Less than a year after the City of Fitchburg installed solar panels on four city buildings, the results are in: 21% of the electric needs for those City buildings are supplied by renewable energy. The solar panels installed last year have already produced over $30,000 worth of electricity.

The City gets renewable energy from multiple sources. In 2009, 12.3 KW of solar panels were installed on the roof of City Hall, and in 2011 an additional 9.9kW of solar panels were added by the Public Works garage. The City also participates in MGE’s Business Renewable Energy Program to purchase additional renewable energy as a percent of billed energy use. These initial investments led renewable energy providing 57,033 kWh per year since 2012, or about 3% of the city’s buildings’ electric needs.

As of July 2018, combined renewable energy sources amounts over 300,000 kWh or 21% of the total electricity needed in the city’s buildings. The new rooftop installations on the Fitchburg Public Library and City Hall began operating in December 2017. The solar panels on the West Fire Station and Public Works Garage went live in January 2018. The four additional installations generated 276,431 kWh between January and July 2018.

Fire Chief Joe Pulvermacher said, “We understand the need for energy efficiency and the long-term benefit of renewable energy. Working with the City’s sustainability team, the Fire Department was able to address our impact on utility use. We see the value of positively addressing our over-all operational footprint through infrastructure and procedural modification.” The East Fire Station, currently being built, is designed to be solar ready.

This brings the city closer to the 25×25 Energy Independence Goal signed in 2009, when the Common Council declared Fitchburg a partner with the State of Wisconsin in pursuit of the generating 25% of electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by 2025.

For more information about solar energy in the City of Fitchburg, contact Ellen Geisler, Sustainability and Neighborhood Development Specialist, at 608-270-4274 or ellen.geisler@fitchburgwi.gov.

Read the article on Channel 3000.