Milwaukee, WI – The Grow Solar Greater Milwaukee group buy program has reached its first goal of 50kW with nine properties committing to go solar in Milwaukee and the North Shore villages, triggering a rebate for all participants. This solar education and group purchasing program is offered with support from Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), the Bay View Neighborhood Association, the Cities of Milwaukee and Glendale, and the Villages of Bayside, Fox Point, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay. Grow Solar Greater Milwaukee launched in April, and momentum continues to grow.
During regular free, hour-long webinars called Solar Power Hours, Grow Solar Greater Milwaukee representatives give a brief explanation of the program, discuss the projected costs of installing solar and highlight the benefits of going solar. Interested property owners have until September 30th to decide whether to participate in the program. A complete schedule of the Solar Power Hours can be found at GreaterMilwaukee.GrowSolar.org
“With so many people working from home over the last year, people are paying closer attention to their home energy use,” said Elizabeth Hittman, Sustainability Program Manager for the City of Milwaukee’s Environmental Collaboration Office. “Lots of people want to find out how they can save money by putting solar on their roof.”
“My wife and I live in an East Side duplex that we own,” said Greg James of Milwaukee. “Six years ago we joined with others in the neighborhood and installed an array of sixteen solar panels on our roof. It supplies about 70% of the electricity used in the building. The MREA Grow Solar program made it easy for us to learn how solar energy production is accessible to homeowners and simplified the entire purchase and installation process. We have never regretted our decision.”
Part of making solar simple involves helping select a solar installer to work with. Through a competitive request for proposals process, representatives from MREA, Milwaukee Shines, and the supporting villages selected Arch Electric based in Plymouth, WI with additional offices in Milwaukee because of their diverse staff of trusted, licensed, NABCEP certified solar installers with over 100 years of combined experience.
“We’re trying to simplify the process of going solar,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the MREA. “It can seem complicated, so we present clear information and answer folks’ questions at our Solar Power Hours and then they can determine for themselves whether solar is right for them.”
Group purchase programs provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in high-quality, renewable energy solar installations and realize savings, while also helping reach sustainability goals. Estimated first-year savings on utility bills have ranged from $690 to more than $1,000, depending on the size of the array.
“We view this collaborative effort as a way to encourage solar energy, remove obstacles for its implementation, and leverage collective buying power to provide sustainable resilience, not only within Bayside, but throughout the Milwaukee metropolitan area,” said Andy Pederson, Bayside Village Manager.
Free Solar Power Hour webinars are available all summer. For the full list of dates and to register to attend, visit GreaterMilwaukee.GrowSolar.org
Additional Resource: Grow Solar Greater Milwaukee Media Kit
The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.