Madison G&E brings 20 MW of solar to Wisconsin, joins bid to own state’s largest project


Madison Gas and Electric finished work on a 20 MW solar installation in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, just south of Madison.

Named the O’Brien Solar Fields, the project has contracts with the state of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the city of Fitchburg and local businesses all of which are set to buy a portion of the generation capacity for roughly 6 to 7 cents per kWh.

The project is expected to help Fitchburg meet 40% of its operational electricity needs through solar. That would easily pass the city’s goal of becoming 25% solar-powered by 2025. In addition, the capacity purchased by one of the businesses will allow it to meet 100% of its energy usage with solar.

While O’Brien currently stands as the largest project in Dane County and among the largest completed solar installations in the state, Wisconsin regulators are now evaluating a proposal to build a 300 MW project on 2,400 acres spread across the nearby towns of Christiana and Deerfield. This project, Koshkonong Solar, would include a 165 MW battery energy storage system. This would be the largest such system known to pv magazine in Wisconsin and among the largest in the country.

The Koshkonong project would be developed by Invenergy. Madison Gas and Electric and WEC Energy Group are seeking to buy the project for $649 million. If the sale goes through and the project is built, WEC would own 90% and MGE the other 10%. And, if approved, the project would begin construction in 2022 and achieve commercial operation in 2024.

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