MGE's Use of Solar and Battery Storage to Grow with Purchase of Darien Solar Energy Center
Approval to purchase a share of the Darien Solar Energy Center is latest step in advancing MGE's net-zero carbon electricity goal.
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), in partnership with We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group, received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to purchase solar energy and battery storage from the Darien Solar Energy Center. MGE will own 25 megawatts (MW) of solar energy and 7.5 MW of battery storage from the 250-MW solar and 75-MW battery storage facility in Rock and Walworth Counties in southern Wisconsin.
"The Darien Solar Energy Center is another important step in our ongoing transition to cleaner energy sources, reducing carbon at least 80% by the end of this decade and achieving net-zero carbon electricity by 2050," said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. "MGE's investments in cost-effective, clean energy and battery storage technology help ensure that all our customers will experience the economic and environmental benefits of our clean energy transition."
Darien Solar Energy Center
Located on 2,000 acres in the Town of Bradford in Rock County and the Town of Darien in Walworth County, the Darien Solar Energy Center will feature up to 850,000 solar panels. It will generate enough clean energy to power about 75,000 households. MGE's share of the output will power about 7,500 households.
We Energies and WPS will own the remaining 225 MW of the solar output and 67.5 MW of battery storage from the project. Invenergy LLC is the project developer. The facility is expected to begin serving customers by the end of 2024.
Path toward net‐zero carbon electricity: 80% carbon reduction by 2030
MGE has a goal to reduce carbon emissions at least 80% 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. These projects are expected to increase MGE's owned renewable capacity by more than nine times when completed.
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 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 159,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 169,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE's parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company's roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.