Renewable Energy Companies and Groups Line Up to Support Community Solar Bill | Local government
“It’s not just people who traditionally fight for these kinds of policies. These are regular businesses, ”said Matt Hargarten, Campaign Director for the Coalition for Community Solar Access. “They just want the choice. They want to be able to access solar energy to achieve their goals and reduce their bills.
The motivation is simple, said Brandon Scholz, executive director of the Wisconsin Grocers Association: the cost.
With very slim margins, grocers look for every opportunity to cut costs, and electricity is one of their biggest expenses. Meanwhile, the price of solar energy has fallen.
“It makes a lot of sense,” Scholz said. “I don’t think we’re at a point… where we can thumb our noses at any opportunity.”
Organic Valley already powers its operations with renewable energy, but the La Farge-based cooperative says the community solar bill would allow its member farms to do the same.
“This mechanism offers an alternative to the traditional ownership model where the farmer has to put in place the capital, the land and be responsible for operation and maintenance,” said Organic Valley spokesperson Elizabeth McMullen.
Lawyer Aurora Health, which operates 26 hospitals in Wisconsin and Illinois, has pledged to use 100% renewable energy by the end of the decade.