(Distributed through the Tech Council News Service, a project of the Wisconsin Technology Council.)
MADISON, Wis. – Legacy Solar Cooperative, which has more than 280 members across Wisconsin, is one of 25 similar organizations in the United States to win a Phase 1 “Community Power Accelerator Prize” through the federal Department of Energy.
Part of a three-stage competition, Phase 1 winners such as Legacy Solar Co-op are enrolled in a 10-week accelerator program that trains, develops and supports new and continuing solar developers focused on community solar.
Community solar is a form of solar energy generation that allows all community members to access the meaningful benefits of renewable energy, particularly those with low-to-moderate incomes, renters and those for whom traditional rooftop solar is unavailable.
“Legacy Solar Co-op is honored to be among the 25 Phase 1 organizations selected to expand a robust network of community solar projects nationwide, and thus bring meaningful benefits to places that would like to make more energy choices,” said Kurt Reinhold, who founded the Madison-based cooperative in 2014.
Over time, Legacy Solar Co-op has helped to place more than 4 megawatts of solar electric projects across Wisconsin. One megawatt equals 1 million watts or 1,000 kilowatts, roughly enough electricity for the instantaneous demand of 750 homes at once. Installations have included schools, churches, a fire district, businesses and residential units.
Legacy Solar Co-op’s focus has been securing funding for solar projects through a bond program that allows individuals to “buy-in” to a solar installation for as little as $250.
The DOE competition consists of three phases – Ready!, Set! and Grow! – with up to 25 winners selected in each round. In Phase 2, successful competitors can each win up to $200,000. In Phase 3, competitors can each win up to $150,000.
Joe Kremer will represent Legacy Solar Co-op in the accelerator and work to develop and fund more Wisconsin projects.
Learn more here about the federal competition: https://www.energy.gov/communitysolar/american-made-community-power-accelerator-prize