From the Summer 2023 Hornblower newsletter, published by the Dudgeon Monroe Neighborhood Association.

Community solar is on a steep incline locally, regionally, and nationally. By the end of 2022 there were over 2,000 community solar projects distributed across 40 states, including Wisconsin.

Community solar allows individuals to support or own part of a solar system with others in their community. The supported solar system is typically located close to your county, has good solar access, and can take advantage of economies of scale and professional management.

Many households do not have the ability to adopt solar energy at their residence due to shade, are not owners, or don’t have the finances to purchase a solar system. The Dudgeon Monroe neighborhood has a lot of trees, which is fantastic for many reasons: shade, beauty, oxygen, wind barriers, and noise reduction, to name a few. However, large trees, especially on the south side, reduce the energy and economic ability to make electricity from the sun on your home or business. 

Community solar allows almost everyone to support adoption of solar energy wherever they live or whatever their financial situation. The three current options for Dudgeon Monroe residents include: joining MGE’s Shared Solar Program, investing in the SolarShareWI Co-op created by RENEW Wisconsin, or Legacy Solar’s Co-op. 

There are many ways to support solar in our neighborhood besides placing panels on a home or business. It’s a way to earn a modest return on extra cash while doing your part to support a clean energy future.

MGE’s Shared Solar program offers households and small businesses the opportunity to reserve a share of the electricity produced by MGE’s solar arrays in Middleton serving the program.

SolarShare WI Co-op allows co-op members to invest in 1-5 megawatt solar projects in Wisconsin and get a projected return on their investment of 5%.

Legacy Solar Co-op allows members to buy bonds or be a “Tax Sponsor” in systems typically on nonprofit commercial applications like churches, schools, and similar buildings.

Don Wichert, May 2023
Founder of RENEW Wisconsin and Emeritus board member.