The popular solar group purchasing program for central Wisconsin home and business owners continues to see success. The “Grow Solar Central Wisconsin” group buy program has collectively reached its second milestone, 100 kilowatts (kW) of solar. All participants will now receive $.10 per/watt rebate on their systems, in addition to the already lower than average negotiated price.

 The program is hosted by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) with the goal of helping home and business owners in Portage, Wood, Lincoln, and Marathon counties use their collective buying power to save on the total cost of going solar. The program uses educational outreach paired with a competitive contractor bid process and group purchasing power to maximize cost savings and streamline the solar process for participants like Amherst resident, Jeffers Larson.

“I am participating in the group buy program for the price advantages, and to work with an experienced installation contractor. I would tell folks to jump in and take advantage of the group buy prices, and the rebates,” commented Larson.

Navigating the solar market can be intimidating, so MREA and its partners are hosting a series of free ‘Solar Power Hour’ information sessions to provide resources and answer questions. Attendees will learn the basics of solar, its financial implications, and how the Solar Central Wisconsin Group Buy Program works.

With only three of the 16 Solar Power Hours completed, Ben Nusz an instructor with Mid-State Technical College is excited that the consumer education program already has such strong participation. “We hit our second benchmark of 100 kW of solar contracted through the program after the first Solar Power Hour. This means the average participant will now receive a $1,000 rebate on their purchase,” explains Nusz.

 “MREA has been leading Solar Group Buy programs across the Midwest since 2014 and we are excited to be working with them again in Central Wisconsin. Many of our graduates now work for the program’s solar installation contractor, North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative, so we are excited to help the local solar market grow and help our students launch their careers in the solar industry.”

In 2018 the program helped 40 homes and businesses go solar, and the 2019 effort is expected to surpass those numbers. The program sets benchmarks along the way, and once those benchmarks are met, rebates are triggered for participants, making the cost per system even more affordable.

In addition to lower system prices through the bulk purchasing model, participants investing in solar can take advantage of the full federal solar Investment Tax Credit which starts reducing after the end of this year.


Interested attendees can register for a free, no obligation site assessment from the competitively selected solar installer, North Wind Renewable Energy Cooperative. North Wind was selected as the program’s installer for both the 2017 and 2018 program based on their history oF quality workmanship. The MREA encourages Central Wisconsin residents interested in solar to attend the remaining Solar Power Hour information sessions. For the full list of upcoming Solar Power Hour information sessions please visit www.cwsolar.org. – SEPTEMBER –

Wednesday 9/4 6:30-7:30pm Marathon County Public Library – Wausau Headquarters (Wausau Community Room) 300 1st St, Wausau
*this event is not sponsored by the library.

Thursday 9/05 6:00-7:00pm Mid-State (Room T165) 500 32nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids

Saturday 9/7 12-1pm Mid-State (Rm CES 634) 1001 Center Point Dr, Stevens Point

Thursday 9/12 6:00-7:00pm Mosinee Brewing Company 401 Forth St, Mosinee

Saturday 9/14 noon to 1PM Uptown Coffee Company 121 S Central Ave, Marshfield

Thursday 9/19 3:00-4:00pm CAP Services Program Offices (Conference Room) 1608 W River Dr, Stevens Point

Saturday 9/21 3:00-4:00pm The Landmark 102 South Main St, Amherst

Wednesday 9-25 5-6pm Lincoln County Service Center (RM 256) 801 N. Sales Street, Suite 257, Merrill

Thursday 9/26 6:30-7:30pm Bull Falls Brewery 901 E Thomas St, Wausau


(The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.)