Solar panels installation begins on Earth Day at McFarland Community Ice Arena. Solar power will dramatically reduce carbon footprint 

MADISON, WI (April 22, 2024) — The McFarland Community Ice Arena (MCIA) will soon soak up the sun to freeze the ice.  

On Earth Day 2024, a truck filled with solar panels arrived at the rink. The rink is teaming up with SunPeak, a Madison-based solar energy company, and Bachmann Construction to install the solar panels on the roof. 

The panels will generate power year-round but will be especially impactful during the summer months when keeping the ice cold takes considerable electric power.  

Over the next 30 years, the system will generate approximately 7.86 million kilowatt-hours (kWhs) of power. That’s equivalent to reducing the rink’s carbon footprint by 6,050 tons of carbon dioxide. “To put that in real-world terms, the solar energy created will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 15,473,284 miles driven by gasoline-powered passenger vehicles,” said Tod Pritchard, president of the McFarland Community Ice Arena board of directors. 

“There’s also a financial benefit,” said Aaron Babcock, chair of the rink’s Improvement Committee. “The system will save MCIA approximately $28,500 in the first year. This value will increase in subsequent years if utility rates increase.”

The purchase of the solar panel system was made possible in part by federal government payments and local rebates. “The federal Inflation Reduction Act is a great benefit for organizations of all kinds, including non-profits like the ice arena, because it can offset solar project costs by at least 30%,” said Hartman Hoel, Project Development Manager for SunPeak. “Solar is an especially great fit for McFarland Community Ice Arena because it takes a lot of energy to keep the rink cool throughout the summer months, and that’s exactly when sunlight is most abundant.”

“We’re so grateful to partner with SunPeak on this project,” added Pritchard. These solar panels will add environmental and economic value to this community treasure and benefit its athletes, families, and fans for decades to come.” 

  • Tod Pritchard, President, McFarland Hockey, Inc.
  • Hartman Hoel, Project Development Manager, SunPeak

Installation of solar panels completed by Bachmann Construction.