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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


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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 

Sawyer County Housing Authority

LOCATION: Hayward, Radisson, Winter & Exeland, Wisconsin
CAPACITY: 153 kW (total over 6 sites)
COMPLETION DATE: November 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Logo_Carlson Electric

 

 

Since the early 1970s, Sawyer County Housing Authority (SCHA), located in northwest Wisconsin, has had a mission of providing safe, affordable housing for families with low and moderate incomes. Their Rural Development program consists of two- and three-bedroom units in the towns of Hayward, Radisson, Winter and Exeland for families eligible for rental assistance. There is also a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program which provides rental assistance to qualifying families that rent through private landlords.

“We (SCHA) are all very excited about the project as well as our staff and board of commissioners who are eager to see the savings in electrical costs as well as the reduction in our carbon footprint.

– Sheila Young, Executive Director of SCHA

Legacy Solar Co-op partnered with Carlson Electric to install solar arrays on 6 separate buildings, including 52 families in the Hayward, WI area. Sites include:

  • Radmore Village in Radisson (33.32kW)
  • Winmore Village in Winter (29.24kW)
  • Stone Lake Senior Housing in Stone Lake (10.88 kW)
  • Exeland Senior Housing in Exeland (12.24 kW)
  • Plainview Village in Exeland (21.08 kW)
  • Vista Village in Hayward (46.24 kW)

The project will generate over 175,000 kilowatt-hours of clean and quiet solar energy and is expected to offset over 90% of SCHA’s energy needs. All sites were fitted with Tigo-brand optimizers that have been engineered for maximum solar production, only required to be spaced as needed. This assures an increase in energy harvest while reducing the cost of the project. Panels are The moment the panels went online, they started saving SCHA money, getting them closer to buying out the project after 6 years.

The project was made possible by a series of Solar for Good grants, totalling over $50,000, in addition to a tax financing plan proposed by Legacy Solar Co-op.

For more information, see press release: Sawyer County Housing Authority Brings Renewable Energy to Rural Development Housing‘ (PR.com, 11/22/18)

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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?

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. Read more

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. Read more

City of Beaver Dam

LOCATION: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 106.3 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: October 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
North Wind Renewable Energy

 

 

The City of Beaver Dam hired Legacy Solar Co-op to work with (member) North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative and (member) E3 Lighting to construct a sizable solar array on the city hall 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.

The system consists of Teir one Hawha QCells 345 watt modules, totaling 106.3 kW, and are expected to save the city more than $4,000/year in energy costs. This project was planned as part of the city’s plan to generate 25% of its energy renewably by 2025 along with its partnership with the Office of Energy Innovation as an “Energy Independent Community”.

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

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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

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