4 Common Concern’s About Wisconsin’s Upcoming Community Solar

January 10, 2022 5:19 pm
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Wisconsin State Senator Duey Stroebel (R – Saukville) and State Representative Timothy Ramthun (R – Campbellsport) have introduced legislation that would expand access to community solar in Wisconsin. This legislation enables the development of more community solar and supports energy freedom, expands customer choice, saves money on your utility bill, all while creating healthier and more resilient communities. Community solar expansion would allow more Wisconsin farmers to lease their land to host solar arrays and receive a guaranteed secure income for 25 years or longer.  This drought-resistant cash crop is especially valuable for Wisconsin’s agricultural communities facing economic stress. Here’s what you need to know.



4 Common Concerns About Community Solar


  1. Will Community Solar Decrease My Land Value?
    1. The American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers released a comprehensive survey this year that analyzed over 400,000 transactions in New England and found no associated impact on property values for solar farms located in rural areas.
  2. How Will the Solar Panels Be Recycled?
    1. Arch has several partnerships centered on recycling our solar components, including a partnership with We Recycle Solar. Some of the major parts of the recycling process are:
    2. Removing the aluminum frame (100% reusable)
    3. Separating the glass along a conveyor belt (95% reusable)
    4. Thermal processing at 500 degrees Celsius (This allows for the evaporation of small plastic components and allows the cells to be easier separated)
    5. Etching away silicon wafers and smelting them into reusable slabs (85% reusable)
  • Do Solar Farms Damage the Soil?
    1. One of the most common questions with WI community solar. The principal concern is the trace metals used in silicon-based solar cells that are toxic and could damage the ground. However, the vast majority of solar panels are sealed with tempered glass to protect the photovoltaic cell. A study sponsored by the US Department of Energy concluded that soil contamination is not a risk factor “due to the sealed nature of the panels”
  1. Does Community Solar Take Land From Famers?
    1. The opposite: Community Solar Land Lease’s offer Farmers on average almost double the value for their land over time. See the chart below for a look at the income difference over 20 years.


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