MGE Announces Plans to Add More Solar

Source: 2/16/2021, Location: North America

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), in partnership with We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group, is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to purchase solar energy and battery storage from the Paris Solar-Battery Park. If approved, MGE will own 20 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and 11 MW of battery storage from the 200-MW solar park to be built in the Town of Paris in Kenosha County.

“Investment in solar energy and battery storage at the Paris Solar-Battery Park is an opportunity for MGE to invest further in cost-effective clean energy and new technologies to reliably serve all our customers as we work to meet our aggressive carbon reduction goals,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "This project is another step toward carbon reductions of at least 65% by 2030 and our goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. We have said since introducing our clean energy and carbon reduction goals—if we can go further faster, we will."

The Paris Solar-Battery Park will help MGE to meet future energy and capacity needs cost-effectively as the company continues its ongoing transition away from coal-fired electricity with the planned retirement of the Columbia Energy Center in Portage by the end of 2024. MGE's share of the Paris Solar-Battery Park will power about 6,000 households.

Paris Solar-Battery Park
Invenergy LLC received approval in December 2020 from the PSCW to build the solar project. Invenergy LLC also proposed to install a battery storage system at the site.

When completed, the 1,500-acre project is expected to feature up to 750,000 solar panels. We Energies and WPS will own the remaining 180 MW of the output and 99 MW of battery storage from the project.

If approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022, and the solar park is expected to begin serving customers in 2023.

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.

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