Madison College will add $1.8 million to a grant from Madison Gas and Electric to build a 1,400-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system on top of the main Truax Campus building. The system, which will be visible and accessible to students, will serve as a demonstration of new, clean energy technology at work in our community and could save the campus more than $200,000 per year in electricity costs.

“Once installed, our system will be the largest rooftop PV system in Wisconsin,” said Ken Walz, chemistry and engineering instructor and director of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education. “On a sunny day, the system will reduce the college’s peak electric load by about 50 percent. Averaged over an entire year, it will offset about 10-to-15 percent of the college’s total electric consumption.”

MGE and the college expect to announce the selection of a solar developer in August. System design and acquisition of equipment will follow. The college plans to involve students in the installation beginning in summer 2018. It should be completed in a few months.

“We know clean energy is important to our community,” Walz added. “Thanks to the work of many people, including our students, faculty and MGE, we have bold plans for clean energy for our campus.”

Madison College is one of three colleges behind the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education. CREATE works to advance renewable energy education by supporting two-year college renewable energy programs. The college has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation to develop curriculum, create new educational programs and train faculty and students throughout the country in renewable energy.