Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

Leading By Example

Dane County is committed to leading by example in its own operations. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has set multiple ambitious energy and emissions goals associated with Dane County operations. Specifically:

  • All electricity for Dane County operations from renewable energy sources by 2025. Dane County will achieve this goal in early 2023. Projects that contribute to this goal include:
    • Yahara Solar partnership with Alliant Energy
    • Dane County Regional Airport Solar partnership with MGE 
    • Solar on Dane County facilities
  • Dane County's facility, fleet and land operations will be carbon neutral by 2030.  Projects that contribute to this goal include:
    • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) facility at the Dane County Landfill
    • Transition of Dane County Highway fleet to RNG vehicles as well as efforts to transition other parts of the County's fleet to clean fuel alternatives, including electric vehicles
    • Comprehensive Energy Assessment of Dane County facilities and various energy efficiency / electrification projects
    • Achieving 100% clean electricity - which reduced the County's emissions by more than 60%
  • Increase Dane County's climate resilience to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to increasingly hazardous events related to climate change, such as flooding, heat events, and extreme weather. Examples include:
    • The Land & Water Resources Department implements science-based strategies to increase the county's climate resilience and to maximize the carbon stored on agricultural lands through ecological restoration, emission reduction, flood resilience, sustainable agriculture. Learn more about more Land and Water Resource Department's climate-related initiatives, projects, and programs, including how they are tracking progress.
    • Building climate resilience through tree canopy. Trees confer a host of physical and mental benefits for residents along with their potential for carbon sequestration. In response this need, we are part of the Tree Canopy Collaborative, whose mission is to maintain, protect, and expand tree canopy across Dane County where ecologically appropriate, with an emphasis on underserved areas.
    • Preparing a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan, updated in 2022, addresses the threat of natural hazards both in light of the region’s changing climate and community diversity, and centers on how to minimize future losses resulting from natural hazards.

Learn more below about our recent work to meet these sustainability goals.

Joe Parisi in agricultural field

Yahara Solar

The Yahara Solar project will convert 90 acres of county-owned land in the Town of Cottage Grove into a large-scale solar field. This solar project is Dane County’s largest yet and will bring the county to its goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. 


Dane County Regional Airport Solar

One of the largest solar projects in Wisconsin is located on 58 acres at the Dane County Regional Airport. These panels generate enough electricty to power 40% of all county-owned facilities.

Solar panels

Other Dane County Solar

Did you know that Dane County is a leader in Wisconsin when it comes to publicly-owned solar installations? These projects provide clean energy jobs while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

RNF facility

Dane County Landfill Renewable Natural Gas

The Dane County RNG facility converts landfill biogas to renewable natural gas (RNG). The first of its kind in the nation, this facility is projected to generate enough revenue from the facility to payback the cost of the project in just a few years.



Stock image of a chart

Comprehensive Energy Assessment

The Office of Energy & Climate Change is leading a Comprehensive Energy Assessment of Dane County government facilities. The assessment will identify energy efficiency, renewable energy, electrification, and water conservation opportunities in Dane County facilities, supporting County Executive Parisi’s goal that all county facilities and fleet be carbon neutral by 2030.