Madison Company Commissions Rooftop Solar Project

Apr 20, 2016 12:26:00 PM

Central Storage & Warehouse Co. in Madison is now home to nearly 3,000 solar panels in what is the fourth-largest solar project in Wisconsin.

Madison solar project developer SunPeak, which last year opened a solar project in New Berlin at Letterhead Press, built the 741-kilowatt system.

It's the largest solar project in Madison and the largest rooftop solar project in the state, according to SunPeak.

The project was installed on the roofs of several refrigerated warehouses operated by Central Storage in Madison. The Madison complex includes multiple warehouses that store frozen, refrigerated and dry food, as well as Central's corporate office.

The solar installation was completed last year. The project was commissioned earlier this month after Madison Gas & Electric Co. completed a transformer upgrade, said Maitri Meyer, SunPeak director of operations.

Central Storage is forecasting annual energy savings of $90,000 as a result of the project.

The company partnered with SunPeak and the statewide Focus on Energy program for the project.

"CSW was interested in offsetting a significant portion of its electric utility consumption, primarily used for refrigeration," said Chad Sorenson, SunPeak president, in a statement. "SunPeak was able to engineer and install a system that simultaneously lowered its overall cost of electricity, and enhanced its sustainability by powering its facility with natural sunlight."

The drop in the price of solar panels in recent years is stimulating more project activity, and SunPeak has been active in Wisconsin and Iowa building solar projects on commercial buildings, Sorenson said.

In addition to Letterhead Press, SunPeak has completed projects at Ale Asylum Brewery in Madison as well as Corrim Co. in Oshkosh. A project is underway at Steep & Brew's office in Madison, said Meyer.

This article was written by Thomas Content for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.