Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls’ Solar Dedication Brightens the Community

Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls’ Solar Dedication Brightens the Community

On Sunday, September 17, Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls hosted a solar dedication ceremony to celebrate their new solar array. The 44.3-kilowatt  array was installed by Ethos Green Power and is expected to produce 61,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served the community for over 150 years. The installation will help the church with reducing its reliance on conventional energy sources, ultimately saving on energy costs. 

The journey to embrace solar was a collective endeavor, made possible through dedicated support and funding. Notably, Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls received funding from Focus on Energy, Solar for Good, Ethos Green Power, and individual donations from its congregation.

The commitment to this initiative would not have been possible without the support of its congregation members, whose dedication to environmental stewardship and care for creation played a pivotal role. 

“Our new solar array is a testament to our ongoing dedication to caring for God’s creation,” said John Skoug, Member of Church Council and Creation Care Team Lead. “This project, in conjunction with our geothermal heating and cooling system, signifies two major steps our church has taken to reduce our environmental impact while simultaneously saving on energy costs.”

Peace Lutheran has undertaken a series of green initiatives. In addition to its solar array, the church has embraced geothermal heating and cooling, upgraded to energy-efficient LED lighting, and implemented a recycling program.

As Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls celebrates the completion of their solar project, they stand not only as an example of environmental stewardship within their community but as a model for churches throughout Wisconsin. They have shown that renewable energy is not only an environmentally conscious, but a smart financial decision. 

Elk Creek Solar Project Approved!

Elk Creek Solar Project Approved!

The Elk Creek Solar project, located in the Township of Spring Brook in Dunn County, was approved this month by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). The 300-megawatt (MW) solar project is paired with a 76.6 MW battery energy storage system and is expected to go online by the spring of 2026.

As designed, Elk Creek Solar would supply homegrown, affordable, emission-free electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 60,000 homes for at least 30 years. RENEW Wisconsin submitted testimony in support of the project, and we are excited for construction to begin.

The developer of the project, TED Renewables, has been engaged and transparent with the Springbrook community throughout the approval process by providing detailed information on the benefits and timeline of the project. Beyond generating revenue for local schools and government services, the project is expected to create upwards of 650 jobs during the construction phase and 3-4 highly skilled long-term jobs.

According to TED Renewables, the annual tax revenues for all taxing districts will exceed $1.2 million. As stated in the La Crosse Tribune, “Spring Brook township of $500,000, Dunn County of $700,000 and the Elk Mound Area School District of $60,000.”

Construction is projected to start in the fall of 2024. Throughout the life of the project, the landowner will retain the title to the land and sign a 30-year lease, with the option for a five-year extension. At the end of its operational life, the equipment will be recycled or reused, and the land will be restored. By giving the soil time to rest and planting deep-rooted plants, the quality of the soil will be improved substantially by the time it is once again ready for agricultural use.

Elk Creek Solar is the 17th project larger than 100 MW the PSCW has approved since 2019, totaling 3,249 MW for Wisconsin. Several other projects, including Silver Maple Solar, are awaiting approval.

Submit a Comment in Support of the Silver Maple Solar Project

Submit a Comment in Support of the Silver Maple Solar Project

A 200-megawatt (MW) solar project, Silver Maple Solar, has been proposed in Fond du Lac and Winnebago Counties. If approved, Silver Maple Solar is expected to begin producing enough clean energy to power 35,000 Wisconsin homes by the end of 2025.

Solar power projects larger than 100 MW must gain approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) before they can proceed to construction. Along the way, there are opportunities for public comment, including at the PSCW. Earlier this summer, RENEW Wisconsin submitted testimony in support of Silver Maple Solar to the PSCW. Now that the public comment period is open, you can share your support for this project as well.

Silver Maple Solar represents a significant economic investment in rural southeastern Wisconsin, providing steady revenues to area landowners and communities while generating emission-free renewable electricity for more than 30 years. The developer of the project, Leeward Renewable Energy, has provided a high-level overview and a map of the project to help the public better understand its benefits.

Since 2019, the PSCW has issued approvals for 17 solar power projects across Wisconsin, totaling 3,249 MW. With the addition of Silver Maple, solar energy will make up 10% of Wisconsin’s electricity production, the highest share for a state in the Upper Midwest.

Help us demonstrate Wisconsin’s enthusiastic support for projects like this by submitting a comment in support of Silver Maple Solar. Be sure to specifically reference the project and the benefits that it can bring to Wisconsin. The deadline to submit comments is October 13, 2023.

We’ve included a sample message to help you get started. Please keep in mind that the PSCW allows one comment per case and that customizing your message will have a greater impact.

Sample Comment

I’m writing in support of the Silver Maple Solar, under review in Docket No. 9813-CE-100. This project would support local economies and keep energy dollars in state by producing homegrown, renewable energy right here in Wisconsin.


Beyond the economic benefits, the Silver Maple Solar project will also help to displace carbon dioxide, support grid stability, and provide Wisconsinites with an affordable source of electricity. With available land and appropriate infrastructure, projects like this make sense for Wisconsin.


I respectfully encourage the PSCW to rule that Silver Maple Solar is in the public interest and issue a permit enabling the project to proceed to construction. Thank you for your consideration of my views.

