Madison, Wis., March 30, 2021—Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), in partnership with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), a subsidiary of WEC Energy Group, is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) to purchase part of the Red Barn Wind Farm. If approved, MGE will own 9.1 megawatts (MW) of the 92-MW wind farm to be built in the Towns of Wingville and Clifton in Grant County.
“We are doing everything we can today to lower carbon emissions as quickly and as cost-effectively as we can. The Red Barn Wind Farm is another opportunity for MGE to invest further in cost-effective, clean energy as we move toward carbon reductions of at least 65% by 2030 and our goal of net-zero carbon by 2050,” said Jeff Keebler, MGE Chairman, President and CEO. “We have said since announcing our goals, if we can go further faster through partnerships with our customers and the evolution of new technologies, we will.”
The Red Barn Wind Farm will help MGE to meet future energy and capacity needs cost-effectively as the company continues its ongoing transition away from coal-fired electricity with the planned retirement of the Columbia Energy Center in Portage by the end of 2024. The project, if approved, is part of more than 300 MW of new renewable generation capacity announced since MGE introduced its Energy 2030 framework for a more sustainable future in November 2015.
Red Barn Wind Farm
If approved, the Red Barn Wind Farm will be developed by PRC Wind and constructed by ALLETE Clean Energy. The approximately 12,000-acre project will feature 28 turbines. WPS will own the remaining 82.5 MW.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022, if approved. The Red Barn Wind Farm is expected to begin serving customers by the end of 2022. MGE’s share of the Red Barn Wind Farm will power about 4,000 households.
MGE’s net‐zero carbon electricity goal
In May 2019, MGE announced its goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050, making it one of the first utilities in the nation to commit to net-zero carbon by mid-century. MGE’s net-zero goal is consistent with the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) October 2018 Special Report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
To achieve deep decarbonization, MGE is growing its use of renewable energy, engaging customers around energy efficiency and working to electrify transportation, all of which are key strategies identified by the IPCC.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 157,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 166,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE’s parent company is MGE Energy, Inc. The company’s roots in the Madison area date back more than 150 years.