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Solar Ribbon Cutting – Sawyer County Housing Authority

When: August 2, 2019 @ 1:00pm

Where: 15784 Illinois Ave, Hayward, WI 54843-5102

Renew Wisconsin, along with Legacy Solar Co-op, member installed Carlson Electric and Focus on Energy, are hosting a ribbon cutting for the Sawyer County Housing Authority to celebrate their series of newly-constructed solar arrays.

RSVP Here.

Vista Village in Hayward, part of Sawyer County Housing Authority

Vista Village in Hayward, part of Sawyer County Housing Authority

Project Update

VFW Post 8483 – Solar Ribbon-Cutting

On Saturday, May 25th, 2019, the VFW Truax Longmire Post 8483 will host a ribbon-cutting event for their newly-constructed solar array. Partners RENEW Wisconsin, Midwest Solar Power LLC, and Legacy Solar Co-op will share in the celebration. The VFW was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Solar for Good program to help with the installation of the array.

RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/2318011535153183/

VFW Post 8483 (courtesy of Renew Wisconsin)

VFW Post 8483 (courtesy of Renew Wisconsin)

Man climbing stairs with sunrise background

The Sustainability StairClimb: Strategy

Nick Hein, 4/25/19

1. Introduction:  Why have a strategy?

Earlier articles in this series have discussed sustainability in terms of the simple, low-risk, short-payback tactics with obvious benefits.  However, when it comes to the bigger and more expensive opportunities you need a strategy that will guide you to the most effective ones first and help you plan how to pay for them.  Currently the most common strategy is the payback calculation. This is a strictly monetary metric that says if you get your money back in a reasonable amount of time, and continue to save after that, then the project is worth it.  The problem with this approach is that it may miss synergies that can come about by combining projects, and can’t adapt to changing conditions.  In this article we’ll also talk about Fossil Energy (FE) reduction, and a 100% Renewable Energy (RE%) target strategy.  The new metrics have the benefit that they are absolute, meaning that they don’t depend on a baseline that might change over time.  As such they mark progress toward an absolute goal instead of a relative one. Here we’ll also track the traditional metrics like energy cost and payback time.

Read more

Spring tulips by trees with sunlight

Spring is a Time for Action

By the Legacy Solar Co-op Team, 4/25/19

Spring is a time for action. To get out there and do something. More sunshine means we can tackle that list of projects we’ve avoided all winter, right?

Sorta.

Unfortunately the list of things we could do is far longer than the list of things we can do.  And just like you, Legacy Solar Co-op has a project list that’s longer than our current resources allows us to tackle. It’s not that we don’t want to execute. Helping solar projects come to life is a beautiful thing we never tire of seeing. Our list is long because it’s filled with worthy projects that aren’t getting the love they deserve.

We have to act quickly to change that. Tax incentives and previously awarded grants have to be used before they sunset.

The Co-op is owned by some of the most committed and generous people we’ve ever met, and you all have helped us do some amazing things in the past.  So what about 2019 and 2020?

That’s up to you! Read more

WES Engineering installed Literacy Network's Racking System

Literacy Network of Dane County

LOCATION: Madison, Wisconsin
CAPACITY: 19 kW
PROJECT COMPLETED: December 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Logo_WES Engineering

 

 

 

Founded in 1974, the Literacy Network teaches reading, writing, communication and computer skills to approximately 1,000 low-income Dane County adults each year (90% are people of color; 67% are women). A staff of 28 and nearly 900 annual volunteers help participants achieve financial security, well-being and deeper engagement with their families and the community.

In fall 2016, after renting for more than 40 years, Literacy Network purchased and renovated the building at 701 Dane Street, with nearly four times more space than their previous location. Thanks in part to a Solar for Good grant and a loan from Legacy Solar Co-op, solar power was also in their future. The new solar array consists of multiple sub-arrays, allowing Literacy Network to generate electricity to power the facility for afternoons and early evenings when they have classes. Once the system is paid off, the array is expected reduce imported MGE electricity by about 25% and save over $3,000 per year. This equates to a full semester of one-on-one tutoring for a class! Read more

Todd Lund Wires Up Oregon Ice Arena Rooftop

Oregon Ice Arena

LOCATION: Oregon, Wisconsin
CAPACITY: 190 kW
COMPLETED: December 2018
SOLAR CONTRACTOR:
Full Spectrum Solar logo

The Oregon Ice Arena is a non-profit 501(c)(3) facility in Oregon, WI. with the mission of providing the best ice skating experience possible by maintaining a clean and safe environment for all ages. Ice arenas have to operate heat pumps every day of the year in order to keep the air temperature near the ice as close to freezing as possible. The hottest days of the year take the most compressor activity so not only will this array use the sun’s energy to lower the arena’s electric use, the fact that the solar array takes up over 12,500 square-feet of south-facing roof means that it also shades the roof from the sun. Read more

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 up to 5% 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.

Read more

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: Read more