Breitenmoser Family Farm

* LSC Member

Solar Contractor:
North Wind Renewable Energy

Member Breitenmoser Family Farm, located in Merrill, is owned and operated by Hans Jr. and Katie Breitenmoser and has been in operation for the last two generations. The Breitenmosers are strong supporters of renewable agriculture in family run farms and rural communities, this not being their first solar installation. They also supported the TB Scott Library project as bondholders and are members of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

The Challenge

Members North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative (Stevens Point, WI) and Wisconsin Farmers Union (based out of Chippewa Falls, WI) approached LSC to see if we could offer farmers a more feasible financing option to help them choose to install solar on their farms.  A lot of times, farmers have very little tax appetite due to buying capital equipment on their farms, so using the federal investment tax credit that comes with solar is not always very realistic.

Solar Solution

19.8 kW was installed on the family’s new heifer barn, using 66 Hanwha Qcell 300 watt modules on 2 Fronius 10kW inverters.

Funding

Wisconsin Farmers Union helped bring in a Tax Sponsor in the form of Farmers Union Enterprises who put up tax equity that was matched by a 6-year loan from WFU, along with the farmer and Legacy Solar Co-op putting in about 20% of the overall capital needed.

Legacy Solar Co-op helped the farmer secure a 20% share in the project with a pay-as-you go approach that allows the energy savings to make up over half of the cost of the project over a 7 year service contract.  The final buyout in year 7 helps secure over 25 years of energy savings without having to take on the larger capital expense in year 1.  Spreading out the payments and leaving the tax incentive paperwork to someone else makes this an easy choice for farmers.

Progress

Funding was secured in October of 2017. Installation was completed in November of 2017, with final commissioning expected in December of 2017.

Gallery

The Legacy

Breitenmoser Family Farm legacy impact

Slice of Sun Solar Bonds

Legacy Solar Co-op sells Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds to any member who would like to support a Solar Legacy project and earn between 3% and 5% interest on their bonds purchased through the co-op.

These bond subscriptions help secure the solar project and can either be cashed in after 7 years, rolled-over into a Legacy term (25-years), or can be donated at any time as a tax-deductible donation to a participating non-profit host site for a solar project. For example, a local church is currently enjoying a portion of the energy savings (over $3,000 a year), but the more bonds the Church owns, the more energy savings they get to keep for their own parish’s budget. Everybody saves and earns and benefits from the good that is being done thanks to the solar project.You can buy Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds that earn interest for as little as $250. Or you can sponsor as many full solar panels as you’d like for $500 each. Sponsorship can be direct donations to a participating non-profit or through the purchase of bonds that are then gifted to the non-profit of your choosing.

The two rules for purchasing a solar bond

You must be:

  1. A member of the Legacy Solar Cooperative, and
  2. A Wisconsin resident.

These are required to comply with State and Federal Statutes governing this type of business transaction.  Becoming an equity member of the Legacy Solar Co-op means you are an owner of the Co-op, and qualify to buy bonds issued by the Co-op to serve the Co-op’s business interests. These interests lie in developing more and more solar projects to serve our members and share in the energy and environmental savings that come with solar and energy efficiency.

Ready to get started?


You will find more information and instructions.  If you have any questions at all, please contact us.

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