Madison Circus Space is committed to energy conservation and the utilization of renewable energy sources. We didn’t have room in the budget when we built our new Winnebago Street facility in 2019, but we set a goal to add solar power within three years. In the spring of 2022 we achieved that goal by installing 68 solar panels on the Madison Circus Space roof. About half the panels are tilted 10° to the southeast to better catch the early morning sun, and the rest are tilted 10° to the southwest to better catch the late afternoon sun. Together they are nominally rated at 27.6 kilowatts of DC power.
The system was installed by Full Spectrum Solar at a cost of $60,862, not counting the 34 solar panels donated by the Couillard Solar Foundation.
DC current from the solar panels is converted to AC current by two solar inverters mounted in the utility room. Power from the solar inverters feed into the MCS electrical panel and then to the MG&E power grid. Any solar power that MCS does not instantly use is exported to the power grid and MCS receives a credit from MG&E.
Power generation varies from day to day depending on the season, time of day, cloud cover, and snow on the panels. In August 2022 the system generated 3,640.6 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy.
In the year prior to installing the solar system, Madison Circus Space lowered our consumption of electricity about 25% by programming our LED lighting and smart thermostats to be more efficient.
The new system is projected to generate about 33,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which should meet over 90% of Madison Circus Space’s annual electricity needs.
The annual emissions eliminated are equivalent to about 24 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which would be like eliminating the burning of 2,675 gallons of gasoline every year.
This project would not have been possible without the contributions of many generous individuals as well as private and public foundations. Individual donations made up the largest single source for the MCS Solar Campaign. The other sources are shown in the chart below, not counting the 34 solar panels donated by the Couillard Solar Foundation through their Solar For Good program. Any individual donations in excess of the project costs go into the MCS Renewable Energy Fund, which will be used for maintaining the solar system and for future energy conservation projects. We are grateful to all!
The members of the MCS Solar Project Team were: