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‘Community Solar’ Catching In Wisconsin

Utility-Backed Solar Farms Allow Ratepayers To Buy In For Renewable Energy


More Wisconsin utilities and neighborhoods are teaming up for what’s called “community solar.”

Many renters and homeowners in the state don’t live in houses where it’s easy to add solar panels. But according to the group RENEW Wisconsin, last year five Wisconsin utilities added centrally located solar farms and let community members subscribe to the electricity.

RENEW’s Tyler Huebner said some power companies have been jacking up fees on individuals who install solar, but community solar is different.

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“When the utilities have decided that they are going to go ahead with this type of program, their intention is to make it as attractive to their customers as possible, so, they offer good rates,” he said.

More utility-backed community solar projects seem to be on the way, Huebner said, both in western WIsconsin and in Dane County. RENEW is holding a summit in Madison Thursday to talk about solar power and other energy issues.