Growing Our Use of Clean Energy
MGE sets new goal of 80% carbon reduction by 2030 as it works toward net-zero carbon by mid-century.
You may have heard about MGE's goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. One of our key strategies for getting there is working with our customers to add more renewable energy to meet your energy needs. We've already reduced carbon emissions 30%, and we're on our way to achieving carbon reductions of at least 80% by 2030.
We've said since introducing our carbon reduction goals, if we can go further faster, we will! So, where is the cost-effective renewable energy that serves MGE customers generated? It's produced at wind and solar sites in Dane County, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Local Solar Arrays
MGE recently built the 8-megawatt (MW) Hermsdorf Solar Fields, which is one of four new MGE solar arrays in Dane County. These arrays serve large customers as well as those who subscribe to our community solar program, Shared Solar.
In addition to arrays in Dane County, MGE also is served by larger solar projects in Wisconsin. The first phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm, in Iowa County, came online in 2021 to serve all MGE customers with 50 MWs. MGE's 50-MW share is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 16,500 households. MGE is purchasing another 50 MW from Badger Hollow to serve our customers. MGE also is served by the first large-scale solar facility in state history, Two Creeks Solar, in Manitowoc County. The 150-MW array came online in November 2020. MGE owns 50 MWs.
Wisconsin and Iowa Wind Farms
Several wind farms serve our community, including our newest and largest 66-MW wind farm near Saratoga, Iowa. Earlier this year, we received regulatory approval to purchase a share of the 92-MW Red Barn Wind Farm, which is expected to be built this year in Grant County.
80% Carbon Reduction by 2030
By increasing our 2030 carbon reduction goal to at least 80%, MGE is again demonstrating our ongoing and consistent leadership in the fight against climate change.
In 2015, MGE was one of the first utilities in the country to set a 2030 carbon reduction goal. Our goal to reduce carbon emissions 40% by 2030 was, at the time, one of the most aggressive in the nation and consistent with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
In 2019, MGE aligned its decarbonization goals with the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its October 2018 Special Report when we announced our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050 and increased our 2030 goal to be at least a 65% reduction in carbon. And now, by committing to at least 80% carbon reduction by 2030, MGE is one of a handful of utilities in the nation with this aggressive goal.
MGE continues to grow its use of renewable energy with the anticipated addition of nearly 400 MW of wind, solar and battery storage between 2015 and 2024. MGE continues to evaluate other potential wind and solar sites as part of this ongoing transition. These clean energy investments will replace a majority of the capacity needed due to the early retirement of the Columbia Energy Center, a coal-fired plant that is expected to be retired by 2025. MGE is a minority owner of Columbia.