By: ERICA DYNES REEDSBURG — Madison Area Technical College in Reedsburg has completed its solar panel project to bring renewable energy to the campus, reducing its carbon footprint and bringing educational opportunities to students interested in learning more about the industry. The panels went into operation at the Reedsburg campus Nov. 18, said Ken Walz, the college’s renewable energy program director and the science and engineering instructor. The system at the Reedsburg campus is the fourth system completed as part of the college’s 2018 Solar Roadmap. Another set of solar panels will be placed at the Fort Atkinson campus. On its first day of operation, the panels produced over 80% of electricity during the daylight hours at the Reedsburg campus, Walz said. The installation at the Reedsburg campus cost the college $180,000 and will save about $20,000 a year in electricity, he said. Construction took place in September. The solar panels not only provide cost savings to the campus and the ability to produce its own electricity, it also opens the door to educational opportunities in renewable energy at both facilities. It’ll help students in related fields like architecture, construction, engineering, electrical apprenticeship, industrial maintenance and environmental science, according to Walz and an August 19 press release on Madison College’s website.