Should You Add Batteries to Your Rooftop Solar Installation?

Nickolas Hein – 4/23/18

In the past few years battery technology has advanced at a rapid rate, resulting in a rapid decrease in the cost of electric storage and the associated systems (Fig 1).  Although this has been driven primarily by electric vehicle adoption, home battery systems have been direct beneficiaries. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance “Lithium-ion battery packs are selling at an average price of $209 a kilowatt-hour, down 24 percent from a year ago and about a fifth of what it was in 2010, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey shows. The rate has further to fall — reaching below $100 a kilowatt-hour by 2025, according to a report by BNEF analyst James Frith.  Developers of stationary storage systems — like the kind that back up rooftop solar panels — can expect to pay 51 percent more than automakers because of much lower order volumes.”

Recent Cost Reductions for Lithium Ion Batteries - Bloomberg

Recent Cost Reductions for Lithium Ion Batteries – Bloomberg

If you’re considering installing solar panels in the near future, you probably want to consider adding battery storage to your system. We’ve asked Ed Zinthefer, President of Arch Electric, to answer some of the common questions from the homeowners before they install a new system.  Read more

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Spring Member Bond Drive: Get your Slice of Sun now!

Spring 2018

Anyone anywhere in Wisconsin can become a Member of Legacy Solar Co-op for as little as $25, and once a Member, you are eligible to buy Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds at $250 apiece.

Why would anyone want to buy Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds?  Here’s why:

  1. To grow more and more solar projects in Wisconsin;
  2. To earn between 4% and 6% interest on your money;
  3. To support local and statewide clean energy initiatives;
  4. To help community institutions reduce their overhead (lower energy bills);
  5. To build a clean energy Legacy that will last 40-plus years!

Member Bonds are sold by the Co-op in order to support solar projects all over Wisconsin.  The Co-op pays up to 6% interest on your Slice-of-Sun bonds over 12 years.  Members receive both principal and interest payments annually.  The Co-op makes secured loans to qualified solar projects and uses the revenue from those loans to pay back bondholders over the same 12-year horizon.

Read more…

If you are ready to buy Co-op bonds, go to this page for the next step

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2018 Solar Investing

Tony Hartmann – 2/20/18

No such thing a ‘sure thing’ when it comes to investing, right? Well, if you think the sun’ll come up tomorrow, investing in solar infrastructure is as close as it gets. Since its beginning, the Legacy Solar Co-op (LSC) has facilitated solar investment not only because renewable energy is clean and sustainable, but because it makes sense economically. A lot of sense. Not-for-profits and home-owners almost always see a return on investment (ROI) in the neighborhood of 10-12%, businesses 15% and more. So, the 2018 solar investor can do good and make a sweet return on their investment…

As Don Pardo used to say, ‘but wait, there’s more…’

Legacy Solar Co-op has long been an advocate for energy efficiency efforts, projects that go hand and glove with distributed (pv) energy production. In Wisconsin, the Focus On Energy (FOE) program does more than just reward you (to the tune of thousands) for installing solar PV. You get further cash dividends by swapping out motors, furnaces, water-heaters, air conditioners, light bulbs/fixtures and much, much more. For starters, rate-payers can get FREE STUFF, like LED bulbs and water-saving fixtures just by going here and choosing a ‘pack’.

but again, there’s more…

If you are building (or remodeling) there are a host of incentives available through FOE. Go here for a quick look.

and keep in mind that LSC consults for the unheard of low rate of $30/hr. for members, and we’re able to assist with nearly any application, from grants to prescriptive programs and loans.

If you are pragmatic and need to see to believe, well, stop in to the Willy St. Co-op in Madison, and look up at the new LED light fixtures. Or, go to (2013 customer) City of Monona’s website and check out their solar production (2017 customer, City of Fitchburg’s solar production will be online by March).

The Co-op doesn’t discriminate when it comes to solar, we work with large, small, commercial, residential, and not-for-profit entities, because above all, IT PAYS TO INVEST IN SOLAR!

Housing initiatives logo image

Madison nonprofit Housing Initiatives are setting up to save 40% on their power bill


Housing Initiatives has been providing peace, hope, and shelter for Madison area men, women, and veterans for over 20 years.  They work to end homelessness for those who live with severe mental illnesses.  Legacy Solar Co-op is proud to be partnering with such a wonderful organization.

