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2019.6.6

Madison-backed rural solar energy projects to begin operations


A solar panel installation in Cashton at Organic Valley’s Campus. In mid-June, the first of five new rural solar energy projects getting financial support from the city of Madison will begin operations in Argyle. Dan Barron, Organic Valley

Dan Barron, Organic Valley

The first of five new rural solar energy projects getting financial support from the city of Madison will begin operations in Argyle by mid-June, city officials said Wednesday.

The city, in partnership with BluEarth Renewables and OneEnergy Renewables, is investing $1.4 million to support the five new solar array projects, which will cost a total $18 million and increase in-state solar capacity by 15 percent, the Engineering Division said in a statement.

The additional four solar projects will be installed in Cumberland, Elroy, Fennimore and New Lisbon this summer.

All told, the five projects will add 40,000 solar panels to the region and produce enough electricity to power 2,500 average households, the Engineering Division said. Also, the projects have been designed to establish more than 50 acres of pollinator-friendly habitat, which will be planted beneath the solar arrays.

The city’s investment supports its renewable energy goals, included in the “100% Renewable Madison Report.” In March, the City Council approved a resolution that calls upon the city to use 100% renewable energy for all city operations by 2030, and for the entire Madison community by 2050. The five solar projects advance the city’s progress toward those goals, the statement says.

OneEnergy Renewables designed and developed the five solar projects and BluEarth Renewables acquired all five projects in December 2018. BlueEarth began construction of the projects in January and will own and operate the projects over their expected 25-year life.

This post by Dean Mosiman originally published in Wisconsin State Journal.


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