20 Years of Wind Energy

(Above) Rosiere wind farm under construction. (Below) Rosiere wind farm completed.

(Above) Rosiere wind farm under construction. (Below) Rosiere wind farm completed.

MGE’s first wind farm continues to serve.

MGE's Rosiere Wind Farm—our first wind farm—hits a major milestone this year. It turns 20 years old.

When MGE built the 11-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Kewaunee County, Wis., it was the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi River. MGE relied on local landowners who were willing to lease their property to the company to move forward the project.

“It was quite an undertaking,” recalls Steve Pitts, MGE manager of construction engineering. “Everything was so new—both for us and the property owners who agreed to let us put wind turbines on their land—that it was like we were all pioneers in a new renewable energy world. By working together, we were able to establish something historic that laid the foundation for our clean energy projects that followed.”

Farm with wind turbinesToday, Rosiere continues to serve MGE customers with clean energy. Wind turbines typically have a 20-to-30-year lifespan. MGE has extended its lease agreements with the property owners for 10 years, enabling Rosiere's 17 turbines to continue to generate power for another decade. 

In addition, since it was built, Rosiere has served as an outdoor classroom of sorts. MGE's community education manager has hosted tours of the wind farm for nearly 5,000 local schoolchildren. Watch a video from one of those visits.

Growing our use of clean energy

MGE continues to grow our use of clean energy. In February 2019, MGE's newest—and largest—wind farm came fully online. Our 66-MW Saratoga wind farm, recently built in northeast Iowa, serves about 47,000 households.

MGE's 66-megawatt Saratoga wind farm in northeast Iowa.

MGE's 66-megawatt Saratoga wind farm in northeast Iowa.
In 2018, MGE also purchased a share of the Forward Energy Center wind farm near Fond du Lac, Wis. Combined, the Saratoga wind farm and Forward Energy Center grow MGE-owned wind resources by more than 200%.

MGE also is partnering to build two solar farms with another Wisconsin utility. If the projects are approved, construction will begin this year, adding 100 MW of solar energy by the end of 2020. 

MGE is committed to building upon our history of advancing clean energy. We're working toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2030, and at least 80% by 2050. And, if we can go further faster by working together with our customers, we will.

To learn more about MGE’s commitment to clean energy, visit www.energy2030together.com/cleaner-energy.

published: Feb-26-2019