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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


The Stairclimb Strategy

Nick Hein, 1/28/19

Previous articles discussed the sustainability stair climb in general terms.  In this article we’ll outline a specific strategy to make real progress toward long-term sustainability goals.  Here’s why it’s important.  Your financial investments right now may be making 2-8% in conventional places like banks and money markets.  Alternatively, sustainability can give you a return from 10-80%, and your investment stays in your home where you can see and feel it.  In this article you’ll learn how to calculate that return and how to make it snowball so you can re-invest it. 

Rebates or other programs give you short-term rewards for changing behavior, but if you’re going to climb the whole stairway you need a way to see longer-term progress and set bigger goals.  A $100 rebate doesn’t help you as much as saving $100 every year, and using fewer fossil fuels this month doesn’t motivate you as much as eliminating them completely.  

In this article we describe how to track money saved during your sustainability efforts, in addition to the intangible benefits such as time-savings, convenience, comfort, safety, and quality of life. This will involve using spreadsheets, which we’ll show in sections.  There will be a link to the complete file, which should work with most spreadsheet programs.  Read more

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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 

Renew Wisconsin Summit 2019

Legacy Solar Co-op Honored as Renewable Energy Champion

Peter Fiala, 1/17/19

At Renew Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Summit on January 17, 2019, Legacy Solar Co-op was recognized, along with Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Chequamegon Bay. See Kurt Reinhold accept the award on behalf of the co-op.

 

Renew Wisconsin Summit 2019

Renewable Energy Champions Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2019 Summit

(Issued by Renew Wisconsin, 1/14/19)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2019
Tyler Huebner, Executive Director
608.255.4044 x 1
tyler.huebner@renewwisconsin.org

Renewable Energy Champions Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2019 Summit

RENEW’s eighth annual Renewable Energy Summit, set for Thursday, January 17, 2019, will furnish the occasion for recognizing individuals and organizations who have made significant and lasting advances in renewable energy development here in Wisconsin. Titled “Scaling Up for the Job Ahead,” RENEW’s Summit will take place at Monona Terrace in Madison; registration starts at 7:30 AM and the program runs from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM. The recognition ceremony will begin at 12:45 PM.

At this year’s Summit, RENEW will honor three Renewable Energy Champions for their leadership and accomplishments in 2018. They are:

  • Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
  • Chequamegon Bay Renewables
  • Legacy Solar Cooperative

Read more

Renew Wisconsin Summit 2019

Renewable Energy Summit 2019

Legacy Solar Co-op will be part of Renew Wisconsin’s  8th Annual Renewable Energy Summit on January 17, 2019 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. This year, the co-op is showing its commitment to Wisconsin’s green future by becoming a Summit Supporter. This year’s theme is ‘Scaling Up for the Job Ahead’, a clear rallying cry for Wisconsin as it continues to ramp up its commitment to renewable energy.

The opening address will be given by Governor Tony Evers, keynote by Mark Stoering, President of Xcel Energy Wisconsin and Michigan, and breakout sessions on utility scale renewables, how local governments can lead the way, battery storage and electric vehicles. A panel of experts will share its perspectives on scaling up efforts to deploy renewable energy in Wisconsin.

More information can be found at https://www.renewwisconsin.org/renewable-energy-summit/. Stay tuned to our Facebook page as we post from the event.

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

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2018 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting 2018

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

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

The purpose of the meeting was 3-fold:

  1. The annual meeting is required by Chapter 185 governing Wisconsin Cooperatives (quorum is at least 10% of membership);
  2. Members found out what’s been up with your Co-op in 2018 and what is in store for 2019 (and joined the discussion!);
  3. Voted for Board Members and any other motions or resolutions from the business meeting.

Members voted unanimously to approve present and new board members as follows:

  • Renewed for another 2 years = John Bayley and Mark Warnick
  • Starting new 2 year terms = Angie Domagalski and Josh Stolzenburg
  • Continuing another year before membership approval needed = Kurt Reinhold and Peter Fiala

See 2018’s project recap.

 

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