2017 was the first year of any real solar panel installations in Wisconsin. It was the first year that saw all three sectors; utility, commercial, and residential expand their solar capacity. By the end of 2018, the state claimed 67 installed megawatts, which is enough for 10,000 homes and makes the state 41st overall. More than 700 megawatts of solar is planned in the next few years which will give it a significant solar presence.*
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Here are some key numbers about the state’s solar activity to date;*
- About 16 megawatts of solar capacity was added in the state in 2018. This gave it a ranking of 38th for that year.
- About 3,007 people are employed through the state’s 203 solar power companies.
- The state invested $31 million into solar projects in 2018. The cumulative number is now $193 million.
- Prices for solar in the state have dropped 47 percent over the past 5 years.
The New Auburn DPC Solar and the Jefferson Solar Project are two of the most notable installations in the state. Together, they produce more than 3.5 megawatts of electricity which is enough power for more than 500 homes.*
The state had a renewable portfolio standard that mandates that 10 percent of electricity produced must be from renewable resources by 2015. This minimum was met, largely from wind and hydro. It is expected that the state will meet ongoing requirements through the next few years.**
Wisconsin’s net metering structure allows for some flexibility, and like many states, is in flux. It may allow for residential system sizes to be larger than 20 kilowatts and some customers may get reimbursed at a retail rate.**
About 102 solar installers now operate in the state. They can be found in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha, Eau Claire, Oshkosh, and Janesville to name a few. The residential sector may be lagging behind the other two, however it is growing very quickly.
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*Information and figures gathered from seia.org.
**Information and figures gathered from dsireusa.org.