Legacy Solar Co-op will provide solar on 2 buildings that Housing Initiatives owns and maintains.  Our tax sponsor for this project is a long-time advocate for this and other organizations in Dane County.  Together, we will help Housing Initiatives achieve lower energy bills by helping them generate their own electricity behind-the-meter, saving them about 40% on their power bills.  Read more

Carport sketch

Legacy Solar Co-op teams with MREA on solar carport project

Legacy Solar Co-op is working with the MREA to develop a 100 kilowatt solar carport to be located on the main grounds of MREA’s headquarters in Custer, Wisconsin.  We will rely on supporters of MREA and members of LSC to buy Solar Bonds to capitalize a fund that will allow MREA to get the best value out of this development.

LSC is looking to sell $240,000 in solar bonds through our Co-op to get this project off the ground this summer!

Learn more about solar bonds and how they help fund community solar projects like this one – while earning you interest!

>> Learn more about the Slice of Sun Solar Bonds program >>

Willy Street Co-op East

Two open house events at Willy Street Co-op East

June 27 & 29, 2016

LSC coordinated an Open House Bond Sales Event on Monday, June 27 and Wednesday, June 29, 2016 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Community Room at Willy East’s store. Attendees learned more about supporting solar and investing in member bonds through the Legacy Solar Co-op. Solar Bonds to fund the new rooftop solar at Willy East’s store were sold to Members of the Legacy Solar Co-op. Willy Street will use the energy savings from the solar and from the 214 LED lights to pay the Legacy Solar Co-op’s bondholders between 4% and 6% interest on Bonds used to capitalize LSC’s solar loan fund.

Our solar loans are securitized by the value of the solar assets on the roof so this Legacy Solar Co-op is a safe and reliable way to share in the benefits of solar energy.

Join the Legacy Solar Co-op and Share a Slice-of-Sun with the Willy Co-op today and earn a decent return by investing in sunshine!

Here Comes the Sun (Sun and clouds image)

Sauk Area Solar Committee Public Talk

The Sauk Area Solar Committee of the Legacy Solar Co-op hosted a public talk Saturday, January 30th at the Ruth Culver Prairie du Sac Library in front of over 70 members of the public!  Trang Donovan of Unlimited Renewable Energy (URE) gave a very good technical overview of the process to put solar on a rooftop.  Tyler Huebner of RENEW Wisconsin gave a great little talk on the state of solar development in Wisconsin.

Read more

Renew Energy Policy Summit

News from the 2016 RENEW Wisconsin Energy Policy Summit

The 2016 RENEW Wisconsin Energy Policy Summit was held at the Monona Terrace January 21st and was well attended with renewable energy advocates and policy experts from all over Wisconsin.  Vermont’s Green Mountain Power was represented in the form of the keynote speaker and GMP CEO Mary Powell.  Under her leadership, there have been very impressive results switching from old to new energy systems, and most impressive is the solar portfolio tipping 30% of their peak demand!  Here’s a link for more on Green Mountain Power. Read more

Renew Wisconsin 2016

January 21, 2016

Legacy Solar Co-op tabled at Renew Wisconsin’s 6th annual Energy Policy Summit, held at the Monona Terrace in downtown Madison on Thursday, January 21, 2016.  LSC’s Executive Director, Kurt Reinhold, and Treasurer, Mark Warnick, along with member John Eric Allen, attended.

Union Cab of Madison shared a table with LSC and help promote the sale of Co-op Bonds for their 20 kW solar project, which went live in December of 2015.  Legacy Solar Co-op membership applications and bond information packets will be available.

More information about this event at https://www.renewwisconsin.org/renewable-energy-summit/

Union Cab of Madison

Union Cab of Madison teams up with Legacy Solar Co-op

Union Cab of Madison Cooperative is the newest solar and energy efficiency project the Legacy Solar Co-op will be supporting. This community cab company is worker owned and operated. They added solar to their mechanics shop in 2012, and have since talked about expanding that 5 kilowatts to power their operations on their main administration building, at 2458 Pennsylvania Avenue, on the east side of Madison. Read more