Madison – A legislative effort to greatly expand access to solar-generated power for Wisconsin’s homes and businesses was bolstered when the Wisconsin REALTORS Association (WRA) announced its support for legislation that will allow the private development of community solar facilities.
Senate Bill 490 was recently introduced by Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) and several leading Republicans and backed by the newly formed Wisconsin Community Solar Economic Alliance. Community solar is a small solar array located within a community where multiple customers can subscribe and receive a credit on their utility bill for their share of the power that is produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof.
“This bill will create competition and expand access to solar-generated electricity which will lower prices for consumers and all ratepayers. Homeowners, businesses, schools, and family farms are just a few of the entities that will positively benefit from expanding community solar,’’ said Scott Coenen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum and spokesperson for the Alliance. “There are 21 other states that allow third-party community solar and if Wisconsin doesn’t act now, we will miss out on the opportunity to create hundreds of millions in economic development and thousands of good paying new jobs – all without a dime of government subsidies.”
“We welcome the REALTORS because they understand and support private sector, market-based solutions that rely on marketplace, not government, to address economic needs,’’ Coenen said. “Senate Bill 490 makes good conservative business sense, and we’re delighted to have the WRA, and its 16,500 professional members join this effort.”
The REALTORS join a growing list of groups who support community solar legislation including the Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, the Wisconsin Grocers Association, Aurora Health Care, Organic Valley Dairy Cooperative in La Farge (owned by 1,800 dairy farmers), Land and Liberty Coalition of Wisconsin, RENEW Wisconsin, and Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA).