On Monday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi celebrated the start of Earth Week by visiting William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park and Lussier Family Heritage Center to announce the operation of Dane County’s first solar-powered park and campground.
“I’m thrilled to have these new solar projects powering our park to help inspire and educate people on the importance of protecting our environment and combating climate change,” Parisi said. “Our first solar-powered campground brings Dane County one step closer to achieving our commitment to becoming 100% renewable at county-owned facilities.”
Over 460 panels on four buildings at the park will provide renewable electricity to campers and day-use visitors. Staff Electric Company installed a 66 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system at the park’s campground. The system includes solar panels on the roof of the shower building and on the roof of a park shelter. This system will provide almost 90% of the electricity used at the campground, including the electric usage at 39 campsites.
The solar system for the Lussier Family Heritage Center includes panels on the roof of the Center and on a park shelter along the Capital City Trail adjacent to Lake Farm Road. This 76 kW solar energy system will provide more than 90% of the power needed for the Lussier Center. An electric vehicle charging station was also installed at the Lussier Center.
Dane County solar systems generate more than 800 kW of power at 16 county facilities, the county says. These projects generate enough carbon-free electricity to provide Dane County with 45% of the energy used by all county-owned facilities.
Last fall, Dane County announced a new partnership with Alliant Energy to develop a 16 MW solar project on 140 acres of county-owned land in the Town of Cottage Grove that will bring the county to meeting its 100% renewable goal.
In addition to the new Lussier/Lunney park solar project, the county’s solar installations include a 179 kW project at the Dane County Job Center, a 222 kW installation at the East District Highway Garage, and 19 kW of capacity on the Dane County Library Service Building.
An interactive “Clean Energy” map showcasing all of Dane County’s existing projects, as well as solar projects at local governments and businesses, is accessible from the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change’s website at https://daneclimateaction.org/maps.