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Madison ‘flips the switch’ on largest solar project in city history

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MADISON (WKOW) -- City of Madison officials flipped the power Tuesday on the most powerful solar project in the city's history.

The Engineering Division’s GreenPower program installed the 120 kilowatt solar project on Madison Metro Transit’s Bus Garage located at 1101 East Washington Ave. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said the project is helping the city take another step toward its goal of 100% renewable energy for city operations by 2030.

“Solar energy is a triple win for the community. It creates local jobs. It’s cost effective. It’s critical in achieving our climate goals and transitioning to clean energy sources,” Mayor Rhodes-Conway said. "Installing solar panels on our own facilities will help us meet that goal while growing our local talent pool in the solar industry, which is necessary to help the rest of the City meet that goal.”

The Metro roof project has 334 solar panels, one inverter and is expected to offset 98 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide each year.  

The Metro Bus Garage Solar Project is the thirteenth solar installation designed and installed by Engineering’s GreenPower program, which brings the City’s total to 743 kilowatt hours. In 2020, GreenPower will install a 28 kilowatt system at the Madison Municipal Building, and then install an additional 240 kilowatt system to push the City toward its 2020 goal of one megawatt of solar installed on City facilities.

GreenPower takes people with little to no electrical experience and helps them learn how to install solar in a six-to-nine month program. After the trainees complete the program, they are better prepared to go into a career in the solar industry, earn an electrician apprenticeship or a career with the City of Madison.

Joel Roltgen, of Focus on Energy, presented the Mayor with a $33,090.86 incentive check that will go toward future solar PV installations and energy efficiency improvements at City facilities.  

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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