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Wisconsin Solar Power Facts in 2022

Wisconsin solar program

Going solar in Wisconsin is a great decision. The electricity rate in this state is 11% higher than the national average, and solar panels cost has come down some 43% in the last 5 years alone. Investing in solar energy pays off faster than ever, as Wisconsin solar incentives kick in and offset a part of the solar panel system and solar panel installation price. With many solar installers working in Wisconsin, there is plenty to choose from, so let’s get down to business and learn about the true solar cost. 

Wisconsin Solar Energy Data

There is still a lot of room for solar energy to grow in Wisconsin, and the Badger state’s ambitious solar power plan aims to move it from the current 27th position to the 10th on the list of top USA solar states. With plans to expand their existing solar capacity by another 3,741MW of solar system power, the state has set its aims clear. 

Currently, around 76,000 Wisconsin homeowners can say that they use clean energy. Local solar companies work hard to expand Wisconsin solar and move it up a notch. Compare these to Solar Panels in California and Solar Panels in Texas to see exactly how far the Badger state has to go. 

An average residential solar system will cost you around $14,000 – $19,000 and the significant savings will accumulate overtime for a total payoff period of around 10-13 years. After this, your solar system will keep producing clean renewable energy for at least 15 more years, saving you even more money, up to $25,200 over a period of 20 years. 

The Wisconsin Solar sector is set to experience significant growth as solar cost drops even further and residential solar power becomes an everyday thing. Currency, the sector has over 170 companies and solar installers compete around who can offer solar panel installation at a lower price. Solar systems have become significantly cheaper in the past several years and the current 488MW of solar power is expected to grow manifold, as Wisconsin plans to produce 100% of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2050. 

Wisconsin Solar Statistics

DescriptionStatus
Wisconsin National Ranking27th
Solar Installed(MW)488.6MW
Can Supply Power to: (No. of Homes)+76,000
% of State's Electricity from Solar0.61%
Solar Companies in the State171 companies (43 Manufacturers, 77 Installers and Developers, and 51 Others) 
Solar Jobs Created2,910
Total Solar Investment in the State$669 million
Out of Pocket Cost for a 5kWh system$14,000 - $19,000
Net 20-year savings$18,600 - $25,200
Average Payback Period10 - 13.7 years
Electricity Bill Offset for a 5kWh system+75%
Number of Solar Installations+8,700

Notable Solar Installations in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a lot of rooftop solar power installed, but these minor installations are accompanied by a number of large-scale solar farms

  1. Back in 2007, Wisconsin’s largest solar installation was a 44.4kWh solar array on Urban Ecology Center, 
  2. In 2011, a parking space 360kWh solar installation was installed in Verona which has been expanded to a total of 2.2MW, 
  3. The Jefferson Solar Project can produce around 1MW of solar power and is enough to power 151 Wisconsin households. 

The Wisconsin solar power sector is a large employer in the state. Just between the years of 2012 – 2014, the solar industry has seen an addition of 800 jobs to the work market. Installing solar panels seems to have even more potential for new job opportunities as residential solar installations peaks and renewable energy comes in demand. 

Is it Worth it to Buy Solar Panels in Wisconsin?

Yes, it is worth it to buy solar panels in Wisconsin. Solar resources in this state are more than enough to supply 100% of energy needs in the state. Any solar installer can install them as solar PV systems become more standardised. Local solar incentives offer a plethora of funds to pull from to offset a part of solar panel cost and tax credits, net metering and significant savings ensure your pocket is spared. 

Renewable energy sources are becoming a thing of both the present and the future as more people want to install solar panels. Clean energy has no substitute as solar quotes go down and local and state solar policy ease the process and enable you to easily join an energy program of your choosing. 

Average Cost of Solar Energy Systems

Average cost of solar panels has seen a drastic drop in the past 5 years. Currently, it is possible to purchase a solar system for as little as $2.56 to $3.46 per Watt of DC solar power installed. So, an average 10kWh solar system can cost you anywhere between $25,600 to $34,600. 

Although this may seem a lot, bear in mind that there is tax credit that is available, that the net metering allows for solar systems with no solar battery and that the more electricity you produce, the lower your energy bill. Some power companies also allow you to sell them excess energy at the end of the year, so the upfront cost can be offset even faster as you not only save money but can make you some as well. 

Solar Panel Energy Production in Wisconsin

Total solar energy production in Wisconsin has been on the rise since the early 2000s. Although the price of solar panels was very high back then, the advances made in the solar industry and solar panel production have managed to bring down the total cost of any solar installation by around 80% in the past 10 years. Installing solar has never been cheaper and understanding energy generation as a clean industry has managed to add a boost to the sector. 

