Join us in celebrating the commissioning of our new rooftop solar project! A very brief program, refreshments and tours of the rooftop solar array.
McMillan Memorial Library has installed the largest solar project in Central Wisconsin, a 235 kW / 470 panel system that will produce enough electricity for twenty-five average homes. The project is being funded by Viking Electric (which will own the project for the first six years) and the Library's Endowment Fund. The array went live on August 14.
This utilizes much of the Library’s roof. It is the largest solar project in Central Wisconsin and tripled the installed solar capacity in Wisconsin Rapids. The array will produce 250,000 kWhs annually, enough to power twenty-five average homes. Most of the power will be used by the Library, but some will be sold back to the grid. This is because it produces more than we can use at some times and less than we need at others.
Viking Electric is serving as both contractor and tax sponsor for the project. They have funded 70% of the cost, overseen the installation and own the solar array for the first six years. During this time, they will sell the electricity produced to the Library at a reduced rate and benefit from various tax credits. Viking Electric is owned by Lincoln High School graduate Scott Prahl. Prahl became interested in the project as a means of benefitting the community he grew up in and the Library he used as a child.
The Library Endowment Fund has made a downpayment on the cost of the project. The Endowment exists to undertake projects that benefit the Library but that are above and beyond the regular budget. The Endowment consists of funds donated to the Library over many years by community members and organizations.
After six years, the Library will be able to purchase the project, for about 30% of the original cost. The Library plans to fundraise this amount, with details still under development.
No City operational or capital funding is involved in this project, though there is incidental Library operational funding. Library, City, and Water Works & Lighting staff helped in the development, evaluatation and implementation of the project.
During tours, please note that the roof is not part of our public space and is not handicapped accessible.