Beaver Dam’s city hall plus fire department building is all decked out in 308 solar panels for Halloween 2018. For the City, this 105 kW solar system is a sweet treat of $62,000 of Focus on Energy RECIP grant dollars plus another $158,000 in financing by private parties through Legacy Solar Co-op.
The financing included upgrading the buildings lightings to LEDs that reduced electricity use by 14 percent. The solar system will offset another 46 percent of electricity use resulting in a total of 60 percent savings in electricity or 161,136 kWh each year. With the recent receipt of a PSC Energy Innovation Grant to replace their old HVAC system, the energy savings will be even greater. An additional part of this clean energy project will be installation of a 102 kW solar PV array on the Watermark Community Center in December that will offset 71 percent of that facility’s electric use.
Beaver Dam has been able to mobilize quickly on funding and installing clean energy projects by following the Comprehensive Energy Plan they developed with UW-Extension and E3 Lighting in 2017. It identifies and enumerates costs and savings for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and sets a path toward their 35% by 2025 Energy Independent Community goal.
Photo Courtesy of North Wind Renewable Energy