W

isconsin has powered up its most ambitious solar project yet. The Badger Hollow Solar Farm, a pioneering 300-megawatt (MW) facility, has just hit full operational capacity, making it the largest of its kind in the state's history.

Renowned more for cheese than sunshine, Wisconsin isn't the first name that springs to mind when thinking about solar. Ranked 25th in the U.S. for solar use, the state is now making significant strides. The completion of Badger Hollow, run by Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and We Energies, is a testament to Wisconsin's untapped solar potential.

This impressive 300-MW solar farm has been rolled out in two phases. The first 150-MW phase was up and running by December 2021, and the second phase started supplying power to the state last month. This facility is not just a technological marvel but also a source of clean energy for around 90,000 households.

What sets this project apart is its innovative design. The farm is equipped with 830,000 solar panels that track the sun’s movement throughout the day, maximizing efficiency. Additionally, these panels can capture solar energy on both sides, a feature particularly effective during winter months when the snow reflects sunlight.

Jeff Keebler, MGE's Chairman, President, and CEO, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, stating, "The completion of Badger Hollow is another step in our ongoing transition to greater use of cost-effective, carbon-free, renewable energy to serve all MGE electric customers. By 2030, we expect every MGE electric customer will have 80% fewer carbon emissions from their electricity use simply by being an MGE customer as we work toward our goal of net-zero carbon electricity."

In terms of ownership, We Energies and MGE jointly own the second phase of the Badger Hollow Solar Farm. We Energies holds 100 MW, and MGE owns 50 MW of this phase. The first phase is similarly split, with Wisconsin Public Service, a sister company of We Energies, owning 100 MW, and the remaining 50 MW under MGE's ownership.

Sources:

https://www.mge.com/newsroom/news-releases/

Posted 
Jan 16, 2024
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