Shorewood Grows Solar
In two recent initiatives, the Shorewood Conservation Committee successfully partnered with organizations to promote the adoption of solar power in our community. Notably, Conservation Committee members worked with Village staff to lobby nearby North Shore communities to accept Arch Electric’s proposal to integrate solar generation into the already planned North Shore Fire Station renovation in Shorewood, which was set to include a new roof. With NSFD Fire Chief Robert Whitaker’s crucial support, the governing board approved the plan, and construction was completed in the fall of 2020. NSFD’s Shorewood station has been generating clean local power ever since, with measurable benefits to both our community’s energy footprint as well as the station’s bottom line. (See Chief Whitaker’s recent press release for more information.)
Based on the data collected to date, the NSFD is only scratching the surface of its returns on investment, with energy savings and power generation from lower-sunlight fall and winter months. Peak sun over the summer months of May through August will boost generation capacity, increase the savings, and lower grid-based consumption even further.
In 2015, Shorewood set an ambitious goal to increase renewable energy generation to 25 percent and reduce electricity consumption by 25 percent by 2025. Investments such as NSFD’s solar array, as well as energy efficiency improvements at both Village Hall and the Shorewood Library, help us move the needle on those targets.
Meanwhile, in the summer of 2021, Shorewood once again joins the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and other North Shore communities in offering residents and business owners an extraordinary opportunity to bundle their purchasing power by participating in a group-buy discount for new solar installations. As was true in the Solar Shorewood program from 2016, property owners can attend free information sessions, learning the basics of solar and its myriad financial advantages, and then schedule a free, no-obligation site assessment from the competitively-selected installer, Arch Electric. The more people who sign contracts and install solar, the lower the price drops for installed kW, incentivizing wider participation. As of this writing, the Grow Solar Greater Milwaukee program had already reached its first benchmark of 50kW, translating into deeper savings for everyone. An average residential system, about 6kW, earns a rebate of ~$60 when the program completes. The next benchmark is set for 150kW, when that average rebate will increase to ~$300. Learn more and register for a free Solar Power Hour information session here.