Wisconsin utility expands its role with Badger Hollow Solar Farm, boosts renewable rider program


Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is getting more into solar these days, through project acquisitions and its Renewable Energy Rider program.

“This addition of cost-effective solar energy will help MGE reach our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by the year 2050 while also helping us to manage long-term costs to our customers,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE chairman, president and CEO.

The latest on the project front: The Wisconsin utility formed a partnership with We Energies to acquire the remaining 150 megawatts (MW) of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm. MGE and We Energies filed a joint application today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. MGE will own 50 MW and We Energies will own 100 MW. If regulators approve this acquisition, this phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm would begin generating electricity in 2021.

“This is another significant step in our transition to a clean energy future,” said Kevin Fletcher, president and CEO – WEC Energy Group, the parent corporation of We Energies. “Along with the environmental benefits of solar energy, this purchase will lower costs to customers over the life of the project.”

Badger Hollow will be located in southwestern Wisconsin, in Iowa County. The 300-MW project is being developed by Chicago-based Invenergy, North America’s largest privately held renewable energy company. MGE is partnering with the City of Middleton and the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District on a large solar project next to Middleton Municipal Airport’s Morey Field.

Renewable Energy Rider

A 1-megawatt (MW) share of the 5-MW solar array will serve the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District under MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider (RER). A .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 any distribution costs to deliver energy to the business. The innovative model grows clean energy in the community.

The remaining 70 percent of the solar array will serve MGE’s Shared Solar program, which is open to MGE’s residential and business electric customers who want to power their home or business with locally generated solar energy. Subscribers to the voluntary program can purchase up to half of their annual electricity use through Shared Solar. MGE’s first Shared Solar project is a 500-kilowatt array built on the roof of Middleton’s Municipal Operations Center in 2016.

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