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. Through CEC’s model, 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.
“CEC is privileged to be Vernon Electric’s partner for this project, and we’re enthusiastic about helping solar grow in Wisconsin in a way that makes sense to members and the Cooperative,” said Paul Spencer, CEC’s founder and president. Sign up began at VEC’s Annual Meeting on March 22, 2014.
About Clean Energy Collective
Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC) was the nation’s leading developer of community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. Since establishing the first community-owned solar garden in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado, CEC has built or has under development 33 community solar projects with 13 utility partners across 6 states, representing 17.8 MW of community solar capacity (2014 data).