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Wisconsin’s 20-MW solar project

Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) applied to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for permission to construct a 20-MW solar array near Fitchburg, Wisconsin. The O’Brien Solar Fields project, known as MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider, would deliver locally generated solar energy to local companies, municipalities, and public institutions (RER).

Through RER agreements, the array power the city of Fitchburg, the Wisconsin Department of Administration, and several enterprises. Moreover, RERs allowed MGE to collaborate with a major energy consumer to develop a renewable energy solution to fulfill that customer’s energy demands. RER customers are liable for the expenses that connect with the renewable generation facility as well as any distribution charges to distribute electricity to the consumer.

The O’Brien Solar Fields of Wisconsin

The O’Brien Solar Fields are located near Fitchburg at the intersection of Lacy Road and South Seminole Highway. Moreover, the solar complex covers roughly 160 acres and is made up of around 60,000 bifacial solar panels, which generate electricity from both sides of the panels as they track the sun from east to west through the day. MGE owns the solar arrays, while the property is leased from the O’Brien’s.

About MGE of Wisconsin

MGE produces and distributes electricity to 157,000 consumers in Dane County, Wisconsin, and acquires and distributes natural gas to 166,000 consumers in seven counties in south-central and western Wisconsin. MGE Energy, Inc. is the business that owns MGE. The firm has more than 150 years of history in Madison.

Renewable Energy Rider

Customers that are taking part have signed RER contracts with MGE. RERs allow MGE to collaborate with a major energy consumer. This was with the intension of adapting to a renewable energy solution to that customer’s specific energy requirements. Customers that use the RER are liable for the expenses connected with the renewable generation facility, as any distribution fees incurred in delivering electricity to the consumer. It require regulatory permission for RER agreements. In our community, the unique approach promotes the production of sustainable energy.

What is the Koshkonong Solar project?

As MGE focuses on a potential 300 MW solar project with a 165 MW battery. The 20 MW O’Brien Solar Fields are assisting local governments and companies in meeting their renewable energy targets.

While O’Brien is the largest project in Dane County. Moreover, it is one of the largest finished solar projects in the state. Wisconsin officials are presently examining a request to create a 300 MW project on 2,400 acres spread across the surrounding communities of Christiana and Deerfield. The Koshkonong Solar project would incorporate a 165 MW battery energy storage system.

Invenergy will be developing the project. Madison Gas and Electric and WEC Energy Group are negotiating a $649 million purchase price for the project. However, they built the project as the deal completed. WEC will control 90% of the project and MGE will own 10%. Moreover, if permitted, construction would begin in 2022, with commercial operations beginning in 2024.

The facility is projected to help Fitchburg satisfy 40% of its operating electricity demand with solar energy. That would significantly surpass the city’s target of getting 25% solar powered by 2025. Furthermore, one of the enterprises’ capacity acquisition will allow it to satisfy 100% of its energy needs using solar.


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