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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 5% 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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Co-op Presents to Green Tier Legacy Communities

Posted 2/6/21

Green Tier Legacy Communities are municipalities and counties across the state that are actively building their sustainable capacity. Led by the important work of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and other partners, and now coordinated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), this program now includes over 25 communities and counties across the state.

Legacy Solar Co-op is happy to present to this group on its tax financing for solar systems in February, 2021. We hope this will strengthen our partnerships with municipalities and counties in Wisconsin. Learn more on tax financing and our other consulting services.


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2020 By the Numbers

Posted 1/28/21

Despite COVID being an obstacle, the co-op grew in many respects, as represented by the numbers below. We look forward to 2021 being another year of growth in the number of memberships and projects, in addition to the expansion of the Switch 2 Solar (S2S) offset and solar group buy programs.

View the full 2020 Annual Report or any of the images below to learn about each program.

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What is a Solar Group Buy?

Posted 1/28/21

A solar group buy is a program for reducing solar energy installation costs for businesses and residences sharing a common bond – very similar to cooperatives! These common bonds could include a geographic area, membership in a co-op, a chamber of commerce, a homeowners association (HOA), a church or combination of churches, or a school district. The end result is that each group buy participant realizes significant cost savings when installing solar and/or battery storage. Read more

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On the Topic of Solar Offsets

Posted 12/31/20

Re-Development of the Switch2Solar (S2S) Program in 2021

For the past few months, a focus-group within the co-op has been meeting to redevelop its S2S Program, which coordinates purchases of solar kWhs (kilowatt hours) in the form of RECs (renewable energy credits) from local solar producers. Recent purchases like the ones highlighted below allow the co-op to offer homeowners and businesses these offsets for their energy use, and collectively pave the way to grow more solar in Wisconsin. Read more

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Congress Passes Solar Tax Credit Extension

Posted 12/31/20

On Monday, December 21st, Congress passed a bill that includes $35 billion for energy research and development and a two-year extension of the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit for solar projects. These funds are part of the $1.4 trillion federal spending and tax extension package negotiated by congressional leaders, which is in addition to a $900 billion relief package for Americans, businesses and for Coronavirus vaccine distribution. President Trump signed the bill late Sunday night.

Read more here.

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Annual Meeting 2020

Posted 11/24/20

Join current and prospective members of Legacy Solar Co-op for the 2020 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 2020 and what is in store for 2021 (and join the discussion!);
  3. Vote for Board Members and any other motions or resolutions from the business meeting.
    We are meeting online this year via GoToMeeting starting at 7:00PM and ending around 8:00PM.

RSVP to jackie@legacysolarcoop.org by 12/8. Thanks!

Solar panels on Art Ventures Retreat Center at Bethel Horizons, Dodgeville

Bethel Horizons

LOCATION: Dodgeville, Wisconsin  |  CAPACITY: 40 kW  |  COMPLETION DATE: October 2018

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The Prairie Center and the Venture Arts Retreat Center will each be generating about 50% of their own power.

Bethel Horizons is located on more than 548 acres bordering Governor Dodge State Park. Our mission is to develop and perpetuate a physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual environment which will strengthen and enhance the understanding of a person’s proper relation to nature, to self, to others and to God.”

(From Solar for Good grant)

Horizons is affiliated with Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, Wisconsin and Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, an association of ELCA camps across the country.

Installing a solar energy solution fits perfectly into our general mission and our goal of Caring for Creation. As we strive to foster a better understanding of nature, it not only will help us be better stewards of our financial resources, it will allow an educational opportunity for the many thousands of visitors to our facility. We have a full time environmental educator on staff that will be able to incorporate the use of solar energy first hand into our programs.

Project Impact

This project will directly impact the populations Bethel Horizons serves. During the summer program, 65% of our campers receive some form of financial assistance to attend camp. This project will provide a unique opportunity for Bethel Horizons to expose our youth to this technology to help them understand how it works and the positive impact that it has on our environment. In addition, being in rural Wisconsin, this project can serve as an example for other rural entities about how realistic a project like this could be for their facilities.

Publicity and Education: Bethel Horizons would see this solar array as a way for us to educate others about the importance of renewable energy projects like this one. With a full time Environmental Education Director, Bethel Horizons will be able to develop sustainable programming that can be shared with groups that we serve. In addition, Bethel Horizons would be open to having an event that highlights this project for the general public. We would do this in conjunction with those who have helped us to manage this project.

Member WES Engineering of Madison will be 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 $25,000 in loans to this project.

Final Western Dane County Solar Group Buy Webinar Scheduled for September 15th

Webinar Scheduled for September 15th from 6:30-7:30pm

Save money on solar installation through the Western Dane County Group Buy! Our free webinar will explain how. Attend and receive a free solar assessment.

This is the last year for you to take advantage of the 26% Federal Tax Incentive, (it goes down next year) and this year’s state grant money for energy investments is running low, so the window is closing on this opportunity. Read more

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Help promote the co-op in its efforts to grow solar in Wisconsin

Posted 6/11/20

Here are some of the ways you can help support Legacy Solar Co-op in its efforts to grow solar in Wisconsin:

  • Tell someone about us. Forward this email or refer them to our website.
  • Refer us to your networks. Follow us on LinkedIn and Like us on Facebook.
  • Submit a piece to your group’s newsletter. This could be a church, local VFW, etc. We provide the text and photo.
  • Become a member. Purchase a lifetime individual membership for the small investment of $100 or $250 for institutions. Membership allows you to access discounted consulting, access to purchase solar bonds and other benefits.

A little bit goes a long way. Thank you for referring us!

Next Western Dane County Solar Group Buy Webinars Scheduled for June 3rd and June 14th

Posted 5/21/20

If you live in western Dane County and have ever thought about adding solar to your home, this is the year to do it. Legacy Solar Co-op and community volunteers from the Town of Vermont’s Climate Action Committee have partnered with All Sky Energy and Eagle Point Solar to offer deep discounts and special financing options on solar projects in 2020. The goal of this group buy is to add half a megawatt of solar to Wisconsin’s energy mix. Read more