Monona Leads the Charge with Solar Power

The $600,000 Project is the Largest in the State

by Leila Fletcher, age 11

            Monona’s recent partnership with Falcon Energy Systems, a Colorado-based investment company, will result in 382 solar panels on top of four of the city’s public facilities by the end of this year.
            Solar Connections, a Madison consulting group, facilitated the agreement between Falcon Energy Systems and the city. Falcon Energy Systems agreed to install and maintain all of these solar panels. They will receive federal tax credits for their work, while Monona will receive renewable energy credits. In the first year the panels will save the city $9,000 in utilities, according to Janine Glaeser, city project manager.
“This project is part of our plan to become an Energy Independent Community and will help us reach our ultimate goal of increasing the use of renewable fuels by 25 percent by 2025,” said Glaeser. “We’re very excited.”
            The installation of the solar panels began in mid-September, on top of the city hall, the public library, public works department well No. 3, and the public works garage. Costing around $600,000, it is the largest solar project in Wisconsin. This project aligns with Monona’s pledge to become energy independent. After six years, Monona will have the option of purchasing, renewing or stopping the solar panel partnership.
             “Essentially this is a way for a community to take matters into their own hands,” said James Yockey, co-founder of Solar Connections.

[Source: Wisconsin State Journal]