Donnetta Foxx isn’t your typical renewable energy investor, and that’s the point of SolarShare Wisconsin Co-op, the company she invested in.

The 61-year-old retired corrections worker and program leader of Dane County Restorative Court is one of 47 people who bought a share of the Madison company’s first solar developments under a cooperative ownership model that allows regular people to invest in solar energy production.

Wisconsin residents and businesses can invest in SolarShare’s renewable energy projects for as little as $1,000. Its first fundraising round last year raised $455,000 to fund its first two projects in Juneau County. Contributions were capped at $50,000 to ensure that SolarShare attracted more than just a few large investors, said Cory Neeley, SolarShare’s executive director.

SolarShare was incorporated as a standalone cooperative in late 2021 by RENEW Wisconsin, a Madison-based renewable energy advocacy group, and several Wisconsin-based solar companies as a way to advance construction of smaller solar farms. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. provided a $265,000 grant in 2022 to get the project off the ground.

[Adapted from: This Wisconsin company offers an opportunity to profit from solar energy with an investement as small as $1,000. Aug. 7, 2023, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]