Vernon Electric Cooperative (VEC) has brought community-owned solar to Wisconsin. VEC is providing members in its service territory the opportunity to own individual panels in a locally-sited, utility-scale solar PV (photovoltaic) array (panels are currently sold-out). This is the first community-owned solar facility constructed in the state of Wisconsin.
The Vernon Electric Community Solar Farm, a 305 kW, 1,001-panel clean power facility is built at VEC’s headquarters in Westby. Any member of VEC can purchase panels from the shared farm—as few as one or enough to completely offset the energy demands of a home or business. Credit for the power produced is provided directly on their monthly utility bills.
“We are excited to have constructed the first community-owned solar project in the state of Wisconsin,” said Vernon Electric’s CEO, Joe McDonald (retired). “We know this will be a valuable local energy solution for our members.”
VEC in partnership with CEC broke ground in April, 2014 and the solar farm became operational June 1. Given the significant interest, the project sold out in just over two weeks.