A joint venture of Renew Wisconsin and a group of solar developers and installers, SolarShare Wisconsin co-op, allows regular people — regardless of wealth — to invest in small-scale solar farms by pooling their money.

The project got off the ground with the help of a $265,500 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers said SolarShares serves needs identified by Gov. Tony Evers’ Blue Ribbon Commission on rural prosperity as well as the governor’s clean energy plan, filling a gap left by large-scale solar farms where the profits flow to company shareholders instead of local communities.

“Doing it through the cooperative model, that really hit home back in Wisconsin,” Rikkers said. “We’ve been on the leading edge of the co-op model for decades.”

[Adapted from: Democratizing clean energy: Cooperative allows regular folks to profit from solar development May 18, 2022 Wisconsin State Journal]