Spring tulips by trees with sunlight

Spring is a Time for Action

By the Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 4/25/19

Spring is a time for action. To get out there and do something. More sunshine means we can tackle that list of projects we’ve avoided all winter, right?

Sorta.

Unfortunately the list of things we could do is far longer than the list of things we can do.  And just like you, Legacy Solar Co-op has a project list that’s longer than our current resources allows us to tackle. It’s not that we don’t want to execute. Helping solar projects come to life is a beautiful thing we never tire of seeing. Our list is long because it’s filled with worthy projects that aren’t getting the love they deserve.

We have to act quickly to change that. Tax incentives and previously awarded grants have to be used before they sunset.

The Co-op is owned by some of the most committed and generous people we’ve ever met, and you all have helped us do some amazing things in the past.  So what about 2019 and 2020?

That’s up to you!

Green initiatives and concern for the climate are in the news a lot these days. It’s easy to feel like the problem is so big, there’s nothing we can really do. But there is…today. Right now we have several projects that need LSC’s financing to make their solar projects happen.

For example, if we had $200,000 in bonds, we could make at least 4 more deserving community projects happen this year. And if we had 5 more people willing to invest as project tax sponsors, we could help two school districts, two faith organizations and one nonprofit helping disconnected youth – go green and save money beginning this year!

Memorial United Church of Christ (UCC) Fitchburg

Solar Project at Memorial United Church of Christ (UCC), Fitchburg 

What can you do?

  • Become a member of Legacy Solar Co-op and start talking about making solar a bigger part of our energy mix in Wisconsin. Need help? Talk to us about working with your organization or group.
  • Buy solar bonds. Do good and make a modest return. The money you invest goes to putting solar on roofs and sites in Wisconsin.
  • Talk to friends or family about becoming a member and investing in solar bonds. The more you invest, the higher your return.
  • Consider becoming a Tax Sponsor and partner with a worthy organization eager to make a difference but needing help to make it happen. Take advantage of tax credits and depreciation write-offs. Email us today if you’re interested in this option.

It’s Spring. Time to celebrate the return of the sun, warmth and the beautiful eco-system that makes Wisconsin so special. Please consider taking a few moments to help us make more of our to-do list happen. Your involvement today means that we are helping to ensure many more beautiful Spring days in the future.

Plus, we promise it will take less time than cleaning out the gutters!

Your Bond Purchase Makes Solar in Wisconsin More Attainable

Jackie Harrison-Jewell, 2/25/19

When was the last time investing made you feel really good? Sure, investing in bonds is a smart thing to do with your money. It’s generally secure and often pays better, more consistent interest than other investments. But do you really know where your money is going? What it’s doing? Do you feel like you’re making a difference?

Investing in Legacy Solar Co-op’s Slice of Sun bond program is different. With LSC’s bonds you know exactly what your money is doing. All funds raised by the sale of Slice of Sun bonds finance Wisconsin-based solar, installed by local vendors and contractors, with local, primarily nonprofit clients, including city and county government institutions, service organizations and faith-based communities.

Contact us if you want to buy a slice of sun for your community.

This year investing in our co-op will help groups like these:

  • A very popular youth skills training non-profit is looking to secure financing for their 100 kilowatt (!!) project for their new location here in Madison.
  • Three Madison-area churches are vying for support for their solar projects this spring.  We’ll give more details once we have tax sponsors lined up.
  • Three agricultural businesses through the Wisconsin Farmers Union are looking for support for their projects — you could earn 4-6% and help these businesses grow solar for their operations!
  • Two school districts up in northern Wisconsin are looking for material support through the Legacy Solar Co-op.  We need to sell a lot of bonds to help them!
  • One housing development complex in northern Wisconsin is looking for a tax financing solution and considering LSC’s model for part of their development costs.
  • More than one other Wisconsin VFW has voiced interest in building on our success with the Truax-Longmire Post #8483 solar project by adopting projects of their own!

Read more

Project Update

Project Update 1/28/19

Legacy Solar Co-op’s solar bond program provides part of the financing to pay for up-front costs in the first year of the project’s development. The following projects are well on their way, but still need your support to be completed. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Purchase solar bonds: Available in increments of $250, you can help support this project by purchasing bonds and earn between 4-6% interest yearly.
  • Become a tax sponsor: Provide the major sponsorship needed to make these projects come to fruition. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to us by contacting info@legacysolarcoop.org.

Here are some project developments in January, 2019:

  • Blackhawk Church (Fitchburg) — Blackhawk is one church that meets in multiple locations. They are in the process of adding a location in Fitchburg. We are currently completing the RFP process for vendor selection, then will start to fundraise. This project will consist of a rooftop array (up to 100 kW) and possible charging stations
  • Operation Fresh Start (Madison)— Operation Fresh Start “provides a path forward for disconnected youth in Dane County, ages 16-24, through education, mentoring, and employment training.” We are looking for a tax sponsor and then will start fundraising in February. This project will have the capacity of up to 100 kW.
  • First Unitarian Society (Shorewood Hills)— A Unitarian Universalist congregation in occupying a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We are looking for a tax sponsor and then will start fundraising in February.
  • Abinooji Aki (Hayward) — An organization created to assist in the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) tribe in their efforts to combat alcohol and drug abuse. We provided preliminary estimates; this is likely a Q3 project.
  • AmericInn Hayward (Hayward)— provided preliminary estimates; this is likely a Q3 project.
  • Redeemer City Church (Fitchburg)— A church located in southwest Madison / Fitchburg that has been around since 2014. We provided preliminary estimates and are looking for a tax sponsor. This is likely a Q3 project.
  • Lakeview Lutheran Church (Madison) — A congregation that has been serving Madison for over 150 years. We provided a solar assessment for this project, which will have a capacity of roughly 20-30 kW.
  • Solon Springs School District (Solon Springs)— Located in Douglas County (northwest Wisconsin), this school district will soon benefit from a solar array with the capacity of up to 100 kW. We are beginning the RFP process for vendor selection, working on roof improvements, and will do further fundraising in March.

Stay tuned for updates! Check out other LSC projects 

Renew Wisconsin Summit 2019

Legacy Solar Co-op Honored as Renewable Energy Champion

Peter Fiala, 1/17/19

At Renew Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Summit on January 17, 2019, Legacy Solar Co-op was recognized, along with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Chequamegon Bay. See Kurt Reinhold accept the award on behalf of the co-op.

 

Renew Wisconsin Summit 2019

Renewable Energy Champions Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2019 Summit

(Issued by Renew Wisconsin, 1/14/19)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2019
Tyler Huebner, Executive Director
608.255.4044 x 1
tyler.huebner@renewwisconsin.org

Renewable Energy Champions Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2019 Summit

RENEW’s eighth annual Renewable Energy Summit, set for Thursday, January 17, 2019, will furnish the occasion for recognizing individuals and organizations who have made significant and lasting advances in renewable energy development here in Wisconsin. Titled “Scaling Up for the Job Ahead,” RENEW’s Summit will take place at Monona Terrace in Madison; registration starts at 7:30 AM and the program runs from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. The recognition ceremony will begin at 12:45 PM.

At this year’s Summit, RENEW will honor three Renewable Energy Champions for their leadership and accomplishments in 2018. They are:

  • Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
  • Chequamegon Bay Renewables
  • Legacy Solar Cooperative

Read more

Update from Kurt

Fall 2018 Project Update – Continued!

Kurt Reinhold, 11/15/18

Last month, we updated you on five projects that were on the horizon. As the year comes to a close, we would like to introduce a few more and update you on some we’ve already introduced.

VFW Post 8483 in Madison - First Day of Construction

First day of construction – Roof of VFW Post 8483 in Madison

VFW #8483 Truax-Longmire (Madison).  During the week of 11/5/18, Member Midwest Solar Power of Madison added panels to the VFW roof in the beginning of the month! 40 kilowatts of solar thanks to bondholders, RECIP and Solar 4 Good grants.

Oregon Ice Arena.  LSC Member Full Spectrum Solar will be installing 190 kilowatts on the pitched roof facing due south just east of Highway 14 and just south of the High School in the city of Oregon.  On Ice Promotions worked with the non-profit’s board and got this big project the green light after first being introduced to the ice arena 2 years ago.  The project will generate about 20% of the ice arena’s electricity use and its 560 flush mounted solar panels help keep the inside of the ice arena’s roof nice and cool during the hot summer months making the solar power even more attractive.

Christ Lutheran Church in Spring Green is about to get 54 solar panels installed by Member WES Engineering on the roof covering their fellowship hall.  This project should generate roughly 60% of the church’s electricity and set a great example of environmental stewardship for the community and for other congregations.  A Solar for Good grant was used to help bring the cost down for the Church.

The Literacy Network of Dane County in Madison will also get 20 kilowatts of solar on its roof just off of South Park street. Thanks in part to a Solar for Good grant and a Legacy Solar Co-op loan, this end-of-the-year project we hope can be installed and commissioned before Christmas. Thanks to the hard work by Member WES Engineering.

Thank you all for your membership, your readership, and your investments in your Co-op this year.  Drop us a line some time — or, better yet, come by the Goodman Center for our Annual Membership Meeting.  If you are not yet a member, we can help you with that situation.

Sunny Regards,

Kurt Reinhold
Legacy Solar Co-op

Update from Kurt

Fall 2018 Project Updates

Kurt Reinhold, 10/23/18

The fall season is bringing with it lots of excitement for LSC and our members for project development.  We have the following projects either being built right now or in the process of signing contracts to be built in the coming months.  Most of these are fully capitalized, but we will let you know when we need an infusion of bond assistance from our members to close the year’s project loans.

  1. City of Beaver Dam.  Member North Wind Renewable Cooperative of Stevens Point just started working on City Hall this week and will start next month on the Watermark Center, and together with LED retrofits for the former, will complete over 200 kilowatts of solar and save over 279,000 kilowatt hours a year!
  2. VFW #8483 Truax-Longmire (Madison).  Member Midwest Solar Power of Madison is also starting this week to install 40 kilowatts of solar atop this VFW post and should be completed by mid-November.  Our Co-op helped finance $25,000 worth of this project — thank you to our bondholders — plus helped the VFW apply for (& receive!) RECIP and Solar 4 Good grants.
  3. Sawyer County Housing Authority (Hayward).  Member Carlson Electric of Hayward is starting construction on solar arrays that will cover 6 separate buildings with interconnections feeding individual residences for this low-income housing non-profit.  The total wattage for these projects will be over 175,000 kilowatt-hours of clean and quiet solar energy for 52 families in Sawyer County.
  4. Humane Society of Burnett County (Webster)Carlson Electric is also going to built a ground-mount system for this wonderful shelter and education center.  The system will be 19 kilowatts in size (58 pv modules x 340 Watts each) and help offset over 50% of the center’s annual electrical use.
  5. Bethel Horizons (Dodgeville).  Member WES Engineering of Madison will be sponsoring and installing this project that will cover 2 buildings with 20 kilowatts each.  The Prairie Center and the Venture Arts Retreat Center will each be generating about 50% of their own power for their electrical needs at these two sites.  Our Co-op will be making over $30,000 in loans to this project to help make it more financially sound for all parties.

There are 4 other host site clients that may be signing contracts in the next week or so. We will feature them in the next e-Newsletter.  Thank you all for your membership, your readership, and your support in purchasing bonds that help finance and make these projects happen!  See you next month.  Until then,

Sunny Regards!
Kurt

Legacy Solar Co-op events placeholder graphic

City of Beaver Dam Votes Yes!

By Kurt Reinhold, 8/23/18

In the late evening hours, after several other contentious decisions, including re-branding the City’s image and logoy, the City of Beaver Dam Common Council Monday night voted 10 to 3 to hire Legacy Solar Co-op to work with (member) North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative and (member) E3 Lighting to construct two 100-plus kilowatt solar arrays (on the city hall and the Watermark Community and Senior Center) and perform over $31,000 in LED lighting retrofits for the City this fall. The city had announced their hope in a July 27, 2018 article.

This decision sets in motion a new Bonds Campaign to Members who would like to earn up to 6% on Slice-Of-Sun (or SOS) Co-op Bonds.  Legacy Solar Co-op will be making a loan of up to $80,000 to the Tax Sponsor for the solar and lighting project in Beaver Dam.  We have close to $40,000.00 in our Bond Loan Fund currently, so we need to sell another $40,000 of SOS Bonds in the next 6 weeks to meet our goal and complete the capitalization of this very important project. Read more

Update from Kurt

Quick Update from Kurt

By Kurt Reinhold, 7/8/18

Happy July to you all! I feel like the luckiest guy in all of Wisconsin to be working with such a forward leaning group of people in our Co-op.  I want to thank all of you who decided to join our Co-op ($25/yr or $100/lifetime equity membership) in recent months.

Our membership has grown from 96 in December of 2017 to now over 115 by the end of June of 2018.  We have provided over $800,000 in solar loans through our Slice-of-Sun bond program, and hope to double that by the end of the year.

That’s right, double.

Because of the success of our programs, we have as many as 15 new community institutions who are hoping to get solar projects funded by the end of the year.  That means we need to grow our membership and our bondholders along with it.

So far in 2018, our Co-op has helped organize and develop nearly $1 million of solar in Wisconsin.  We want to stay on this trajectory and develop (and help finance) another $1 million of solar projects in our fine state before year’s end.

Please join our Co-op today and consider our Slice-of-Sun program for your next community solar purchase.  Stay tuned for updates on our many potential projects for the 2nd half of this year!

SASY Goes Solar, Solar Stories from the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin.

SASY Neighborhood Solar Report – Trinity Lutheran Church

Kurt Reinhold – 6/6/18

SASY Goes Solar, Solar Stories from the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin.

SASY Goes Solar, Solar Stories from the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin (renewwisconsin.org)

Legacy Solar Co-op gets special mention in the SASY neighborhood solar report for our work helping provide LED retrofits and 20 kilowatts of PV on Trinity Lutheran Church, 1901 Winnebago Street in Madison.  Our partners were Full Spectrum Solar and Burke and Mark O’Neal, owners of FSS.  The project has been a huge success and has drawn visitors from other parishes around the state to learn more about how we accomplished this low cost option for houses of faith.

Follow this link to read about several solar successes in these thriving east side neighborhoods here.

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