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, not including the upcoming Airport Project which will be the largest public sector project in Wisconsin.
“Dane County is leading the way for renewable energy in Wisconsin,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This is the right thing to do for our environment, for our economy and for taxpayers. These project increase local clean energy jobs, reduce carbon emissions and ease the burden for taxpayers.” These solar projects will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 1700 cars off the road, reducing direct energy costs by over $2.1 million over the next two decades.
In addition to the solar developers, every solar project employs local electricians and construction workers. There are more than 2,800 people employed in the solar industry in Wisconsin and 460 in Dane County, according to the Solar Foundation, which tracks solar jobs nationwide. Dane County is second only to Milwaukee County in the number of solar jobs in Wisconsin.
In 2020 the County added solar to both the Lake Farm County Park campground and the adjacent Lussier Family Heritage Center. In total the solar provides about 90% of the electricity used at those facilities. Solar features on site include two new park shelters along the bike trails that feature solar panels as roofing for the shelters.
The 640 panel solar installation on the roof of the Dane County Job Center will save the county $18,000 a year in utility costs by generating 205,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, or about one quarter of the electricity used by the building.
A total of 128 solar modules were installed, each with the capacity to produce up to 270 watts of energy. The energy from this solar installation is used by the Dane County Department of Land and Water Resources and the Dane County UW-Extension Office.
A solar installation for the East District highway garage and the medical examiner's office has over 800 panels and is the largest municipally-owned solar project in the state. That project produces about 300,000 kWh of electricity annually--enough to power about 30 Wisconsin homes.
Check out our interactive Clean Energy Map to learn more about the County's solar projects.