Seal of Dane County County of Dane
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Solar panels

2019 County Budget & Initiatives: Climate Change/Green Energy

In 2019, we are excited to be making huge bounds in our efforts to improve renewable energy use and reduce our impact on climate change in Dane County. Our initiatives are as follows:

Wind & Solar Development

Our County government is set to invest dollars needed to spur wind and solar developments in our county and region. Partnering with Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E) and Joule Energy, we are acquiring renewable energy credits (RECs) to make these projects a reality and offset county government’s total electricity consumption.

Soon, we will help generate more renewable energy than all of county government uses on an annual basis – Dane County is on the path to being 100% sustainable, powered entirely by clean, green power.

Airport Solar Panel Field

Coinciding with introduction of the budget, I’m announcing a partnership with MG&E to develop 41 acres at the airport into a 20,000-panel solar field to power more than one quarter of the county’s total energy usage.

When completed, this will be the third largest solar project in the state of Wisconsin. MG&E will lease land from the Dane County Regional Airport to develop the project generating 8 megawatts of renewable power. Once final approvals are received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), construction on the project is expected to begin in the coming year.

Land between the solar panels will double as a pollinator friendly habitat, supporting dwindling monarch butterfly and honey bee populations. The project will increase local clean energy jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and lower energy bills.

Clean, Green Park

I’m including $435,000 in this budget for our first “Clean, Green Park” that includes enough solar to power the Lussier Family Heritage Center. When complete, this project will include an interactive, educational display of the benefits of solar power that demonstrates in real time how power from the sun is running this popular community facility. This budget incorporates our love for green spaces and fun family recreation with our green values: clean water, clean air, renewable energy.