Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), in partnership with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to purchase part of the Red Barn Wind Farm. MGE will own 9.1 megawatts (MW) of the 92-MW wind farm that will be built in the Towns of Wingville and Clifton in Grant County.
"The Red Barn Wind Farm will help MGE to meet future energy and capacity needs cost-effectively as we continue our ongoing transition to a more sustainable energy supply. We are working every day toward net-zero carbon electricity by 2050 for all our customers," said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "We have said since announcing our net-zero goal, if we can go further faster through partnerships with our customers and the evolution of new technologies, we will."
The Red Barn Wind Farm will be developed by PRC Wind and constructed by ALLETE Clean Energy. The approximately 12,000-acre project will feature 28 turbines. WPS will own the remaining 82.5 MW.
Construction is expected to begin this year, and the Red Barn Wind Farm is expected to begin serving customers by the end of the year. The project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power approximately 40,000 households. MGE's share of the project will power about 4,000 households.
Working toward net-zero carbon electricity
MGE has reduced its carbon emissions 30% since 2005 and expects to achieve carbon reductions of at least 65% by 2030, consistent with global climate science to limit global warming. MGE continues to transition its energy supply to cleaner sources, with the anticipated addition of nearly 400 MW of wind, solar and battery storage between 2015 and 2024.
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 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.