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Dane County to seek proposals for large solar project

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Dane County, Solar Array Law Enforcement Training Center

Dane County officials plan to seek proposals this fall for a large solar project meant to ensure the county’s operations can run completely on renewable energy.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the project will take place on 125 acres recently purchased in the town of Cottage of Grove, near the county’s landfill. Parisi’s announcement said local officials will begin soliciting proposals from solar developers this fall and expect design work to begin in 2021.

“Our Climate Action Plan sets a county-wide goal to meet one-third of its electricity use with solar power by 2030,” Parisi said.

The solar farm will just be the latest in a series of renewable-energy projects the county has undertaken to reduce its reliance on fuel sources that release large amounts of greenhouse gases. All told, Dane County can now generate more than 600 kilowatts of renewable power at 16 different sites.

The current sources of renewable energy include a 179 kilowatt project at the Dane County Job Center, a 222 kilowatt installation at the East District Highway Garage, and a 19 kilowatt project at the Dane County Library Service Building. A map showing all the projects can be found here.

Before this latest announcement, the county’s plans for its largest solar project were for a soon-to-be-built 9-megawatt installation at the Dane County Regional Airport. The installation in Cottage Grove is expected to be roughly twice as big, reducing emissions at an amount equivalent to what’s produced by 5,000 cars over the course of a year.

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