American Family Insurance says it will have the largest rooftop solar array in Wisconsin atop one of the buildings at its headquarters, at 6000 American Parkway.
Nearly 4,500 solar panels are being installed on a one-story utility building that is part of the American Family complex of buildings on the Far East Side. Work on the project began this week and is expected to take two to three months to complete.
The price of the project is not being disclosed.
The solar panels are projected to produce about 1.26 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and will offset 6 percent to 9 percent of the building's electricity use, American Family said. That will save the company about $191,000 a year in energy expenses.
“Conserving energy and utilizing renewable energy reaffirms our commitment to the environment while also reducing our operating costs, and that means we can better meet the needs of our customers,” said Dan Rosetta, American Family Insurance facilities operations director.
The panels will be erected in a chevron-like pattern that maximizes solar density on a flat roof, American Family said. SunPeak, a Madison solar installation company, will handle the project.
Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, congratulated American Family for "breaking new ground" on the size of rooftop solar arrays in Wisconsin.
"I think there are a lot more companies that could follow this lead," Huebner said.
American Family, founded in 1927, had $8.7 billion in revenue in 2016 and is the 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group in the U.S.