MGE’s largest wind farm advances Energy 2030 goals
MADISON, Wis.: Madison Gas and Electric’s (MGE) 66-megawatt Saratoga Wind Farm is fully operational and delivering sustainable, carbon-free energy to the electric grid. MGE and Vestas – the company that built the turbines – have completed testing of the turbines and electrical systems, and the wind farm is fully online.
“Saratoga is serving MGE customers with cost-effective, clean electricity while adding new, more efficient wind technology to our energy supply mix,” Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler said. “MGE remains committed to driving carbon out of our energy supply mix and to reaching our carbon reduction goals. Saratoga – and our other proposed renewable energy projects – are steps in our ongoing transition toward a more sustainable energy future.”
Consisting of 33 wind turbines, the Saratoga Wind Farm is located about 200 miles west of Madison near Saratoga in Howard County, Iowa. This site was chosen for its strong winds and proximity to existing transmission infrastructure.
Saratoga’s turbines reach nearly 500 feet high, which makes them more efficient. Their height allows them to take advantage of greater wind speeds and produce more energy per turbine. Saratoga is capable of generating enough emissions-free energy to power approximately 47,000 households. Visit MGE’s renewable energy channel, Green View, for a look inside one of Saratoga’s wind turbines.
Deep decarbonization: 80% by 2050
Under its Energy 2030 framework, MGE has pledged to supply 30% of electric sales with renewable resources by 2030. MGE also is on a trajectory to reduce carbon emissions at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2030. This is consistent with the U.S. emissions targets for the 2030 timeframe established under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Beyond 2030, MGE is targeting at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. This also is an internationally recognized benchmark.
“We have said since establishing these goals that if we can go further faster by working with our customers, we will,” Keebler said.
MGE continues to actively evaluate other potential wind and solar generation sites as part of its ongoing transition toward greater use of renewable resources. The company is seeking regulatory approval to add 100 megawatts of solar energy to its energy mix. To reach its carbon reduction goals, MGE is pursuing the following key strategies:
- Reducing carbon intensity in electricity generation through the addition of cost-effective renewable resources.
- Electrifying the transportation sector by growing the use of electric vehicles and facilitating charging.
- Working with stakeholders to increase energy efficiency.
To learn more about how MGE is pursuing these key strategies, visit energy2030together.com.
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 153,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 161,000 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.