Madison College Installs Largest Rooftop Solar Array in WI

Madison Area Technical College is nearing completion of its 1.85 megawatt solar system installation of 5,700 solar panels on the roof of the Madison Truax Campus. This will become the largest rooftop installation in the state, surpassing Ikea’s 1.64 MW system on two roofs completed May, 2018 (see EnergyOnWI April News). The project engaged Wisconsin employers, including solar developer SunVest, electrical contractor Pieper Power, and roofing contractor Roofed Right America. The electrical foreman is a Madison College alumnus and several current electrical apprentice students are on his crew!

In addition to the solar system, 200,000 square feet of membrane roof plus 25,000 square feet of standing seam metal roof were replaced, and a new ADA accessible doorway and ramp to provide easy roof access were installed. Students and instructors will use the system in courses taught for the Renewable Energy Certificate Program, and the system will be made available for public tours and open house events, too.

Madison College invested over $4 million in the project, $500,000 of which was a grant provided by Madison Gas and Electric. On a sunny day with clear skies, the system will provide all of school’s electricity.  Over the course of the year, the system is expected to meet about 20% of the college’s electrical load, producing over 2.3 million kilowatt-hours and saving about $200,000 in electricity costs annually.

At the time of this article, 95 percent of the panels are in place. The college plans to commission the system before the end of the year, and an official ribbon cutting is scheduled for January 16, 2019.  A time lapse of the installation can be viewed on YouTube.