WisconSUN Solar Project Completed

Friday, May 18, 2012 - 8:47am

The City of Madison will announce the completion of the WisconSUN Solar Project on May 21st at 11:30am at Union Cab, 2458 Pennsylvania Ave.

Speaking at the event will be:

• Mayor Paul Soglin, City of Madison

• Lee Swindall, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Vice President Division of Business and Industry Development

• Kate Schachter, Union Cab Treasurer, Driver and Green Team member

• Brent Bruckner, Helios Solar Works General Manager

• Nick Hylla, Midwest Renewable Energy Association Executive Director

Also attending the event will be:

• Don Wichert, RENEW Wisconsin Executive Director

• Jennifer Post Tyler, THRIVE Interim Executive Vice President

• Representatives from the contributing companies and partners including Luvata, Cardinal Solar Technology, Johnson Controls, Fox Valley Tool and Die, H&H Group Holdings and Ingeteam

• Madison city council members and other elected officials

• Sunrays looking forward to powering Union Cab facilities

Union Cab, a worker owned and operated cooperative, has been selected as a Madison business that demonstrated an on-going commitment to energy efficient business practices by the project partners. With the installation of the 5kW WisconSUN photovoltaic (PV) system on top of their roof, Union Cab has taken the next big step toward environmental sustainability and will benefit economically as well. The 5kW system will offset 5% of the cooperative's annual electrical consumption and save them a minimum of $30,000 over the lifetime of the solar system. It is estimated that the array will offset about one and a half mini-vans that Union Cab runs in its fleet.

Panels for the WisconSun Solar PV Project came from Helios Solar Works, a builder of high-performance mono-crystalline solar modules based in Milwaukee. Helios Solar Works panels come with other parts and materials sourced from Wisconsin-based whenever possible such as Cardinal Glass (Mazomanie), Powder Finishers (Sturtevant) and Luvata (Appleton). Founded in 1972, Ingateam, which selected Wisconsin for its first US plant, provided the inverter for the WisconSUN Solar PV Project. Other manufacturers such as RSTC Enterprise, maker of Soladeck in Eau Claire, provided various other parts which utilize the support production services of Fox Valley Tool and Die (Kaukauna), Performance Sheet Metal (Little Chute) and Professional Plating (Brillion).

These projects symbolize the opportunity for significant domestic manufacturing and further job creation potential after Thursday's announcement by US Department of Commerce to impose 31% anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese manufactured solar panels. Combined with this decision, these projects demonstrate to solar customers and installers that the US solar industry, especially in Wisconsin, is poised to continue to provide a viable, cost-competitive option.

Installation services for the project were performed by H&H Group Holdings, which employs over 185 workers and is one of the state's largest solar contractors. Other contributors to the project include Johnson Controls, Madison Gas and Electric, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 159, which runs the state's foremost electrical apprentice program.

The completion of this project also coincides with the launch of the Wisconsin Solar Initiative, a project of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the Milwaukee Metro Solar Hot Water Business Council. The Wisconsin Solar Initiative is a booth exhibit that will focus on Wisconsin's growing solar industry through solar products, manufacturing partnerships, R&D partners, quality training opportunities and industry support through US Department of Energy SunShot Rooftop Challenge and Solar America Cities programs. The booth will be featured a several major events including the World Renewable Energy Forum in Denver and the Solar Power International conference in Orlando.


  • Bryant Moroder608-577-1150