On Tuesday, the Mayor joined Sam Dunaiski, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin; Dr. Marcus Allen Sr., Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church; and Maria Redmond, Director of the Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy for a press event to announce the launch of MadiSUN’s 2023 Solar Programs and to highlight how the Inflation Reduction Act will benefit programs like MadiSUN and accelerate Madison’s Climate Forward agenda. Mt. Zion Baptist Church, which received a $10,000 grant from MadiSUN in 2021 to install a 21.6 kW rooftop solar array, hosted the event. The Mayor’s remarks follow.

I am happy to be here and help launch another successful year of MadiSUN investments in our community. Thank you to Pastor Allen and Mt. Zion Baptist Church for hosting us and being solar energy leaders in our community.

The City of Madison is firmly committed to climate action. We have set ambitious, science-driven climate goals and are making investments that reduce climate pollution in our community and grow the green economy.

At this year’s RENEW Wisconsin Summit, the City was honored with the Clean Energy Pioneer award for our work to advance local clean energy and create programs that benefit the entire community. In presenting the award, RENEW described our investments in clean energy:

We’ve installed 1.4 megawatts of solar energy at City facilities. We plan to install another 8 megawatts by 2030.

We design and build most of our solar installations in house through our GreenPower solar training program, which prepares young people for future job opportunities in the solar industry or the trades.We’ve also partnered with Madison Gas & Electric to develop the Hermsdorf solar farm in southeast Madison, which now provides 22% of the City's electricity.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway with Sam Duaiski, Dr Marcus Allen Sr., and Maria Redmond

We’re also transitioning the City’s fleet to low and no-carbon fuels. So far, we have 94 all-electric vehicles, more than 150 hybrid-electric vehicles, three all-electric buses, and the first all-electric fire truck operating in the United States.

And of course, the MadiSUN solar program, which has been helping residents, businesses and organizations in our community go solar since 2016. So far, we’ve helped 281 households, 19 businesses and 19 affordable housing and non-profit projects access the benefits clean energy.

We are proud of our investments and progress and are grateful for our partners in this work. Still, there’s a lot to do. We must keep moving forward to improve our resilience, grow our green economy, and advance climate equity. And we need everyone to do their part.

The good news is that the federal government is also making unprecedented investments in climate action. The Inflation Reduction Act provides funding directly to local households and businesses to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprints.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes tax incentives and rebates to help cover the cost of rooftop solar and battery storage, energy efficiency upgrades, electric heat pumps and other efficient appliances, electric vehicles and more.

Programs like these can help advance equity and energy justice in Madison and across our State by providing direct support to low- and moderate-income households, helping to lower energy costs for those who need it most.

I thank President Biden and his Administration, along with Senator Baldwin, Congressman Pocan and all who supported this in Congress, for delivering these critical resources. And also, for their strong guidance as we begin implementing the Inflation Reduction Act to better the lives of people in our communities, while also securing a sustainable, resilient and prosperous future for all.

Without question, these federal investments will complement and accelerate climate progress in Madison.

IRA incentives will help us increase the reach of numerous programs, including:

  • Enabling the Efficiency Navigator Program provide energy saving upgrades to more naturally-occurring affordable housing units
  • Accelerating our purchases of low- and no-carbon Fleet vehicles
  • Expanding our work to decarbonize City buildings
  • Helping large commercial building owners take advantage of the energy saving opportunities they identify through the Building Energy Savings Program

And of course, helping the MadiSUN program put solar within reach for even more households, businesses, and nonprofits in our community.

With help from the MadiSUN program and President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, going solar in our community has never been easier. I think 2023 will be our biggest year yet!

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Category: Sustainability