Wauwatosa a step closer to reaching net-zero carbon goals

Arch Electric has completed about 10 weeks of construction and installation of a new solar panel system for the city of Wauwatosa. 

The project is atop the building that houses the city hall, civic center and public library. The city estimates the power generated by the solar panels will reduce the city’s energy costs by about $40,000 annually. 

This project is an expansion of Wauwatosa’s commitment to renewable energy. In 2019, the Department of Public Works successfully installed solar panels on a city garage, reducing that building’s annual electricity consumption by 96 percent.

The new installation, designed and installed by Arch, will continue to provide savings and help Wauwatosa toward its goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

“The decision to expand solar in Wauwatosa was an easy one, and we’re increasing our use of renewable energy while protecting taxpayers,” said Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride. “The city is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and generating at least 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.”

The system in Wauwatosa consists of 1,036 375-watt solar panels. Use of the system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 383 tons, which is the equivalent of 39,074 miles of gas

being consumed. It will generate enough electricity to power 63 homes for one year.

Future projects include solar panels at the police station, a high efficiency chiller, geothermal energy projects and performing energy audits to identify more opportunities, a city spokeswoman told WisBusiness.com.

“Solar energy is environmentally practical and more cost-effective than ever, and the city of Wauwatosa will long benefit from this important project,” said Arch Electric President Ed Zinthefer. “Arch Electric has already worked with a dozen municipalities on their clean energy needs, and we encourage local governments across the state to consider the environmental and cost benefits of investing in this clean, reliable form of renewable energy.”

Wauwatosa has an agreement with WE Energies. Any energy produced greater than the city’s monthly consumption is purchased by the utility for a fraction of the rate they charge to supply.

The public will soon be able to see a dashboard of the solar panel performance on this webpage: https://www.wauwatosa.net/discover-tosa/sustainability 

-By Stephanie Hoff