Wisconsin has the potential to dramatically scale up customer-friendly solar solutions with newly proposed legislation. The two largest barriers to onsite solar installations are financing and the suitability of the host site. Now we have a chance to address both issues with proposed legislation on community solar and third-party financing.



Community solar refers to a small solar array located within a community where multiple customers like households, small businesses, churches, schools, and local governments can subscribe to a portion of the solar array and receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power the solar panels produce. Community solar programs expand access to solar energy, avoids the large upfront costs of a traditional system, and provide an alternative to the traditional process of individuals and businesses placing solar systems on their property.  Twenty-one other states have community solar legislation that allows for greater participation.

THIRD-PARTY financing

Third-party financing eliminates the relatively high upfront costs associated with renewable energy projects. Through leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs), third-party financing makes ‘going solar’ an accessible option for low to middle-income homeowners, churches, government agencies, and nonprofits. Legislation will soon be introduced to affirm that third-party financing is legal in Wisconsin and ensure that residents and businesses have access to the same financing tools as those in twenty-eight other states with clear third-party financing rules.

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We are a group of Wisconsin organizations from across the state and all walks of life committed to pushing for expanding access to renewable energy through community solar and third-party financing.

Community solar is the best thing out there. If you want to attract business, this is the way to do it.

Nick Hylla
Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)