Madison’s Huge Leap Toward 100% Renewable Energy

In moving toward its 100% renewable energy goal for city operations, the City of Madison has decided to finance 14 MW of new solar on five sites in west and southwest Wisconsin. Sites include Argyle, Cumberland, Elroy, Fennimore, and New Lisbon, four of which are in the Columbia coal power plant area that services Madison as well (thus, will offset coal emissions). Madison’s purchase up front of 25 years of RECs from the 5 arrays will enable the projects to be built.

This investment in solar that will be under construction in 2019 will catalyze approximately $20 Million in investment in rural Wisconsin, establish 70 acres of pollinator habitat, and create electricity for 2,500 households. It will offset 37 percent of Madison’s annual municipal electric use in comparison to the 1 percent offset from the 20 solar installations on city buildings. These five projects were identified as part of Organic Valley’s 100 percent renewable energy initiative, but the RECs from these projects were not needed in order to reach their goal.