Energy Law Wisconsin Blog

Notes from the Energy Fair

IMG_20140622_141402 [By Michael Allen] On June 22, I attended the 25th anniversary of the Energy Fair, sponsored by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. The Energy Fair seldom disappoints, and this year was no exception.

I viewed an excellent presentation on developing community solar projects by Peter Teigland, the Vice President for Business Development of Minnesota Community Solar. Peter discussed the alternate structures of community solar projects that this developer had utilized in the State of Minnesota under different circumstances, including the Xcel Energy community solar gardens programs, and community solar projects involving non-profit entities. The information was extremely helpful and will be relevant to the increasing number of Wisconsin solar developers, installers and investors who have approached Energy Law Wisconsin about doing their own community solar projects. In addition, Minnesota Community Solar may well be a worthwhile development partner for Wisconsin solar installers who wish to pursue these projects.

I also spoke with Craig Harmes, Manager, Business Development for Dairyland Power Cooperative, about the increasing use of community solar among Dairyland’s member cooperatives. Among other things, ground will be broken next week on a 300 kW community solar project in Westby, Wisconsin, serving the Vernon Electrical Cooperative. This project was built with the help of Clean Energy Collective out of Colorado. member cooperatives are currently planning or have expressed significant interest in community solar projects.

In addition, I visited with the solar innovators at Solar Mosaic and got my picture taken with Bill Ehlrich, one of the writers for the Solar Mosaic blog. Solar Mosaic, a firm that connects borrowers seeking solar financing with investors, made its first appearance ever at the Energy Fair this year. I had the chance to catch up with Bill and learn about new initiatives Solar Mosaic has in the pipeline to make its offerings available to additional investors.

I rounded out my visit to the Energy Fair by visiting with renewable energy clients and friends who are regulars at the Energy Fair, including employees of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association itself. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Energy Fair in the past – it’s part trade show, part celebration and lots of fun. Next year’s Fair is June 19-21, 2015.

Written on June 23, 2014 at 11:35 am, by Michael Allen