cOurtESy OF hOuSing AuthOrity OF city OF mi L WAukEE
In July, the city launched the Milwaukee Shines Solar Financing Program. The city provided $100,000 in
donated funds as a loan loss reserve to Summit Credit Union, which in turn is offering $2 million in low-interest loans for Milwaukee homeowners.
Eligible Participants: City of Milwaukee
homeowners, one- to three-unit owner-
Loan Size: Up to $20,000
Interest Rate: Low-interest fixed rate
(as low as prime + 1.50 percent)
Terms: Up to 15 years. No penalties for early
payment, no fees, no down payments
Projects: Solar electric systems (up to
6 kilowatts) or solar hot water systems
(one to eight panels). Must be installed
by a Focus on Energy Residential Ally solar
installer (listed at finditwithfocus.com)
Eligible Expenses: All equipment, labor,
permits and interconnection fees. Structur-
al reinforcement and re-roofing expenses
if part of a qualifying solar project
In addition to supporting the city’s existing
manufacturers in expanding into the new opportunities mentioned above, we also are working to
bring new companies to Milwaukee. With the support of our economic development representatives,
cOurt ESy OF m Atth EW giOv AnELLi OF WErnEr ELEctric Supp Ly
MREA conducts a hands-on training installation
for Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.
government administration, industry stakeholders
and research and educational facilities, we’re able to
create relationships that are necessary in the small
but growing solar thermal industry.
As part of its commitment to strengthening
the industry as a whole, the SHWBC will host
SOLAr THErMAL ’ 11 in Milwaukee Dec. 1– 2.
Organized by the MrEA, it is the nation’s only
conference dedicated to the solar thermal industry. For details visit solarthermalconference.org.
Lesson Learned: Build on your strengths.
We evaluated our strengths as a community and
within the industry and expanded on them. Find
the right fit for your economy, whether in software development, research and development,
the legal sector or finance. Most importantly,
take the time to create relationships that are
trustworthy and will work in the long run for
your city’s economy and the industry.
Seizing the Opportunities
We approached the Solar America Com-
munities program as chance to jumpstart our
investment in solar and create a sustainable solar
market. The support from our top administra-
tion was vital in getting the necessary partners
involved. It takes more than one individual to
create a sustainable solar program and market in
a community, regardless of its size. Our advisory
team and Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water
Business Council have been essential. I’d urge
other solar market builders to invite interested
city and county staff from various departments.
Bring in private industry representatives ranging
from installers and manufacturers to financial
and legal experts, and be sure to involve utility
and state energy staff. nonprofit and community
advocates are another source of valuable insights