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Milwaukee Shines Solar Group Buys

Milwaukee Shines has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance to coordinate neighborhood group buys in the City of Milwaukee. The advantage of a group buy is the power of volume purchasing, which can significantly reduce the upfront costs of installing solar in your home or business.

You do not need to be a City of Milwaukee resident to participate - the group buys are open to all Southeastern Wisconsin residents and business owners. However, the main focus and outreach is concentrated in the targeted neighborhoods. Solar group buys have been completed in several Milwaukee neighborhoods, including Washington Heights, Layton Boulevard West, Bayview, and Riverwest. As a result, 92 home and business owners have installed new solar electric and solar hot water systems totaling 322kW of clean, renewable energy.



Milwaukee Shines 2016 Solar Group Buy

Milwaukee Shines will once again partner with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association on our 2016 solar group buy program! This year we'll be launching the 2016 on Earth Day (4/22)! Look for public information sessions  around town at some of your favorite Milwaukee locations including:



Attend an Upcoming Information Session!

*All sessions are free and open to the public*

Stay up to Date!

Click here to receive solar group buys updates on community information sessions, program news, and program deadlines.
Signing up for updates does not obligate you to participate in the program.


Selected Solar Installer:

Our Advisory Team reviewed bids and selected Arch Electric to be the installer for the 2016 Milwaukee Shines Solar Group Buy!

If you have already attended an information session and are ready to sign up for a solar site assessment, please visit the Arch Electric website!



What is a Solar Group Buy?

A solar group buy is when community members form a group and use their collective buying power to save on the total cost of going solar. The Solar East Side program can help Milwaukee residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.


How Do Solar Group Buys Work?

Reduced Price: Through the Solar East Side program, homeowners come together to purchase and install solar as a community, which saves significant costs as a result of the bulk purchasing of equipment. The more residents that participate, the lower the cost will be for everyone.

Education: Through free community information sessions called ‘power hours,’ Milwaukee Shines, in partnership with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, educated homeowners about how solar works, what their return on investment will be, and what financing options are available.

Selected Solar Installer: An Advisory Team was created to select the installer for Solar East Side.  The Advisory Team consisted of a representative from Milwaukee Shines, the MREA, the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, the UW-Milwaukee Office of Sustainability and a Milwaukee homeowner with solar.  The team selected the solar installer through a competitive bid process that ensured quality work at a competitive cost. The chosen installer provided free solar site assessments to interested home and business owners and was available to answer questions at the scheduled Power Hours.

Financing Solutions: Milwaukee Shines and the MREA also educated customers on incentives and financing solutions.  Incentives include a 30% Federal Tax Credit and a Wisconsin Focus on Energy cash-back incentive. Milwaukee homeowners also have the ability to finance their solar through the Milwaukee Shines Solar Loan at Summit Credit Union.


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Solar Information & Resources

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) - Education

We Energies - Information

U.S Department of Energy - Renewable energy technology

NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Pracitioners) - "Gold Standard" for renewable energy certification

Site Assessments

NABCEP List of Certified Solar Professionals

MREA - Site Assessor List


Milwaukee Shines Solar Electric Permitting Process Guide

City of Milwaukee Electrical Permit (submit by mail, fax, in-person, or online at e-permit)

City of Milwaukee Plumbing Permit (submit by mail, fax, in-person, or online at e-permit)

City of Milwaukee Building Permit (submit by mail, fax, or in-person)

Expedited Solar Permit (must meet certain requirements)


Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing with Summit Credit Union

Me2 Commercial PACE Financing

Focus on Energy Loan Program


Focus on Energy - list of installers

NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Pracitioners) - "Gold Standard" for renewable energy certification


Focus on Energy - Incentives

DSIREUSA (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) - List of incentives


We Energies - Interconnection information

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