Wood County, Wisconsin

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Solar and Wind Renewable Energy

The installation of renewable energy systems is projected to increase in coming years throughout Wisconsin. This increase is driven by increasing interest in energy independence, cost savings, decreasing costs of solar panels, and keeping energy dollars local.

Specific siting requirements are defined by local zoning ordinances and permits can vary by municipality. Often, renewable energy installers provide site assessments, designs, and help to obtain the necessary approvals.

Questions about zoning and permitting can be answered by the Wood County Zoning Office or by your local city, village, or town. You will also need approval from your utility.

Wood County SolSmart Initiative

Wood County is committed to streamlining permitting processes and making information about renewable energy easily accessible to interested people and businesses. The County is seeking a solar-ready designation through SolSmart, a Department of Energy program.

Resources

Planning an Installation

Electrical Utility Guidelines for Renewable

Some of the utilities in Wood County offer suggestions about renewable energy.

Certified Contractors

Find a certified contractor to obtain estimates and guidance.

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)

Consumer Solar Checklist

A checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council

IREC Solar Checklist

Incentives and Financing

Incentives

Incentive programs may be available to individuals, businesses (including farms), municipalities, and non-profit organizations. Focus on Energy is a Wisconsin program that offers incentives and expertise. Additional incentives may be offered by utilities or the federal government.

PACE

PACE is an innovative program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation improvements.

PACE Wisconsin

Policies and Laws

Wisconsin Solar and Wind Rights

Wisconsin has several laws that protect a resident's right to install and operate a solar or wind energy system. These laws cover zoning restrictions by local governments, private land use restrictions, and system owner rights to unobstructed access to resources. The onus is on you, the property owner/applicant. An approved permit represents notice.

Wisconsin Solar and Wind Rights

Policies and model ordinance

Grow Solar Toolkit

RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW Wisconsin works on policies and programs. Their website houses information about solar and wind development in Wisconsin.

RENEW Wisconsin


MSTC Student and Instructor working on equipment

Workforce Development

Renewable Energy Training

Job opportunities in the renewable energy industry continue to expand. The amount of schooling needed for these jobs depends on the specific position. Mid-State Technical College offers courses and an associate degree in renewable energy.

The Midwest Renewable Energy Assn. offers professional training opportunities online and in-person.

Aerial view of McMillan Library solar installation

Local Renewable Energy Installations

There are many opportunities to learn more about solar and wind energy systems. Visiting public facilities with renewable energy systems is one way to learn more. Some examples include the McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Mead Education and Visitor Center in Milladore, and Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Custer.