Innovative Funding Underpins Washburn/Bayfield Public Solar Projects

Four public solar PV projects, joined by innovative group financing, are advancing in the Washburn and Bayfield area. Two 100 kW ac solar projects are at wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Both received Focus on Energy RECIP grants. The Greater Bayfield WWTP solar project is 80 percent owned by the City of Bayfield and 20 percent by Pikes Bay Sewer District in the Town of Bayfield. It is under construction and, in July, the City of Washburn’s WWTP solar project will start construction.

Bayfield County jail and highway garage will host a 17 kW roof mount solar array plus a 90 kW ground mount system with funding from both Focus RECIP and PSC Energy Innovation grants. The fourth system, at two schools in the Washburn School District, is still in process. This project received RECIP, Energy Innovation, and Solar for Good grants. The School District will borrow the remaining $105,000 at 4% from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL– listed under funding below).

Bill Bailey of Cheq Bay Renewables and Niels Wolter of Madison Solar Consulting partnered to develop the solar projects with a group financing package. The projects were bid on a tiered pricing system, so that the greater the number of projects that went through, the less expensive they would be. Eagle Point Solar is the contractor for each of the projects.