Wisconsin receives $62.4 million from EPA for solar projects

May 15, 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted Wisconsin $62.4 million to support the installation of residential rooftop solar for low- and moderate-income households across the state.

Solar installations would help the state prevent nearly 2 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere annually, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) said. WEDC will add solar capacity through the state-level SFA Program, which gives eligible residents multiple pathways to the solar power market. Approximately 29% of Wisconsin households are classified as low-income.

The cost of installing residential solar puts it out of reach for many households, even while those with lower incomes spend disproportionately more of their income on energy. In Wisconsin, the average cost of a 5-kilowatt rooftop system ranges from $14,000 to $19,000 before federal tax credits and local incentives.

The EPA’s Solar for All (SFA) initiative selected 60 recipients, including states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities and nonprofits, for awards totaling $7 billion to set up than 900,000 households across the nation with solar. The program was made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which established the EPA’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

“The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air and combating climate change,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said of the national program.

Projects eligible under the EPA program:

  • Support residential rooftop and residential-serving community distributed solar projects for low-income and disadvantaged households around the country.
  • Must be primarily residential solar projects, providing power and financial benefits to households nationwide.

The EPA partially funded all 60 selected applications the same percentage of their initial funding request. The Wisconsin SFA program will partner with private capital to maximize the EPA funds and establish a sustainable program extending beyond the initial five-year timeline.

The EPA will publish more information on the selected applicants once awards are finalized by summer, with WEDC anticipating funding projects by early 2025.

Photo by Bill Mead on Unsplash

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