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Check Back in 2019 For Our Next Solar Group Buy

We won't be running a solar group buy program in 2018 because the City is focusing on installing 1 megawatt of solar on City buildings!

In June of 2017, Mayor Barrett and Milwaukee's Common Council adopted a resolution expressing the City’s support for the Paris Climate Accord. And Milwaukee's sustainability plan - ReFresh Milwaukee - calls for 25% of the City's electricity to be generated using renewable resources by 2025. And we are working toward those goals, so look for solar on City buildings in your neighborhood!

If you are interested in installing solar on your home or business through a solar group buy program, there are a few other programs running around the state with other organizations. You can join one of those programs, or you can get bids from solar installers and compare prices. As always, Milwaukee Shines is happy to help walk you through the process, review your bids or answer any questions you might have. Just email us!

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. This program can help Milwaukee area residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.

How Do Solar Group Buys Work?

Reduced Price: Through Milwaukee's solar group buy 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, educate homeowners about how solar works, what their return on investment will be, and what financing options are available.

Selected Solar Installer: An Advisory Team is created to select the installer for the group buyThe Advisory Team consists of a representative from Milwaukee Shines, the MREA, the neighborhood association, and a Milwaukee homeowner with solar.  The team selects the solar installer through a competitive bid process that ensured quality work at a competitive cost. The chosen installer provids free solar site assessments to interested home and business owners and should be available to answer questions at the scheduled Power Hours.

Financing Solutions: Milwaukee Shines and the MREA also educate 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 Group Buy Programs

Over the past few years, Milwaukee Shines has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance, various neighborhood organizations and even coordiated with other cities on neighborhood group buys. 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, Riverwest and the East Side and now we conduct city-wide solar group buy programs.

As a result, 170 home and business owners have installed new solar electric and solar hot water systems totaling 616kW of clean, renewable energy!


(414) 286-5593

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


Milwaukee Shines Solar Electric Permitting Process Guide

City of Milwaukee Permit Page


Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing with Summit Credit Union

Me2 Commercial PACE Financing


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

Looking to Install Solar?