Community solar refers to a small solar array located within a community where multiple customers, including 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, avoid 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.
Many residents and businesses across Wisconsin cannot place solar systems on their property because they rent their space, have roofs that cannot host solar systems due to shade or type of structure, or they don’t have the funds for the upfront costs to install their own system.
Community solar provides an opportunity for all households, small businesses, nonprofits, and local governments to access affordable solar energy without putting panels on their roof or paying thousands of dollars in upfront costs. Customers will be able to subscribe to a small solar array located in their community and receive credits on their electricity bills for their share of power that the solar panels produce.
Wisconsin has a limited number of utility-sponsored community solar programs, most are fully subscribed, and some utilities in the state don’t offer these programs at all. We need legislation in Wisconsin to offer community solar to all residents who want access to affordable renewable energy. Presently, 21 states have policies supporting community solar, with subscribers seeing immediate bill savings. Community solar provides cost-effective renewable energy, strengthens the resilience of the grid, and spurs economic opportunity.
Community solar legislation was introduced (SB 490/AB 527) but did not pass in the 2021-2022 legislative session. The Wisconsin Solar Coalition will be advocating for community solar legislation again in the 2022-2023 session. We encourage everyone to contact their legislators and tell them to support expanded access to community solar in Wisconsin.
Tell your legislators to support expanded access to community solar in wisconsin!
Senator Duey Stroebel (R - Saukville) and Representative Timothy Ramthun (R - Campbellsport) have introduced legislation that would expand access to community solar in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin legislature needs to hear from you about the importance of improving access to community solar.
fill out the form below to customize a sample letter you can send to your legislators asking them for their support.
If you have any questions, please contact Jim Boullion, RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at (608) 695-7004.
Thank you for helping to make Wisconsin a leader in renewable energy!