairman, president and CEO of MGE. “The O’Brien Solar Fields will add 20 MW of locally generated, cost-effective carbon-free energy to our electric grid. Partnerships like this one advance shared energy goals and help MGE achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050.”

MGE is partnering with the following customers on this project through RER agreements:

-Fitchburg
-Placon
-Promega Corp.
-Tribe 9 Foods
-University of Wisconsin-Madison
-Willy Street Co-op
-Wisconsin Department of Administration

MGE’s RER enables MGE to partner with a large energy user to tailor a renewable energy solution to meet that customer’s energy needs. Customers that will be served by the O’Brien Solar Fields have entered into RER agreements with MGE. The agreements were approved by the PSCW. RER customers are responsible for costs associated with the renewable generation facility and any distribution costs to deliver energy to the customer.

The O’Brien Solar Fields will be located at the corner of Lacy Road and South Seminole Highway on approximately 160 acres. EDF Renewables will design, develop, build and operate the project consisting of about 60,000 solar panels. After construction, MGE will own the solar fields and lease the land from the O’Brien family.

Construction is expected to begin this year with the solar array generating electricity in 2021. It will be the largest solar project in Dane County. The project is expected to cost approximately $32 million.

Photo: The O’Brien Solar Fields’ project map

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