MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Construction is almost complete on a nearly 4,500 panel rooftop solar array in southern Wisconsin.

The array is being built on the American Family Insurance campus in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .

Company officials said the panels can generate more than 1 megawatt of electricity and will reduce the company's use of grid power by 6 percent. The project is expected to cut the company's energy costs by more than $190,000 a year.

Facilities program administrator Sean Hyland said the only work left is connecting the solar array to the facility's existing electrical system.

"I'm super-excited by it (and) thrilled to have been part of it," Hyland said. "I'm looking forward to the potential of doing more."

The panels are expected to begin delivering electricity in October or November.

Madison Area Technical College plans to begin construction on an even larger solar array of up to 7,000 panels next year.

The array would create about 1.4 megawatts of electricity, which could offset up to 15 percent of the school's total electricity use, said Kenneth Walz, director of the university's Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education. It's expected to save the college $200,000 a year.

Another large solar field became operational in northwestern Wisconsin in June.

The Flambeau solar project includes almost 10,000 panels capable of generating 3.4 megawatts of electricity. The project is expected to produce enough megawatts to power 600 homes within its first year of operation, developers said.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal,