At this week’s RENEW Wisconsin 2023 Summit, the City of Madison was honored with the 2023 Clean Energy Pioneer award for our work to adopt solar energy and electric vehicles, and help the community adopt renewable energy as well. In presenting the award, RENEW described our investments in clean energy as follows:

Clean Energy Pioneer: City of Madison

In March 2017, Madison adopted an ambitious climate goal: to achieve 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon emissions for city operations by 2030 and communitywide by 2050. The award salutes the City for its conscientious and systematic approach to advancing local clean energy and ensuring that its investments and programs benefit the entire community. By the end of 2022, the City's accomplishments encompassed the following:

  • Installing more than 1,800 kilowatts (kW) of solar generation on its own facilities, including approximately 500 kW in 2022. Unlike other local governments, the City designs and installs most of its solar installations. This initiative also provides a platform for a solar training program aimed at underemployed and unemployed residents to better prepare them for future job opportunities in the solar marketplace.
  • Partnering with Madison Gas & Electric to purchase the output from the Hermsdorf solar farm in southeast Madison. The 8 MW array went live in April 2022 and now offsets 22% of the City's electricity usage.
  • Leveraging the installation of more than 300 solar PV systems on homes and multifamily buildings through its MadiSUN program, including 64 in 2022.
  • Acquiring, by the end of 2022, 85 electric vehicles, more than 150 hybrid-electric vehicles, and the first all-electric fire truck operating in the United States. The City is also testing three all-electric buses.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway with RENEW award and RENEW officialsIt was an honor to accept this award on behalf of the City of Madison. As I said at the Summit, there are a lot of people to credit and thank for our achievements in Clean Energy. On #TeamCity, our Engineering Division – and especially our Green Power solar trainees – have done a tremendous amount of work to install solar on our rooftops. Our Fleets Division has been unwavering in their commitment to making the City of Madison fleet the greenest in the country. Our partners at Madison Gas & Electric and the Hermsdorf family’s commitment to renewable energy are the reason we have a large solar array generating 5 MW of energy for the City. And RENEW Wisconsin is our implementation partner for the MadiSUN program, helping residents, businesses, and organizations install solar power.

I am proud of the progress we have made as a municipality, including that we are now using renewable energy for 74% of our municipal electricity. But we have more work to do and we will keep moving forward within our own facilities and fleet, and to support the entire community to adopt clean energy.

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Category: Sustainability