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MGE's Innovative Community Solar Pilot Project Receives Approval

March 14, 2016


Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to move forward with a community solar pilot project.

This innovative model for community solar in the City of Middleton will provide interested MGE customers an opportunity to obtain up to half of their annual electric needs from local solar photovoltaic generation.

The project next moves to the City of Middleton for their review and approval.

"Under MGE's Energy 2030 framework, we have set the goal of supplying 30% 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," explained Gary Wolter, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "By continuing to partner with our customers in a variety of ways, we continue to transition to a more environmentally sustainable energy supply and further reduce carbon emissions."

The community solar pilot project will be a 500-kilowatt (kW) solar array at the Middleton Municipal Operations Center located on Parmenter Street along Highway 12.

MGE and the City of Middleton have been working together for more than a year to design and develop the details of this project.

This array will deliver power to the electric grid, enabling local customers to purchase renewable energy generated in their community. MGE expects this project will serve approximately 250 customers, based on an average per customer subscription of 2 kW.

"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," Wolter added.

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 of Middleton has a goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025.

Assuming approval from the City of Middleton, MGE expects construction to begin on the community solar project in July with operation expected to begin in late summer.

Interested residential customers will be able to begin signing up to participate in the community solar pilot later this spring. More information on the pilot and how to participate will be on beginning May 1.

MGE's recently introduced Energy 2030 framework advances the company's long-standing commitment to cleaner energy, innovative products and services, and customer engagement.

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