Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change
Utility solar panel field

Solar in Dane County

Solar Goals

In 2017 Dane County set a goal to get 100% of the electricity for its internal operations from renewable sources by 2025. In 2023 the County annouced that it had achieved that goal, with Dane County becaming the first county government in Wisconsin to have 100% renewable offset electricity for its operations. 

Dane County aims to cut countywide emissions in half by 2030. As part of that effort, we aim to meet at least one-third of countywide electric needs with renewable electricity by 2030.

Dane County aims to become a SolSmart-designated community by implementing best practices to make it easier for residents and businesses to install and access solar energy. SolSmart is a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that has helped hundreds of local governments become “open for solar business.” Learn more about the program here.

Dane County government, local governments, local businesses, and residents have made investments in cost-effective job-creating clean energy and land conservation projects. You can learn more about these projects on our clean energy map.


Dane County’s Solar Commitment

Our SolSmart Commitment

Dane County is committed to exceptional customer service related to the solar process. To promote the continued advancement of solar in our community, we are committed to these overarching goals:

  • Support Municipalities leading by example: Expanding municipal participation in SolSmart across Dane County by at least doubling the number of municipalities that are designated SolSmart Communities.
  • Coordinate with Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) to ensure equitable access to solar across Dane County.

Solar Innovation

To successfully complete the goals, the County will promote both large- and small-scale solar projects by:

  • Maximizing development of County building rooftops and appropriate County lands.
  • Exploring co-owned or co-offtake solar projects with other municipalities, non-profit organizations, and businesses.
  • Exploring a county role for administrating and/or promoting a County-wide residential group buy program or County rebate/subsidy programs.
  • Prioritizing resources and leveraging existing programs to maximize solar development on affordable housing.
  • Partnering with utilities and solar developers to support and reward solar project landowner participants in instances where participation results in water quality, farmland preservation, ecosystem, and carbon sequestration benefits.
  • Partnering with utilities and municipalities to develop medium-sized utility-owned solar projects (e.g., the Dane County Airport).
  • Partnering with utilities and municipalities to establish community solar arrays in every city and village in Dane County.
  • Playing a pivotal leadership role in leveraging existing solar financing tools (e.g., commercial PACE) and creating new ones.
  • The purchase of renewable energy credits from strategic solar projects (e.g., solar projects coupled with a second renewable resource or energy storage).

Partner with us!

As a division within the County Executive's Office, the Office uses its Climate Action Plan as a guide to lead public and private efforts across the community to implement strategies that address climate change. In addition to the various actions identified in the links above, you are part of these efforts when you:

Acting on climate change is our opportunity to create a better tomorrow for Dane County. So let's do this!


Dane County Solar Projects

Yahara Solar groundbreaking

Yahara Solar

On April 18, 2023, County Executive Joe Parisi joined Alliant Energy and SunVest Solar to celebrate the newly constructed 17-megawatt (MW) solar project site.

Airport Terminal

Dane County Regional Airport Solar

A 9-megawatt (MW) solar project completed by Madison Gas and Electric at Dane County Regional Airport produced more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. 


Solar on Job Center

County Rooftop Solar

Dane County currently owns more solar than any other public entity in the state, with more than 800 kW at 17 sites across the county.