Your Bond Purchase Makes Solar in Wisconsin More Attainable

Jackie Harrison-Jewell, 2/25/19

When was the last time investing made you feel really good? Sure, investing in bonds is a smart thing to do with your money. It’s generally secure and often pays better, more consistent interest than other investments. But do you really know where your money is going? What it’s doing? Do you feel like you’re making a difference?

Investing in Legacy Solar Co-op’s Slice of Sun bond program is different. With LSC’s bonds you know exactly what your money is doing. All funds raised by the sale of Slice of Sun bonds finance Wisconsin-based solar, installed by local vendors and contractors, with local, primarily nonprofit clients, including city and county government institutions, service organizations and faith-based communities.

Contact us if you want to buy a slice of sun for your community.

This year investing in our co-op will help groups like these:

  • A very popular youth skills training non-profit is looking to secure financing for their 100 kilowatt (!!) project for their new location here in Madison.
  • Three Madison-area churches are vying for support for their solar projects this spring.  We’ll give more details once we have tax sponsors lined up.
  • Three agricultural businesses through the Wisconsin Farmers Union are looking for support for their projects — you could earn 4-6% and help these businesses grow solar for their operations!
  • Two school districts up in northern Wisconsin are looking for material support through the Legacy Solar Co-op.  We need to sell a lot of bonds to help them!
  • One housing development complex in northern Wisconsin is looking for a tax financing solution and considering LSC’s model for part of their development costs.
  • More than one other Wisconsin VFW has voiced interest in building on our success with the Truax-Longmire Post #8483 solar project by adopting projects of their own!

Read more

Net metering screenshot

Net Metering in Wisconsin

Nick Hein, 2/25/19

If you’re putting solar PV on your home you may have heard the term “net metering” and wondered what it means. Even if you think you know what it means, there are some details about it that vary greatly depending on your utility. These may affect the size of the array you decide to install, and how you operate it. In this article I’ll explain what net metering is, why we have it and what you should know to make the best decision about your installation and how you use it.

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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

Project Update

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)

Read more

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   |   COMPLETED: December 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