Getting started with solar
This webpage represents a collection of solar resources for the community. The area has roughly 3 Megawatts of existing photovoltaics (PV) solar. The City is a Department of Energy Solsmart Gold Award winner for being a solar friendly community and deemed 2017 the "Year of Solar' for the community. The City's goals can be found on its Solar Statement. In several places below, a Solar Brochure has been referenced. It lists many resources all in one place.
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, supports about 2,000 jobs and over 166 companies in Wisconsin (SEIA), saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from increasing demand and technological developments, and adds electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system.
Ordinance, Permitting & Process
Please see the solar permitting process guide (under revision), including what the electric utilities require. The solar brochure listed above contains ordinance details. Small straightforward solar projects (10kW or less) may have a turnaround time of less than 3 business days. Application forms and current fees can be found on the Inspections Division's webpage.
Investigate your property’s rooftop solar potential by checking out Project Sunroof.
Find a Contractor
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a bid. Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP. The Solar Energy Industries Association's site also provides a map of area contractors.
Financing, Incentives & Tax Exemptions
Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives available. See the brochure and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) for additional information on a unique payment program.
Solar Rights & Procedure
Read the State Statute about your solar rights. The onus is on you, the property owner/applicant. An approved permit represents notice.
Historic Properties/Districts Guidance
If a property is landmarked or within a historic district, contact us at 715-839-4914 for advice. Guidance on solar installations can be found here- see specifically pages 14-15.