Shared Solar Powers Up

Anyone can monitor the output of our new Shared Solar pilot project in Middleton.

MGE's Shared Solar pilot project began generating locally based solar energy in January. The more than 1,700 solar panels sit on the roof of the City of Middleton's Municipal Operations Center. MGE and the City partnered to make the one-of-a-kind clean energy project possible.

With the array operational, anyone can go online at mge.com to monitor its output. The amount of electricity produced will vary since the amount of sunshine varies with the weather and the seasons. The large building is well oriented for solar, which allows the panels to absorb sunshine efficiently.

Electricity output is measured in kilowatts (kW) and kilowatt-hours (kWh). It's expected the array will generate about 740,000 kWh of electricity, which is enough to power about 100 homes. The panels will produce the most energy in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky and the days are longer.

"You can really see when the sun is coming up and the sun is coming down, and the peak is kind of sharp because the prime generating time in winter is going to be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you know, but as we get into summer, that peak is going to spread out," Dan Clausen, an MGE engineer who worked on the project, said.

Hear more from Dan in this brief video.

Customers who opted to participate can get up to half of their annual electric needs through the program. The energy provided to our community grid by the 500-kW solar array offsets the use of fossil fuels by the subscribing households. Hear from some MGE Shared Solar subscribers by watching a short video from our community celebration with the City of Middleton in January.

Join the waiting list

The program is sold out; however, MGE residential electric customers who are interested may sign up to be placed on our waiting list. Our waiting list helps us better understand customer interest in possible future projects. To sign up, visit mge.com/sharedsolar.

MGE's Shared Solar is one step toward our renewable energy and carbon reduction goals under Energy 2030. By 2030, MGE plans to supply 30% of our electric sales with renewable energy. We have an interim goal of 25% by 2025. We also plan to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions 40% from 2005 levels by 2030. Learn more about our energy future in this brief video with our President and CEO.

published: 03-16-2017