Sauk county is shepherding a third party solar energy project on municipal rooftops through the process and may go out to bid for a private investor to finance the project. The county commissioned a study by E3 Coalition that identified energy efficiency upgrades that can save Sauk County $177,000 per year on utility bills and $105,000 per year in solar energy production. E3 recommended a third party solar project where the investor buys the panels, receiving the federal energy tax credit, with the municipality leasing space for the system. The county may buy the system at a depreciated cost after six years.
In contrast, the City of Monona implemented a third party solar project but used a company to identify investors and broker the business deal, then went out to bid for the solar panels and installation. The 30% federal solar tax credit is reduced to 10% after December 2016, so these projects need to be underway now to be completed by the deadline. To read more; to read about Monona’s project.