Shareholder group calls for MGE to lead on electrification of transportation sector

The Wisconsin Gazette

A grassroots shareholder group has filed a resolution that calls for Madison Gas & Electric to lead in the transition to electrified transportation.

The resolution offered by MGE Shareholders for Clean Energy is included in MGE’s 2017 Proxy Statement and votes will be tallied on May 16  at MGE’s annual shareholder meeting in Middleton.

The shareholders, in a statement, said they believe MGE has “tremendous potential to jump start this coming technological revolution and to replace polluting energy with clean renewable power.”

The resolution points to transportation as an emerging market and calls on MGE to work with local partners and national experts to develop a road map for this new value prospect.

“Electric transportation is much more efficient, cleaner and less expensive to operate,” stated Don Wichert, an energy engineer and MGE shareholder, in a news release.

He continued, “MGE has a clear opportunity to show leadership by assembling an expert team to evaluate the technologies and policies to drive the next energy revolution. Electrification of mass transit vehicles, trucks, company fleets, and passenger cars will be a major new growth area for MGE and their shareholders while benefiting our community.”

MGE has shown interest in electric vehicles, but the shareholder group says the corporation would benefit by moving much faster and leading implementation on these technologies its community.

“MGE can make the Madison area a hub for this new clean technology,” said Beth Esser, a shareholder living in Monona.

“In addition, using clean renewable energy will have immediate positive health impacts by reducing pollution from fossil fuels,” Esser said.  “The resolution builds on recent clean energy initiatives by the City of Madison and Dane County.”

The shareholder group urges other MGE shareholders to vote for the electrification of transportation proxy resolution.

The group says by following the recommendations in the resolution, MGE can increase demand for clean energy generation and storage.

SCE withdrew a second resolution asking MGE to propose a substantial renewable energy project to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin after MGE announced plans for the 66 megawatt Saratoga wind farm.