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New solar investment program announced for La Crosse area residents and business owners

New solar investment program announced for La Crosse area residents and business owners

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Hallie solar farm

The Lafayette Solar Project in the town of Hallie was dedicated in September. It is a collaboration between Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative and SoCore Energy of Chicago to introduce more solar farms to Wisconsin.

A new program could help La Crosse area home and business owners access renewable solar energy at faster and cheaper rates through community investments.

Through the new initiative, members of the community will have the chance to learn more about solar energy, and invest in the installation of solar energy for homeowners, businesses, schools and more at a reduced, group rate.

The city and county are partnering with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, a nonprofit that has done similar programs in surrounding areas.

“As more people decide to go solar, the price comes down for everyone,” MREA explains about the group buying process on its website.

Through the summer, the nonprofit will be offering free online webinars, or “Solar Power Hours,” which will give more information on how solar energy works and how to buy-in.

And the investments do not have to mean putting solar panels on your roof, officials explained.

“Even if solar doesn’t work where you live, you can help pay for solar panels on La Crosse schools and organizations that will help reduce their electricity bills and reduce their use of fossil fuels,” said Cathy Van Maren with the Coulee Region Sierra Club.

The program could also help the city reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, officials said.

“Grow Solar has the potential to dramatically increase La Crosse’s renewable energy generation and its energy independence,” said Lewis Kuhlman, the city of La Crosse environmental planner.

Those interested can request an estimate to install solar panels or receive updates at the program’s website, GrowSolarLaCrosse.org, where the weekly free webinars can also be accessed.

“Even if solar doesn’t work where you live, you can help pay for solar panels on La Crosse schools and organizations that will help reduce their electricity bills and reduce their use of fossil fuels.” Cathy Van Maren, the Coulee Region Sierra Club

"Even if solar doesn't work where you live, you can help pay for solar panels on La Crosse schools and organizations that will help reduce their electricity bills and reduce their use of fossil fuels."

Cathy Van Maren, the Coulee Region Sierra Club

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