Wisc.’s largest rooftop solar energy installation goes online

January 23, 2019

Madison College marked the completion of Wisconsin’s largest rooftop solar energy installation today in a ceremony attended by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Madison Gas and Electric Co. Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler, renewable energy industry representatives and local dignitaries.

In the gubernatorial proclamation read by Barnes, Gov. Tony Evers declared Jan. 16 “Madison College Solar Energy Day.”

“Today, Madison College affirms our long-standing commitment to preserving our natural resources, applying innovative thinking to meet employer demand for workers in an ever-growing industry and harnessing a renewable source of energy for the good of the whole and the benefit of future generations,” said Dr. Jack E. Daniels, III, president of Madison College.

The solar array contains 5,700 solar panels and covers 125,000 square feet of the roof of the Truax Campus’ main building. On sunny days, the system will produce 100 percent of the building’s energy demand for up to three hours. It will save the campus more than $200,000 per year.

“This array will not only serve the College with clean power, but it will serve as a valuable educational tool for scores of students who will be able to interact with the system on-site, and that is incredibly exciting,” said Keebler.

MGE provided a $500,000 grant toward building the 1,400-kW solar photovoltaic system. Madison College covered the remaining $2.5 million cost from capital budget funds.

The installation will save energy and reduce airborne emissions for local residents. In addition to cost savings, the PV system will provide a hands-on laboratory for Madison College students studying renewable energy and related fields such as Architecture, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Maintenance and Construction and Apprenticeship programs.

The installation includes monitoring technology to provide output data for analysis by students and the public.

For more information about the Renewable Energy program at Madison College visit https://madisoncollege.edu/program/renewable-energy.

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Madison College serves nearly 34,000 students throughout a 12-county district in south-central Wisconsin, offering more than 180 diverse career programs, certificates and diplomas. Its mission is to provide open access to quality higher education that fosters lifelong learning and success in the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.madisoncollege.edu.