Madison Gas & Electrics’ (MGE) first renewable energy rider (RER) was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in July. The RER is a partnership that allows businesses to buy renewable energy from their utility to power some or all of their facilities. The City of Middleton and the Middleton-Cross Plains School District negotiated an RER to obtain 1.5 MW of electricity from the 5 MW community solar garden MGE will build this winter with developer OneEnergy Renewables on Middleton Airport’s Maurey Field.
The 500 MW purchased by the city, along with 3 new solar systems to be installed on Middleton City buildings, will provide 50 percent of city operations electricity use from renewables by 2020. The RER enables Middleton to surpass their 25 x ’25 goal and move more significantly toward their 100 percent renewable electricity goal by 2035 for City operations. The school district will purchase 20 percent of the solar garden, or 1 MW of power, and contribute to the community-wide goal of 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040.
The RER is an approach used in states with regulated utilities to be able to attract the growing number of large companies that will locate only where they can receive 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources in keeping with their climate and energy goals. These include companies in the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance