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Solar Legacy Projects

Solar Legacy Projects are solar energy installations built on community institutions like schools, libraries, or churches. They have been designed and built by local stakeholders.  We call them “legacy” projects because solar generates pollution-free electricity for the community and future generations long after it’s installed –– often 30 years or more. 

You too can help support these projects through our Slice of Sun Solar Bonds program.  Any member can earn between 4% and 6% interest on their bonds purchased through the co-op. Your contribution by purchasing solar bonds allows us to help finance these community projects. You can choose to keep your interest or donate it to a non-profit of your choosing, or event donate the entire bond to a non-profit. Or, you can include your bond in your estate planning. Lots of ways to go green, to earn green, and to help community organizations! 

So even if you live in the shade you can actively help grow solar energy in Wisconsin!  Learn more about the Slice of Sun Solar Bonds program


General Beverage Northwest, Inc. Chippewa Falls Building

General Beer Northwest, Inc.

LOCATION: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 243 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: October 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Midwest Solar Power

 

 

General Beverage Companies (GB) is one of the largest wholesale distributors of wine, distilled spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages in Wisconsin. It is the only beverage wholesaler in the state to honor their union employee contracts and fair pay, family-supporting wages and construction contracts.  In Chippewa County, GB Northwest has 50 employees, and they’ve set an even higher bar, as responsible, corporate stewards of the Wisconsin environment.

Located in an industrial park on the north side of Chippewa Falls, this is the second GB refrigerated distribution center to have solar PV installed by member installer Midwest Solar Power (Madison, WI), demonstrating that the company has made more than a token commitment to sustainability (see General Beverage Companies Headquarters). The clean energy generated from the warehouse rooftop will provide over 50% (& up to 67%) of the building’s annual electrical needs, which will reduce demand on the grid, especially during the peak summer months. The system consists of over 700, 72 cell PV modules at a 10 degree tilt, covering about 85% of the warehouse roof. The system is ballasted and non-penetrating and is web-monitored, including consumption tracking.

General Beverage continues to find ways to consolidate its footprint throughout the state, reduce its energy consumption (updating HVAC systems and lighting at all of it’s locations), smart electrification, and pursuing creative energy management strategies.

This project received a Focus on Energy RECIP grant that covered roughly 25% of the cost; taking this and a federal investment tax credit in to account, the company expects to have a simple payback of 5 years.

See WEAU’s coverage on General Beverage’s solar project on 12/4/18.

How was this project possible? Read about our consulting services.

 

Gallery

 

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?

VFW Post 8483 in Madison - First Day of Construction

VFW Post 8483 (Truax Longmire)

LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 40 kW   |   START DATE: August 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Midwest Solar Power

 

 

 

The mission of VFW’s across the country are to provide support and a sense of community to veterans of all ages, however chapters across the country are receiving less funding to provide this support. In response, the Truax-Longmire VFW Post 8483 (one of two VFWs in Madison) organized and made plans to improve the environment and lower its operating expenses by producing most of its energy onsite.

Legacy Solar Co-op, in collaboration with member Midwest Solar Power, designed a system of 72 photovoltaic panels on a fixed roof mount, and now covers the entire flat part of the building’s roof. The system, thought to be the first of its kind for VFWs in Wisconsin, will generate about $5,000/year in savings and produce 2/3’rds of the post’s annual energy demand. Like many buildings that provide food service, much of the building’s energy is used for refrigeration. The post is also in the process of lowering its energy consumption by installing LED lighting and other energy-saving technologies (another consulting service provided by LSC). One tree was also taken down to maximize their solar production.

Funding was made possible largely by member support in the form of the purchase of solar bonds through Legacy Solar Co-op. A significant portion of the project came in the form of Focus on Energy’s Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (RECIP) and Solar for Good grants. This project is meant to be a good example of environmental stewardship and a rallying point for veterans and soldiers in the community. The system is expected to be paid off and owned by the VFW in 12 years, however energy savings will be realized right away.

Stay tuned for a December or January ‘ribbon-cutting’ event to celebrate the new photo-voltaic array!

 

Photo Gallery

 

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?

 

Watermark Community Center, Beaver Dam, WI

City of Beaver Dam

LOCATION: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 200 kW +   |   START DATE: August 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
North Wind Renewable Energy

 

 

In the late evening hours, after several other contentious decisions, including re-branding the City’s image and logo, the City of Beaver Dam Common Council voted 10 to 3 on August 20, 2018 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.

Install work at the City Hall has started and the site is making good progress on module installation.

Stay tuned for more on this project as it progresses.

Updated November 11, 2018

 

Gallery

 

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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Ribbon Cutting of Solar Project at Memorial United Church of Christ (UCC)

Memorial United Church of Christ

LOCATION: Fitchburg, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 21.6 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: July 2018

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Midwest Solar Power

Memorial United Church of Christ is a progressive, inclusive, multi-generational UCC church in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. LSC and Midwest Solar Power partnered to install a 20 kilowatt solar array that will meet approximately 90% of the church’s total electricity needs over the course of the year.

The high level of concern for the environment was demonstrated by the unanimous approval of the Memorial United Church of Christ congregation to add solar to our building in Fitchburg.  Legacy Coop and Solar Connections helped us study our energy needs, size the system and explore alternative financing.  The system has exceeded our expectations, meeting more than 90% of our electric energy needs. Financial support from Renew Wisconsin’s  Solar for Good  program and Focus On Energy was also critical to making our solar project a success.

– Dean Baumgardner, Trustee
Read more

Willow Creek Ranch

LOCATION: Coon Valley, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 29.4 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: May 2018

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
North Wind Renewable Energy Co-op

FINANCING PROVIDED BY:
WI Farmers Union Logo

 

 

Willow Creek Ranch, a certified organic farm run by the Ofte family for the past four generations that provides free-range beef, poultry and pork products. Located in Coon Valley in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, animals on the farm are raised by natural ranching, a way to give animals as free a range as possible. The ranch also offers eco-vacations, a way to get the true farm experience.  Read more

Steve and Beth Israel solar panels

Beth Israel Center *

* LSC Member

LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 65 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: December 2017

SOLAR CONTRACTOR: Sunvest

We installed a 65 kW solar array that is producing nearly half of the electricity consumed by our synagogue. By significantly reducing our carbon footprint, this project affirms our commitment to the traditional teaching of Tikkun Olam — the notion that we are responsible for “repair of the world.” Undoubtedly, the long-term economics of solar are such that investments like these are highly favorable. With Legacy Solar Coop’s help, we were able to structure the financing so that, in the near term, we could satisfy our fiscally conservative constraints. Throughout the process, Kurt Reinhold guided us through many aspects of the financing and was exceedingly generous with his time.

– Steve Goldstein, Board of Directors and Member, Beth Israel

A traditional, egalitarian synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin, Member Beth Israel Center is a vibrant and diverse community of 260 families — a caring, spiritual home that is alive with celebration, learning, prayer and a commitment to tikkun olam.

Read more

Fitchburg City Hall - photo courtesy of Arch Electric

City of Fitchburg

LOCATION: Fitchburg, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 362KW   |   COMPLETION DATE: November 2017

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Arch Electric Logo

See energy usage

The City of Fitchburg is committed to renewable energy, having installed solar panels on the roofs of their buildings starting in 2009. LSC provided site assessments, City staff support, financial cost and benefit projections, RFP support, and public meeting testimony for the solar project that led to adding almost 1,000 panels (362 kW) to the West Fire Station, City Hall, Public Works Maintenance Facility and the Fitchburg Public Library. The project added about 452,000 kWh of renewable electricity. Read more

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

Read more

General Beverage Rooftop

General Beverage

LOCATION: Fitchburg, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 143 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: October 2017

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Midwest Solar Power

General Beverage Companies (GB) is one of the largest wholesale distributors of wine, distilled spirits, beer and non-alcoholic beverages in Wisconsin, servicing over 11,400 licensed beverage retailers throughout Wisconsin. The company is headquartered in Fitchburg and also has locations in Barron, Chippewa Falls, La Crosse, Little Chute, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Stevens Point. LSC worked with GB to start generating 18-20% of their power from solar. Read more

St. Joseph's Convent (The School Sisters of St. Francis) Rooftop

School Sisters of St Francis of St Joseph Convent *

* LSC Member

LOCATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 375 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: January 2018

SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Arch Electric Logo

“This solar energy project will enable us to lessen our energy consumption and to invest in our care of the Earth. It is very much in keeping with the way that our province is living out our Congregational Direction by joining with others to raise a common voice for the good of all creation.”

– Sister Carol Rigali, School Sisters of St. Francis (Arch Electric, 7/19/17)

The School Sisters of St. Francis of St. Joseph Convent is an international community of Catholic sisters who unite with others to build a just and peaceful world. Founded in 1874, the organization has more than 1,000 sisters, associates, staff, donors and volunteers actively working to address the needs of those who are poor and marginalized by society. Their sites are located in the United States, Europe, Latin America and India. The School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee is one of nine sponsored or co-sponsored sites in the U.S. Read more