Madison Gas and Electric Solar Project Begins Operation - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Utilities, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  February 22, 2024

Madison Gas and Electric Solar Project Begins Operation

Madison Gas and Electric’s (MGE) latest solar array, the 6-megawatt (MW) Tyto Solar in Fitchburg, is operating and delivering locally generated, carbon-free energy to the distribution grid. 

Tyto Solar is a distributed energy resource that is connected to MGE’s distribution system and serves all MGE electric customers. MGE owns the solar array and leases the land. Tyto is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 1,400 households annually. 

“This project is another step in our journey toward net-zero carbon electricity for all MGE electric customers,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO, in a statement. “Our target is reduced carbon emissions. Under our commitment, by 2030, every MGE electric customer will have 80% fewer carbon emissions associated with their electricity use simply by being an MGE customer. Everyone we serve will reap the benefits of a cleaner grid as we invest cost-effectively for a net-zero carbon future.”

The Tyto Solar project uses bifacial solar panels that produce energy from both sides as they track the sun throughout the day.

The array uses a tracking system that is programmed to rotate with the sun for optimum absorption. This tracking system enables the operator to “stow” the panels during snow events in the winter to prevent snow from collecting on the panels or blocking solar production. 

OneEnergy Renewables developed and constructed the Tyto Solar project.

MGE has another solar project in the works. In February, MGE filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to purchase a share of the High Noon Solar Energy Center. The 300-MW solar array and 165-MW battery energy storage system will be located in Columbia County.

If the purchase is approved by the commission, the company will own 30 MW of solar and 16.5 MW of battery storage. MGE's share of the solar project would serve about 9,000 households.

We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, both subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group, will own the remainder of the facility. The entire project is expected to generate enough energy to serve about 90,000 households. The High Noon Solar Energy Center is expected to start serving customers by the end of 2026.

With the addition of the Red Barn Wind Farm and the second phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm in 2023, MGE added nearly 60 MW of wind and solar to its energy supply mix in 2023 to serve MGE electric customers.

Over 50 MW of solar generation is expected to be added to MGE’s energy supply mix by the end of 2024 since several projects are currently being developed.

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