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The Madison Metropolitan School District and the City of Madison are partnering to purchase the energy from a seven-megawatt solar farm developed by Madison Gas & Electric.

On November 25th, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) Board of Education approved a long-term contract for solar energy with Madison Gas & Electric (MGE). This action comes shortly after the City of Madison agreed to a similar contract with MGE. Together the City and School District commitments will enable MGE to construct the Hermsdorf Solar Project in Fitchburg. This project will deliver seven megawatts of solar capacity to help meet the energy needs for City and MMSD operations – the equivalent electricity use of over 1,800 homes.

The local solar farm will provide multiple benefits to the Madison area by reducing carbon emissions, improving air quality, creating local jobs, and keeping the money from utility bills in the local economy. Both the City of Madison and MMSD pursued this project to help achieve their renewable energy goals and create these additional local benefits.

"The solar farm purchase gets us one step closer to achieving our renewable energy goals for the future, set in partnership with our students, staff, and board," states Madison Metropolitan School District Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore. MMSD has established goals to meet 50 percent of all District operations energy needs with renewable energy by 2030, 75 percent by 2035, and 100 percent by 2040. "We could not do this alone, so we thank the City of Madison for joining forces with us to mitigate climate change and benefit our students and community." This project will move an estimated 16% of MMSD’s traditional energy from MGE entirely over to solar-produced energy.

The City of Madison has a goal of 100% renewable energy in City operations by 2030. This project will increase renewable electricity use in City operations by nearly 20%.

“This is an important project to help reduce our carbon emissions and create local economic benefits,” states Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “The City has ambitious renewable energy goals, and we need far more than our own rooftops to achieve them. I am grateful for this opportunity to partner with the School District and Madison Gas & Electric to bring more solar energy to the Madison area.”

This project is part of MGE’s Renewable Energy Rider program, which allows MGE to dedicate renewable energy resources directly to individual customers through contract agreements. MGE expects to complete the project in 2021.