MGE Plans to Add Local Solar, Battery Storage - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Utilities, Solar  -  May 14, 2024

MGE Plans to Add Local Solar, Battery Storage

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to build a 20-megawatt (MW) solar array and 40-MW battery storage system in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. 

The project is called the Sunnyside Solar Energy Center and will provide locally generated solar energy to MGE's distribution system.

"MGE continues on our path toward deep decarbonization to achieve net-zero carbon electricity," said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO, in a statement. "Carbon is our target, and our carbon reduction goals are aligned with science. Under our commitments, by 2030, MGE expects to deliver electricity with 80% fewer carbon emissions to every MGE electric customer. Similarly, by 2050, we expect to deliver net-zero carbon electricity to every MGE electric customer. We're decarbonizing our grid cost-effectively for the benefit of all customers."

If the renewable energy project is approved, the Sunnyside Solar Energy Center will be located on about 125 acres off of Whalen Road in Fitchburg. The 20 MW of solar capacity is expected to generate enough electricity annually to serve about 6,000 households, and the 40 MW of four-hour battery storage will provide electricity when solar or wind is insufficient to meet all customer needs.

EDF Renewables is the project developer, and if the project is approved, construction could begin in 2025. Both the solar array and battery storage system could begin serving customers by late 2026.

With the addition of the Red Barn Wind Farm and the second phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm in 2023 and Tyto Solar in February 2024, MGE added 65 MW of wind and solar to its energy supply mix in the last year.

Over 50 MW of solar generation is expected to be added to MGE's energy supply mix by the end of 2024 with projects currently in development. 

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