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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.

 

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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?

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?

 

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2018 Annual Meeting

December 13, 2018: 6:30-8:30pm
Goodman Center (214 Waubesa St, Madison, WI 53704)

Meet in the Evjue Room starting at 6:00 PM, potluck (provided) at 6:30 and business meeting at 7:00.

Join current and prospective members of Legacy Solar Co-op for the 2018 Annual Meeting. The purpose of the 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 2018 and what is in store for 2019 (and join the discussion!);
  3. Vote for Board Members and any other motions or resolutions from the business meeting.

There will be food! We will have salads, a variety of Glass Nickel Pizzas, other items from board members. Beverages available at a self-serve cash bar. The Co-op will provide 1 case of beer and up to 4 bottles of wine. Members can purchase other beers for $5, or other wine for $17/bottle. Also water and pop.

RSVP on our Facebook event page by 12/10/18 and contact Kurt at Kurt@LegacySolarCoop.org with any questions or food preferences or restrictions. Thanks!

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

How Do We Know that Sustainability is better?

Nick Hein, 10/29/18

Do you have questions about solar? Know someone who does? Things are changing quickly for solar and some of the answers out there don’t apply anymore. Here’s what’s really up with solar right now. In last month’s article we introduced the “Sustainability Stairclimb” to get us thinking about how we “do” sustainability. This month we’ll start the climb with the simple question “Why?” Why can’t we just keep doing things the way we have been, and how do we know that sustainability is better?

Chances are that if you’re a regular reader of this newsletter or Legacy customer, you already have your own answers. But along your climb people may ask you why you’re doing it. Many of these questions were actually asked recently, and they show that not everybody knows about the latest developments in sustainable technologies or the changing climate. In addition, out of date information lingers and some of the changes threaten fossil fuel industries, so there’s sometimes an incentive to spread inaccuracies and distortions. Read more

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

 

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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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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

Dane Buy Local Lunch n Learn

October 16, 2018: 11:30am-1:00pm
Dane County Credit Union
709 Struck St, Madison, WI 53711

LSC President Kurt Reinhold will take us on a tour of what is involved with putting together a community solar project from beginning to middle to end using a case study from the VFW Post #8483 on County CV, just north of the Dane County Regional Airport. Learn how to invest in a solar project even if you live in the shade! Or, start your own community solar project – – we will help you get it done!

Dane Buy Local says: “It is our mission to educate the public about the benefits of thinking local first, to promote our members and their products and services to the community, and to collaborate with other like-minded organizations to achieve our vision.” Their Lunch n’ Learn series showcases local businesses. LSC is proud to partner with them for this event.

See Facebook event page

Dane Buy Local Lunch n Learn 10-17-18

Tony Hartmann, Nick Hein and a Dane Buy Local member analyze the energy savings by installing solar on her home.

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

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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 between 4% and 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