- Madison Gas and Electric Co. (MGE) has outlined an "Energy 2030" strategy it says advances local community goals and will allow the utility to to reach 30% renewables in the next 15 years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
- The utility will also be focusing on energy efficiency and conservation, while it works to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40%, relative to 2005 levels, a goal it is already halfway to meeting.
- The plan, like its predecessor the "Energy 2015" strategy, was formed through MGE's Community Energy Conversations, customer surveys, industry research and stakeholder discussions.
MGE's long-term strategies are returning dividends, the company said, noting that new proposals to boost renewables and cut emissions are building on past progress. The utility has already cut carbon emissions by 20% since 2005, putting it halfway to its goal. And according to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, it already gets about 13% of its power from renewable energy.
But while the utility is touting its greener goals, the community engagement process appears to be the motivation that was used to develop the plan.
"All of the different ways we've been gathering input have helped us better understand the evolving views of the customers and communities we serve. In framing a business plan for the future, no other utility in the country has engaged their customers this extensively," MGE CEO Gary Wolter said in a statement. And the goals are aligned with local renewable targets in Madison, Middleton, Monona, Fitchburg and Dane counties, he said.
"In response to what we've heard, Energy 2030 is an ambitious framework and builds upon the foundation of our Energy 2015 plan. We will need customer collaboration and support to achieve our vision," Wolter said.
Among its energy goals, MGE will also: Work to create a more integrated and modern grid; develop services to give customers more control over their energy use; and lean on conservation and efficiency to manage peak demand and reduce costs. With strong customer participation in the plan, MGE added that it may be possible to exceed its goals.
Since developing its first plan more than a decade ago, MGE said it eliminated coal burn at a downtown power plant and increased renewable energy on its system by almost 12 times.