Up to $40,000 is available this year in Wisconsin for solar energy installations.
MIDDLETON, Wisconsin – The Wisconsin Solar Use Network (WisconSUN) will co-fund solar energy installations in the state. Half the funds will target the use of building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) systems where solar panels are an integral element of a building’s exterior shell, with the balance available to support other photovoltaic systems, as well as active solar thermal systems. PV systems must be connected to the power grid, and eligible recipients include commercial and industrial businesses in the state, non-profit groups, any level of elected or tribal government, as well as homeowners. Applications are due before the start of April. Solar installations funded by WisconSUN must be highly visible and replicable, and have the support of various stakeholders, according to director Niels Wolter. They must provide opportunities for community education and use innovative financing strategies. WisconSUN is particularly interested in funding PV systems that are owned and operated by for-profit organizations and home owners. In the last two years, the group has committed $80,000 for 12 solar energy systems located on schools, nature centers, a church, a union hall, a community center, a law office, a solar energy system dealer, and the headquarters of an association. The funding goals are to increase the number of solar energy systems by providing assistance to prospective owners and supporting the commercial solar energy service providers in the state. No more than $10,000 is expected to be funded for any single project. The implementing agency and its counterparts must provide at least matching support in dollars or in-kind services. Winners will be announced by April 20. WisconSUN was created by the non-profit Energy Center of Wisconsin to improve energy efficiency in Wisconsin. It is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs program and the State of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program.