Custer, WI – September 9, 2015 – On August 31, 2015, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) welcomed dozens of representatives from Wisconsin’s GreenTier Legacy Communities Charter, a unique partnership between Wisconsin communities, nonprofit organizations, and state agencies to reach sustainability goals, to its Custer headquarters. Representatives learned how to incorporate solar planning while pursuing sustainability efforts. Topics discussed included tools for local governments to create viable solar markets, PACE solar financing, and a knowledge exchange with Minnesota GreenStep Cities.
More specifically, the meeting entailed an overview of services offered by Grow Solar, a Midwest partnership led by the MREA to advance the solar market with funding from the US Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, and how to engage stakeholders. Brian Ross, Senior Program Director with the Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development, detailed how to make a community “solar ready”; Elizabeth Hittman, Milwaukee City Sustainability Program Coordinator, overviewed PACE financing; the session concluded with a solar field and policy dialogue between building inspectors and GreenTier members and a tour of the MREA’s ReNew the Earth Institute.
Despite the current policy landscape, Wisconsin communities are embracing solar. Ross said, “The one thing we know for sure is that local governments are a key and critical partner in creating a self-sustaining national solar energy market. And this is good because local communities are positioned to capture most of the benefits of solar energy development– jobs, investment, resiliency, sustainability.”
From the Solar East Side group buy offered to residents of Southeastern Wisconsin, which now has over 62 kW of confirmed installations, to the budding community solar gardens throughout the state, now is the time to learn more about how solar can work for your community. Visit GrowSolar.org to access the Wisconsin state toolkit for resources and learn more about the benefits of solar power through the virtual Solar Power HourSM.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.
The GreenTier Legacy Communities Charter’s mission is to help communities across the state of Wisconsin move continuously toward a sustainable future through initiatives that promote environmental stewardship, economic growth, public health, and social equity. Visit greentiercommunities.org to learn more.