City of Madison Reaches Major Solar Milestone

2 megawatt mayor and greenpower engineering group photo

The City of Madison is proud to announce that it has reached the significant milestone of 2 megawatts of installed and commissioned solar on its buildings and facilities.  This accomplishment creates momentum toward adding more solar installations across the community. 

The City held a press event to celebrate the 2 megawatt milestone on Earth Day, April 22, 2024, at its City of Madison Engineering Division Larry D. Nelson Operations Facility on 1600 Emil Street, Madison, Wis.  
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway shared about how important it is to continue the pace at which the City continues to add solar to as many buildings as it can. 
“This is a huge milestone for the City,” Rhodes-Conway said. “We are excited not only for reaching two megawatts of solar on our facilities, but for how quickly we have reached that goal. It took 13 years for us to reach our first megawatt, and now we have reached our second megawatt in just five years.”  

To date, the City has solar installed on 38 different City facilities. Solar is installed on a range of buildings from libraries, fire stations, police stations, parks buildings and public works operations buildings.

solar locationmap

View full solar location PDF map

“We have a grand total of 6,203 panels installed to date,” Rhodes-Conway said. “That is saving us over 1800 tons of carbon emissions each year. That’s the equivalent to the total energy usage of 237 homes annually. That’s equivalent to planting 30,000 trees.” 

Most of the installed solar on City buildings is installed by the City of Madison Engineering Division program called GreenPower. GreenPower started in 2016, with four staff members. The latest crew has thirteen staff members to keep pace with the City’s solar power goals.

solar progress bar graph

GreenPower former trainee and current City of Madison Electrician Trainee Brooke Peterson spoke at the event to share how the program changed her career trajectory. 

“After finishing a solar project, and flipping the switch, I often stop and think about the positive impacts these projects provide for our city and the personal gratification to be a part of building something so monumental and meaningful,” Peterson said.  

2 megawatt infographic

Future City of Madison Solar Goals 

The City of Madison is committed to solar energy for its local and global benefits.    

“Solar energy significantly cuts down on climate pollution. It is better for people’s health, it’s better for our environment, and it’s better for our City,” Rhodes-Conway. “Solar installations help us reach our climate goals of 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon in our operations by 2030, and community-wide by 2050. We are well on track for our 2030 goal, and need everyone’s help to get our 2050 goal.”  

City of Madison Engineering Division Deputy for Facilities Bryan Cooper spoke at the event, and he said the City is proud of reaching the 2 megawatt goal, but the City is not done yet. 

“The goal of this program is to install nearly 1 megawatt of solar per year through 2030,” Cooper said. “The most notable project this year in 2024, is a partnership with the federal Department of Energy to install over 400 kw solar power systems at the Community Development Authority Truax Apartment Complex. Once completed, it is anticipated that the solar power will reduce utility bills by 30-50 percent for lower-income tenants.”  

Time to Go Solar 

City of Madison Sustainability Program Coordinator Gregg May said there is no better time for City of Madison residents to go solar for businesses or homes. 

“With the Inflation Reduction Act, solar panels and other sustainability features are currently 30 percent off, thanks to rebates and tax incentives,” May said.  
May said residents should check out the City of Madison MadiSUN Program for options to go solar and learn more about the benefits of clean energy. MadiSUN has three specific programs tailored to different audiences: Group Buy for Homes, Solar for Business, Backyard Solar Grant for non-profits. 



Watch the full recording of the celebration.

MadiSun Program 

GreenPower Program:


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