Mayor Unveils New Solar Electric Installation at Alicia Ashman Library

October 22, 2008

U.S. DOE Helps Madison Expand Solar Efforts

Madison - Mayor Dave Cieslewicz unveiled the newest of Madison's solar electric installations today, and thanked the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its support of the City's continuing solar efforts. The new installation at Alicia Ashman Library is one of 11 city-owned solar hot water systems and four solar electric systems.

"Solar energy is a clean and renewable power source that holds great potential for reducing our energy costs and reducing our contribution to global warming," Cieslewicz said. "I'm proud of our efforts to help homeowners and businesses break down the barriers to taking advantage of the many benefits that solar energy can provide."

The system on the Alicia Ashman library will produce 8,700 kWh annually. This system is specially targeted towards education and promotion of solar systems.

The new installation comes partly as a result of the DOE's Solar America Cities program. Madison is one of 25 cities being recognized by the DOE as partners highly committed to solar technology adoption at the local level.

"The Solar America City partnerships are helping our nation address two of the most pressing challenges we face: Improving our energy security and combating global climate change," Tom Kimbis, Director of Market Transformation for the DOE's Solar Program said.

Madison has received $450,000 in federal assistance from the DOE as part of Solar America Cities. The program aims to support cities' efforts with financial and technical assistance in order to take a comprehensive, city-wide approach to solar technology.

With DOE assistance, the City launched the MadiSUN Solar Energy Program in 2007 to promote solar for homes and businesses in Madison. The solar program's goal is to double the number of solar electric and solar hot water installations in the City by 2011 by providing residents and businesses with free consultation with a "solar agent."

The MadiSUN solar agent provides technical expertise and answers questions regarding design, permitting and rebate programs for solar. MadiSUN also provides technical assistance to solar contractors and installers in the city.

"Solar is booming in Madison and across Wisconsin. Focus on Energy is proud to be able to participate in the MadiSUN Solar Cities program by providing technical assistance and cost sharing for this project and many others like it. The adoption of solar in public spaces, like the Alicia Ashman library, is a great opportunity to showcase how solar can provide dependable, environmentally benign and stainable energy to hundreds of people every day," Don Wichert, Director of Renewable Energy Programs for the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation said.

MG&E is also a partner in this initiative, helping to educate customers and the broader community about solar energy and to improve system affordability through its Clean Power Partners program.

"MGE is pleased to partner with the City in the Alicia Ashman solar project. Through our Clean Power Partners program, we are proud to be increasing the installation of renewable, photovoltaic systems throughout our community," MGE CEO Gary Wolter said.

Contact:
  • Rachel Strauch-Nelson, (608) 266-4611