Solar Project with City of Madison and Madison Metropolitan School District Approved
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MADISON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for an 8-megawatt (MW) solar array to be built in Madison. Known as the Hermsdorf Solar project, it will provide locally generated solar energy to the City of Madison and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) under MGE's innovative Renewable Energy Rider (RER).

"Clean energy is important to MGE, to our partners on this project and to our community. Hermsdorf Solar will add 8 megawatts of locally generated, cost-effective, carbon-free energy to our electric grid," said MGE Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler. "This partnership between MGE, the City of Madison and MMSD is another great example of how working together we can advance shared energy goals and achieve net-zero carbon electricity for all of our customers by 2050."

"The Hermsdorf Solar project, in partnership with MGE and MMSD, will take the City of Madison one step closer to the goal of 100% renewable energy," said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. "We thank the Public Service Commission for moving this project forward and look forward to flipping the switch on 5 MW of Madison's clean energy later this year."

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"The groundbreaking for this project signifies a significant step towards achieving our district's renewable energy goals for the future," said Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent, Dr. Carlton D. Jenkins. "With a focus on mitigating climate change to the benefit of our community, our students, staff and board of education worked collaboratively to establish goals to meet 50% of all MMSD's energy needs with renewable energy by 2030, 75% by 2035 and 100% by 2040. Through our tremendous partnership with the City of Madison, this project alone will move an estimated 16% of MMSD's traditional energy from MGE entirely over to solar-produced energy."

The City will take 5 MW of the output and MMSD will take 3 MW of the output under separate RER agreements with MGE. The electricity generated by this local source of clean energy is expected to increase renewable energy use in City operations by nearly 20% and MMSD by about 16%.

Details of 8-MW solar project

The solar array will consist of about 28,000 solar panels and will cover approximately 53 acres of land north of Dane County's Rodefeld Landfill in southeast Madison. The project will be developed by NextEra Energy Resources Development, LLC. Construction is expected to begin this summer with the solar array generating electricity by the end of the year.

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Renewable Energy Rider grows local clean energy

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. The City of Madison and MMSD have entered into RER agreements with MGE, which 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 RER model grows clean energy in our community.

MGE's net‐zero carbon electricity goal

In May 2019, MGE announced its goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050, making it one of the first utilities in the nation to commit to net-zero carbon by mid-century. MGE's net-zero goal is consistent with the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) October 2018 Special Report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To achieve deep decarbonization, MGE is growing its use of renewable energy, engaging customers around energy efficiency and working to electrify transportation, all of which are key strategies identified by the IPCC.

About MGE

MGE generates and distributes electricity to 157,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 166,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.
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