Information for Solar Professionals
Milwaukee Shines is working to make it easier for solar professionals to install renewable energy systems here in Milwaukee. We streamlined our residential solar permit and are working to make it an easier process to apply for a commercial solar permit. The resources below will help you with your projects. And if you have any questions, please contact us!
The City of Milwaukee passed its first solar zoning ordinance in 2012. The ordinance was drafted and passed on the existing Wisconsin State Statute 66.0401 that limits the authority to restrict a homeowner or business owner's right to install solar.
Permits and Inspections
All solar installations in the City of Milwaukee must have a permit.
Certain residential projects may meet the requirements for an expedited residental solar permit, which combines the electrical and building permits.
For more information and a checklist of what is needed for solar permits in Milwaukee, please visit the Milwaukee Shines Permitting page.
All City permits are now online. To begin your online permit, please visit the Permitting page on the City's Development Center website. Specific questions concerning permits and/or inspections can be directed to the Department of Neighborhood Services at 414-286-8210.
Information on the interconnection process with We Energies can be found on the Interconnection page and on We Energies' website.
Financing and Incentives
Low-interest financing and incentives help make solar more affordable for your customers. The Milwaukee Shines Solar Loan program, a partnership between Milwaukee Shines and Summit Credit Union, offers low-interest solar loans to homeowners in the City of Milwaukee.
Business owners may be eligible for Milwaukee's commercial PACE financing.
In addition, there may be incentives available at the local, state, and federal levels for solar energy. More information about current incentives is available at Focus on Energy and at DSIREUSA.
Resources and Training
Grow Solar: A Midwest Partnership to Move Markets - Grow Solar is a collaborative effort to make solar a cost competitive energy source. Resources for municipalities, industry professionals and homeowners.
PVWatts (sponsored by National Renewable Energy Laboratory) - Provides calculators to allow users to determine their energy production and cost-savings of grid-connected solar electric (PV) systems. There are two options for users:
- Site-Specific Data - Offers individual data for specific locations
- Grid Data - Allows users to create estimate performance data for any location in the United States and surrounding territories.
Department of Energy - Provides energy analysis tools and information about renewable energy.
DSIREUSA (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) - Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Professionals) - National certification. Requires coursework through accreditd training programs, designing and installing a specified number of solar projects, and passing a professional technical exam.
MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association) - A Wisconsin non-profit that provides training and resources for solar professionals. Courses are designed to satisfy the knowledge and skill competencies for professional credentialing.
Solar Enregy International - A Colorado non-profit that offers a number of online training resources for solar installers, inspectors and other solar professionals. Classes are also offered in Spanish.
MATC (Madison Area Technical College) - The MATC Renewable Energy Certificate provides students with theoretical knowledge necessary for a career in energy management and renewable energy technology. A minimum of 12 credits of coursework are required, and students may choose from online or in-class courses in either solar electric (PV) or solar hot water