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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 up to 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


Wintery Trees

Happy Holidays from Legacy Solar Co-op

Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 12/20/19

However you celebrate, we wish you well during this holiday season and year-end and we look forward to engaging with you next year!

And we also want to thank you. Whether you’ve recently become a member, purchased bonds or solar renewable energy credits (RECs) or are simply following our progress online, we thank you for your involvement! With our collective efforts, solar energy generates a green future for Wisconsin and pays back those who helped fund projects in the first place. If you’re interested in helping support the next round of projects, visit our projects update page, or contact us.

Project Update

Project Updates

Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 12/20/19

Legacy Solar Co-op’s solar bond program provides financing to help pay for up-front costs. The following projects are well on their way, but some still need your support to be completed.

A few ways to get involved:

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

Some of our current projects:

  • Lakeview Lutheran Church (Madison) — A congregation serving Madison for over 150 years. We provided a solar assessment for this roughly 20-30 kW project.
  • Solon Springs School District (Solon Springs)— Located in Douglas County (northwest Wisconsin), this school district will soon benefit from a solar array with up to 100 kW capacity. Early winter delayed project completion into 2020, but we eagerly anticipation spring solar power for Solon Springs. Read more
Update from Nick

If I’m Getting Free Electricity from the Sun, Why isn’t my bill lower? It may be your demand peaks.

Nick Hein, 12/20/19

If you’re a commercial electric customer and you’ve just installed solar PV on your roof, you’re probably expecting to see a lower monthly electric bill.  If you don’t, it’s probably due to peak demand charges and there’s something you can do about it.  Electricity doesn’t always cost the same.  Depending what tariff schedule (rate plan) you’re on, the electric bill may have any or all of these components: 

When you install solar, you’re saving yourself money in the usage charge.  That means the utility is making less money, so they try to make up for it by increasing the connection charge and the demand charges.  Before solar, these charges didn’t even exist.  To some extent they are justified.   Connection charges cover the cost  to maintain wires and transformers that carry the electricity, and this rate is negotiated with the state Public Service Commission and can’t be changed.  Peak demand rates are also fixed, but you can reduce your peak usage.  When there are peaks the provider has to pay more for electricity on short notice.  It makes good sense to level out your usage so you don’t get peaks because it reduces the wear on your electrical equipment.  It can also save you money on your monthly bill.  Here’s how. Read more

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2019 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting 2019

The purpose of the co-op annual meeting is 3-fold:

  1. Meeting is required by Chapter 185 governing Wisconsin Cooperatives (quorum is at least 10% of membership);
  2. Find out what’s been up with your Co-op in 2019 and what is in store for 2020 (and join the discussion!);
  3. Vote for Board Members and any other motions or resolutions from the business meeting.

The meeting took place at Madison Brassworks in the Bea Christensen Room (214 Waubesa Street, Madison) starting at 6:00 PM, food at 6:30 and business meeting at 7:00.

Thank you to everyone who attended! It was great to see so many friendly faces and to get a chance to talk with other members.

First Unitarian Society of Madison

First Unitarian Society (FUS) of Madison

LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin   |   CAPACITY: 83 kW   |   COMPLETION DATE: October 2019
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Full Spectrum Solar logo

 

FUS of Madison is a community of spiritual and ethical seekers that inhabits a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. FUS is one of the largest Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States, totaling over 1,400 members.

Over the years, FUS staff and board, the Sustainability Ministry Team, with the support of the FUS community, have developed a sustainable, carbon neutral vision, which now includes a 83kW solar panel system that was added to its campus in October of 2019. The new array was placed on the flat-roofed portions of FUS and outside the green roof on the Atrium addition and has the capacity to generate about 90,000 kW-hours of electricity annually – more than a quarter of the electricity it consumes, or about nine average-sized U.S. homes worth of energy. The system, designed by Full Spectrum Solar, maximizes the energy the building can generate with the roof space available. Read more

Drone view

Project Updates

Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 10/10/19

First Unitarian Society Rooftop

First Unitarian Society Rooftop

The First Unitarian Society in Madison is hosting a ribbon-cutting on October 13 (at 12:30pm) to commemorate their new rooftop solar system (installed by Full Spectrum Solar), which, combined with energy-efficiency measures, will reduce their electricity demand from the grid by more than half. Read more about this project.

Blackhawk Church Fitchburg‘s system was switched on in September – Installation by H&H Electric.

  • Humane Society of Burnett County (HSBC) launched their new system with a ribbon cutting on September 29, the largest solar array in Burnett County! Installation by Carlson ElectricRead more.
  • Solon Springs School District is being installed in October. Installation by Carlson Electric.
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oregon voted overwhelmingly to install within the next six months.
New York Roadtrip 2019

Road Tripping in a Rented EV: How we spent our Summer vacation while taking climate action.

Nick Hein, 10/6/19

1. The Call to Action

A good friend of ours spends her summers in the Adirondacks at a family-owned wilderness camp north of Utica, NY and invited us to come and visit. As the summer was nearing an end, my fiance’ and I realized that we hadn’t taken a vacation and decided to go a few weeks after Labor Day when most of the vacation travel had settled down. However, this was also the week of the climate strike Day of Action and we wanted our travel to align with it even if we would be far away. We began considering our options for low-impact travel. Read more

Oregon Ice Arena Ribbon Cutting Celebrates a Project Completed

Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 8/1/19

On June 20, Legacy Solar Co-op, member installer Full Spectrum Solar and Renew Wisconsin helped Oregon Ice Arena celebrate the completion of its rooftop solar array. For over a month, the arena has been generating about 25% of its energy from its rooftop solar array. The irony of it is that energy from the sun powers the heat pumps in the building, which help keep the ice as close to freezing as possible. The mere existence of the 560 panels means less sun exposure and helps the arena save dramatically on cooling costs during peak demand.

Oregon Ice Arena Ribbon Cutting, June 20, 2019

Turn Sunshine into Money with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Jackie Harrison-Jewell, 8/1/19

Solar electricity is worth more than just clean power.  It has externalized benefits that are worth money, so the concept of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) was created to credit producers for those benefits.  Every time 1,000 kWh of electricity is generated, it is recorded as an (SREC)The SREC is sold separately from the electricity and represents the “solar” aspect of the electricity that was produced. Why bother doing this?  Several states have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for solar – a mandated percentage of total energy that must be generated by solar energy.  In states that have this mandate, the value of an SREC is determined by the market subject to supply and demand constraints. SRECs can be sold to electricity suppliers needing to meet their solar RPS requirement.  Read more

Legacy Solar Co-op events placeholder graphic

Free Community Film Screening – Paris to Pittsburgh

When: August 15, 2019 @ 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Sequoya Branch Library (4340 Tokay Blvd, Madison, Wisconsin 53711)

Legacy Solar Co-op joins the Mount Horeb Area Citizens’ Climate and other energy-minded folks to view Paris to Pittsburgh, a film that celebrates how Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. As the weather grows more deadly and destructive, they aren’t waiting on Washington to act. Learn more about the film here.

* 6:30 pm – Community Organizations Introductions and Info Sharing
* 6:45 pm – Paris to Pittsburgh Film
* 8:00 pm – Discussion and Action Opportunities

RSVP Here.

Paris to Pittsburgh Movie Poster