College installs Wisc.’s largest solar array - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 19, 2018

College installs Wisc.’s largest solar array

Madison Area Technical College announced the beginning of installation of Wisconsin’s largest rooftop solar array. The project, a 1,400 KW solar photovoltaic system, will offset up to 15% of the college’s electricity use and is expected to save more than $200,000 per year.

A report in the Wisconsin State Journal noted that the project is budgeted at $2.3 million. The college will pay $1.8 million for the project, while a grant from Madison Gas & Electric Co. grant will cover the rest. Rooftop repairs and upgrades will bring the total to $3.5 million, according to Ken Walz, MATC renewable energy instructor and director of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education.

Walz said the system could reduce the school’s peak electric load by about 50 percent on sunny days while reducing carbon dioxide emissions, calling it "a good way for the college to step up and be a role model," Walz said. Students will be included in the installation, while the smart-grid system will be used for experiments. "This will be a unique system because we’re not planning it just as an energy generator but as an educational tool," Walz said. "This will be a useful facility for our students to learn. Beyond that it lowers our electric bill … and benefits the community by cleaning up the air."

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