MGE Energizes Largest Wind Farm in Eastern U.S.
KEWAUNEE COUNTY, WI. — July, 1999 — Madison Gas and Electric Co. (MGE) today began generating electricity from the largest wind power farm in the eastern United States. The $15-million project includes 17 turbines capable of supplying the annual electricity needs of 4,400 homes. MGE hosted an opening ceremony for more than 400 local residents, participating landowners and customers at the site in the town of Lincoln, Wisconsin.
"This project is the most significant commitment to renewable energy development in Wisconsin," said Greg Bollom, assistant vice president - Electric Marketing.
The project is financed by MGE customers who choose to receive part or all of their electricity requirements from wind power. An average residential electric customer choosing 20% of their power from wind energy will pay an additional $4 to $5 monthly on their bill. More than 4,200 MGE residential and business customers have signed up for the program since February.
Ave Bie, Chairwoman of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, attended the dedication. Bie said, "MGE has taken the lead in Wisconsin with this renewable energy project. The enthusiasm of the landowners and residents demonstrates MGE's commitment to informing citizens about alternative energy."
Kewaunee County was chosen for wind generation because of its relatively constant, high wind speeds. Electricity generated from the wind is fed to the electric grid which utilities use to supply their customers. Wind energy displaces electricity generated by power plants burning coal or natural gas.
Wind energy is a domestic, renewable source of power that causes no local pollution and has little environmental impact. The wind turbines can annually eliminate about 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 70 tons of acid rain gases which otherwise would be caused by coal-burning power plants. Most of the energy used in Wisconsin is generated with fuel purchased outside the state.
MGE is a public utility that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to 124,000 customers in Dane County. The company also transports and distributes natural gas to 110,000 customers in seven south central and western Wisconsin counties. MGE has served the Madison area since 1896.
MGE Contact - Steve Kraus (608) 252-7907