Breitenmoser Family Farm *

* LSC Member

LOCATION: Merrill, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 19.8 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: November 2017

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
North Wind Renewable Energy Co-op

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.

“As we work to influence policy regarding distributed generation in the State of WI, we have to find creative ways to fund solar. Legacy Solar Co-op helps fill that need and provides a means by which more people can enjoy the benefits of a renewable future.”
– Hans Breitenmoser

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 like this one, and earn between 4% and 6% interest on their bonds purchased through the co-op. Ready to get involved?

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