$75,000 in Solar Grants Available for Madison Businesses and Nonprofits: Application Period Closing Soon

$75,000 in Solar Grants Available for Madison Businesses and Nonprofits: Application Period Closing Soon

 Madison-based businesses and nonprofits have a unique opportunity to embrace the power of clean energy while easing financial burdens through MadiSUN’s Solar for Business and Backyard Solar Grant programs. The deadline to apply for the Backyard Solar Grant is October 1, 2023. Businesses have until December 31, 2023.

MadiSUN’s Solar for Business and Backyard Solar Grant programs, administered by RENEW Wisconsin, align with the City of Madison’s commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. Collectively, the programs have $75,000 in grants available for Madison-based businesses and nonprofits to utilize. Businesses can receive up to $10,000. Nonprofit organizations and affordable housing providers can receive up to $20,000.

“Solar power isn’t just about reducing our carbon footprint; it’s a smart economic choice,” said Lauren Cohen, Program Coordinator of the MadiSUN programs. “With our Solar for Business and Backyard Solar Grant programs, we’re not only helping Madison’s businesses and nonprofits adopt clean energy but also reducing their financial loads.”

Adopting solar has become a strategic move for businesses and nonprofits alike as the cost of solar drops. Transitioning to solar becomes even more affordable when organizations pair the Inflation Reduction Act’s 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit and the grants through MadiSUN.

“The MadiSUN Backyard Solar grant helped make our solar array much more affordable,” said Gabrielle Hinahara, Board Member at the Madison Area Cooperative Housing Alliance and Backyard Solar Grant Recipient. “Our solar array is set to provide 97% of the electricity needs for our 11-person house, which contributes to long-term affordability for our residents.”

As the deadline approaches, organizations are encouraged to seize this opportunity to go solar, reduce upfront costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future. Interested applicants should reach out to

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic Electrified

Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic Electrified

On Saturday, August 26, The Aldo Leopold Foundation Legacy Center celebrated the completion of its newest solar array. Since the conception of the Legacy Center, the Foundation has aimed to achieve what Aldo described as, “The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”

The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization with a mission of fostering a land ethic through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. As described by him, the land ethic involves recognizing ourselves as “plain members and citizens” of the land community and treating our fellow members with care and respect.

The Foundation’s dedication to the land ethic is underscored by its new 90-kilowatt solar installation completed by All Sky Energy. This is the Foundation’s second solar installation at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, boosting the organization’s goal of achieving net-zero. As a complement to the new solar array, the foundation has also installed three electric vehicle charging stations and added two electric trucks to its fleet.

This project was made possible through the collaborative efforts of All Sky Energy, The Couillard Solar Foundation, OneEnergy Renewables, RENEW Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The main source of funding came from a $152,000 Office of Energy Innovation grant and panel grants from OneEnergy Renewables and Solar for Good.

Buddy Huffaker, President and Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, highlighted the significance of this endeavor, stating, “Obviously, this project benefits the Leopold Foundation by reducing our expenses, but we are most excited about the opportunity to continue demonstrating a conservation ethic that informs and inspires others to transition to renewable energy and electrification.”

This initiative resonates deeply with Aldo Leopold’s philosophy of living harmoniously with the land. The Aldo Leopold Foundation aims to lead by example by showcasing how investments in renewable energy promote sustainability while creating a tangible connection between modern living and the land ethic Leopold championed.

With thousands of annual visitors to the Legacy Center, the Aldo Leopold Foundation serves as an example for the broader community. This latest effort to electrify the land ethic has the potential to inspire others to embrace renewable energy solutions and drive rural electrification enhancements.

Chequamegon Humane Association Unleashes New Solar System

Chequamegon Humane Association Unleashes New Solar System

On Thursday, August 24, the Chequamegon Humane Association hosted a solar dedication to celebrate the completion of their 15.12-kilowatt solar array. The 28-panel system, installed by Jolma Electric, is projected to produce over 19,000 kWh annually. This anticipated output will offset 90-100% of the animal shelter’s energy consumption, demonstrating a substantial commitment to clean energy.

The Chequamegon Humane Association is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter with a mission to promote and support the humane treatment of animals in the Chequamegon Bay area and beyond. 

The nonprofit expects to save as much as $2,735 per year. Over the lifetime of the system, these savings will add up to more than $80,000 and will be reinvested into the organization, offsetting some of the expenses associated with providing essential health services for the animals in their care. 

The success of this solar installation was made possible by a collaborative effort. The project received valuable support from various sources. Solar for Good contributed half of the solar panels required for the project. The remaining funding was covered by a rebate from Focus on Energy and community-raised funds. The local community played a pivotal role in this effort, coming together to contribute approximately $17,000 to bridge the remaining funding gap.

The significance of this solar initiative reached beyond its immediate impact. The Chequamegon Humane Association’s decision to embrace solar energy not only benefits their own operations but also sets a powerful example for other animal shelters to follow. The economic benefits realized through reduced electricity bills offer the organization the ability to allocate these funds to other essential programs and services that align with its mission. Their forward-thinking approach to cost savings through renewable energy will serve as a model for shelters across the state.

The Chequamegon Humane Association’s solar journey highlights their commitment not only to the well-being of their animals but to the well-being of their community. Through their efforts, the Chequamegon Humane Association paves the way for a more sustainable and compassionate future for animal shelters all around Wisconsin.