Northwind wins renewable energy award

Renew Wisconsin 2021 summit honors renewable energy leaders
Northwind Solar Cooperative among honorees

As part of its 10th annual Renewable Energy Summit January 12-14, Renew Wisconsin recognized individuals and organizations who have made significant and lasting advances in renewable energy development in Wisconsin.

Titled “Building the Clean Energy Mosaic,” this year’s Summit was a three-day virtual event. The theme highlighted the diversity of technologies, people, and scale needed to shape a clean energy future.

Named Renewable Energy Business of the Year was Northwind Solar Cooperative of Amherst, founded in 2007 to principally serve residential and small commercial needs. The company’s solar installations are a common sight at area homes and businesses. The company has operated the Grow Solar—Central Wisconsin group purchase program for the past four years, designing and installing more than a megawatt of solar capacity for 168 residential customers. After the company reorganized itself as a worker-owned cooperative structure, they built and opened a new headquarters building in the Amherst Business Park in 2020.

Other award winners were:

Renewable Energy Catalysts of the Year: Sid Sczygelski and Ali Wolf of Aspirus Health, Wausau, and Charles Hua, Madison

Renewable Energy Champion of the Year: Oregon School District

Renewable Energy Pioneers of the Year: Dane County

Renewable Energy Project of the Year: Two Creeks Solar Park, Manitowoc County

The summit also drew attention to other milestones and notable achievements in 2020, including:

  • The Public Service Commission approved two large solar farms—Badger State Solar and Paris Solar—that will add 349 megawatts of solar power to Wisconsin’s electric generation portfolio
  • Madison Gas and Electric completed two smaller solar farms in its service territory, with a combined capacity of 14 megawatts, to supply several customers under contract and expand its shared solar program
  • Grants from Renew’s Solar for Good program resulted in 27 new solar installations across the state totaling 1,265 kilowatts of operating capacity.
  • Two Eau Claire high schools—Memorial and North—celebrated the completion of their 126-kilowatt solar arrays supported by Solar on Schools, a joint venture between the Couillard Solar Foundation and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
  • Eagle Point Solar installed 400 kilowatts (AC) of PV capacity, serving four City of La Crosse-owned buildings.

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