MGE’s Clean Power Partners Program is a Catalyst for Renewable Energy Growth in the Madison Area

Clean Power Partners Program

Madison Gas and Electric Company’s (MGE) Clean Power Partners program has been a catalyst for renewable energy growth in the area. Since its launch in 2008, MGE’s green power program has expanded to 152 million kilowatts, the second highest participation rate among investor-owned utilities nationwide. The program’s success has been attributed to its innovative approach to renewable energy development, incorporating both voluntary and mandatory purchases of renewable electricity.

This renewable energy purchase program encourages businesses, organizations, and individuals to invest in green energy and promotes the adoption of clean energy technologies. Through the program, MGE provides financial incentives to companies that install solar, wind, and other renewable energy systems. These projects can be applied for through a competitive proposal process.

New York State’s Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) also provides support for the development of a clean energy future in the state. In addition to providing funding for innovative clean energy business models, the authority offers technical assistance to local governments. Specifically, NYSERDA supports the siting of large-scale renewable energy projects, including offshore wind farms. It also connects New Yorkers to electric vehicle resources, and funds projects that create jobs and build sustainable communities.

As part of its commitment to environmental justice, FirstLight Power plans to retire its Preston fossil fuel power generation facility. The company also announced two major clean energy transition initiatives, including a major battery storage project and a project to build a 17-megawatt, battery-hydropower system in the same location. Together, these initiatives will benefit the New England region.

Additionally, MGE’s green pricing program has the second highest participation rate of all investor-owned utilities in the country. With this participation rate, MGE has been able to carve out more space for solar production. Moreover, the program has achieved a significant reduction in its price premium, making the program more accessible to participants.

One key factor that drives the participation rate of programs like the Clean Power Partners Program is its premium price. Research conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that the median premium price in the United States is roughly a penny per kWh. For programs with higher premiums, the participation rates are considerably lower. If MGE’s participation rate were to fall below its current level, the company might need to curtail the Clean Power Partners program or raise the premium in order to maintain the program’s popularity. However, MG&E’s participation rate is already exceeding its initial expectations.

MGE’s Clean Power Partners program is a good example of a renewable energy initiative that has contributed to a more vibrant solar market in Madison. Through its voluntary purchase of renewable electricity, the company has helped stimulate the local solar market and educated employees on the benefits of solar technology. By increasing the program’s participation, MGE has been able to drive down its price premium to a penny.

As the clean energy industry continues to grow, it is important to take advantage of the incentives that are available to help expand the industry. In addition to financing projects, incentives are also available for energy efficient construction and other activities that can lead to cleaner air.