Milwaukee – For the first time in history, We Energies customers are powering their homes with energy from a local, large-scale solar project. The first panels from the innovative Solar Now project were put into service earlier this month; the energy they are producing is being fed into the We Energies energy grid to serve all customers.
The nearly 2,000 solar panels that were put into service are hosted on the roof of New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School.
We Energies and the School District of New Berlin (SDNB) partnered on the project that will produce more than 2 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy for all customers. The panels at Eisenhower are the first to produce energy; solar panels at the other SDNB locations are under construction and are expected to be placed into service by the end of the year.
“Solar Now is an important part of our effort to continue to create a cleaner energy future that is safe, reliable and affordable,” said Kevin Fletcher — president and CEO of WEC Energy Group, parent company of We Energies. “This milestone is the first of many to come as we bring more Solar Now and other solar projects online in the coming months and years.”
“I applaud We Energies for this innovative program and community partnership. I’m proud my district will be home to the first panels and look forward to seeing Solar Now shine in other communities across the state,” said Representative Mike Kuglitsch, chair of the Committee on Energy and Utilities.
While the SDNB project is the first to power up, numerous other Solar Now projects are in the works, including partnerships with the City of Racine, University of Wisconsin — Parkside, and Washington County. By the end of 2019, We Energies expects to have more than 5 MW of solar power feeding into the energy grid, enough to power more than 1,000 homes. Once complete the Solar Now program will create 35 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy that will benefit all We Energies customers.
Solar Now is a pilot program approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. We Energies has hired SunVest, a Wisconsin-based company, to be the general contractor for these projects.
Solar Now is part of the We Energies and WEC Energy Group plan to create a cleaner energy future. Working with industry partners, environmental groups and state leaders, WEC Energy Group has set a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050.