Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), along with We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to purchase solar energy and battery storage from the Darien Solar Energy Center. If approved, MGE will own 25 megawatts of solar energy and 7.5 megawatts of battery storage from the 250-megawatts solar park to be built in the Town of Bradford in Rock County and the Town of Darien in Walworth County.
“The Darien Solar Energy Center is another step in MGE’s ongoing transition to greater use of cleaner energy sources and carbon reductions of at least 65% by 2030 and our goal of net-zero carbon by 2050,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. “Further investment in cost-effective, clean energy and battery storage technology will allow us to continue reliably serving our customers as we work together to meet our carbon reduction goals. We have said since introducing our clean energy and carbon reduction goals—if we can go further faster, we will.”
The Darien Solar Energy Center will help MGE to meet future energy and capacity needs cost-effectively. The company continues its ongoing transition away from coal-fired electricity with the planned retirement of the Columbia Energy Center in Portage by the end of 2024. The project, if approved, is part of more than 230 megawatts of new solar capacity announced since MGE introduced its Energy 2030 framework for a more sustainable future in November 2015.
Invenergy LLC filed an application to develop and construct the project with the PSCW in July 2020. The 2,000-acre project is expected to feature up to 850,000 solar panels. We Energies and WPS will own the remaining 225 megawatts of the output and 67.5 megawatts of battery storage from the project.
Construction on Darien Solar Energy Center expected to begin in late 2021, and begin serving customers by the end of 2023, if approved. MGE’s share of the Darien Solar Energy Center will power about 7,500 households.
— Solar Builder magazine