Net generation from solar PV in Wisconsin, has gone from a mere 16,000MW back in 2005 to 21,666MW in 2015. The trend continues to grow even to this day, as any solar program is backed by a reduced net cost, expert solar advisors and federal taxes incentives. At the same time, higher energy costs result in higher utility bills, which is another way to stimulate solar panels installation. 

Wisconsin Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

When considering solar cost in Wisconsin, there are several factors to take into consideration. Namely, there are great solar incentives and solar programs offered in the state of Wisconsin. Although Wisconsin ranks 27th by solar capacity installed, that number is set to change thanks to these factors. 

Wisconsin offers the Federal ITC (Investment Tax Credit), as well as net metering programs, tax exemptions, solar access rights and solar rebates through Focus on Energy. All these can significantly reduce the price of any home solar system, and bring down the electricity rates you pay. 

The Federal Tax Credit offers a 26% tax credit to anyone who installs solar panels on their rooftop. The tax credit will be reduced to 22% and then 10% in the upcoming years. While you may not be able to use all of the Solar Tax Credits in a single year, you can roll them over for up to 10 years. 

Wisconsin net metering allows you to opt for a smaller solar energy system, as the utility company acts as your battery. This way, you can send energy to the grid during day time when the production peaks, and take it back at night, when your solar panels are inactive. Likewise, any excess electricity produced during the summer can be spent during wintertime, bringing down the system cost, as you only need the system size to match your average consumption. 

Focus on Energy renewable incentives can offer up to a $500 solar reward for any solar project, irrelevant of the exact cost of installing solar on your home. The solar cost in Wisconsin therefore drops by a few percent, depending on the system size and the utility you use. Check your eligibility by visiting their website. 

The sales tax incentive and property tax incentive can all offset your permitting costs and installation costs. Since solar adds on your property value, under the property tax exemption, you will not pay more in property taxes. Installed solar can increase the value of your property by around $6,000 for every kWh installed. 

Wisconsin also has solar access rights in place to grant homeowners the right to go solar. These rights override any other contract or rule that may forbid you from installing solar. No utility company contact, or HOA rules can prevent you from generating clean electricity any more. 

DescriptionEquivalent Cost
The Cost of PV - 10kWh at the average of $3.01 per Watt of solar DC$30,100
The Federal Solar Tax Credit @26%$7,826
Energy costs savings @100% energy bill offset @$0.1097 per kWh$1,327
Wisconsin Sales Tax Exemption @5%$1,505
Focus on Energy solar reward @$500$500
TOTAL system cost for a 10kWh home solar system at the end of year 1$18,942
Years before a 10kWh system pays off if all Wisconsin incentives and tax credit are taken ~14.27 years

Top Solar Companies in Wisconsin

There are around 171 solar companies in Wisconsin. 77 of those are solar installers, so browsing for the best retail rate can bring down your system cost by reducing the price of technical assistance. Currently, the 10 best solar installers in Wisconsin are: 

  1. All Energy Solar – Madison, 
  2. Midwest Solar Power LLC, Madison, 
  3. Future Electric and Solar, 
  4. Windfree Solar – Racine, 
  5. Olson Solar Energy, Onalaska, and
  6. Greenling Energy Solutions, multi-state,. 

FAQs

How large is a 5kW solar system?

The size of your 5kWh solar system depends on the efficiency of your solar panels. The more efficient the solar panels you use, the smaller the rooftop area you would need to install them on. At the 250W solar capacity per panel, you would need around 20 solar panels or around 345 Square feet of rooftop space. 

Can you write off solar panels on taxes?

Yes, under the Federal ITC, you can write off 26% of solar panel costs off your taxes. If you do not make enough to make Federal Tax Credit a reasonable solution, there are Sales Tax Exemption and Property Tax Exemption. Any Federal Tax Credit you do not use can be rolled over for up to 10 years. 

What happens to solar panels after 20 years?

After 20 years, your solar panels will still be happily making electricity on your rooftop. Most solar panels today have a 25 year warranty of keeping around 80% of their light-to-energy conversion capacity. This means that a 10kWh system will be able to produce 8kWh of clean energy per hour of sunlight after 25 years of daily use. 

Do solar panels ruin your roof?

No, solar panels do not ruin your roof. Some large homeowners even install very large solar systems on their rooftop, to get the benefits of electricity sales. This is a kind of a solar investment and depends on the conditions your utilities offer. 

Conclusion

With significant solar incentives and rebates, Wisconsin is a great place to make a solar investment. The time has never been better for solar installation, since prices have dropped around 43% in the past 5 years. Solar in Wisconsin is a great investment to make and is a sureway thing to make the most of your dime.

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