Solar in Stevens Point
What is Solar?
- Solar power is energy from the sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy.
- Solar energy is a clean and abundant renewable energy source.
- Solar energy can be harnessed for a variety of uses, including to generate electricity, providing light, heat, and water.
Stevens Point is a solar friendly community and encourages the use of alternative energy systems and technology. This is proven with the City’s active role in sustainability and its eco-municipality framework outlined in the 2008 report, A Path to a Sustainable Stevens Point (PDF). The City has also pursued designation as a SolSmart Community, confirmed in the City’s Solar statement.
This page serves to be a “one-stop-shop” to obtain tools necessary to plan, permit, and educate for solar systems.
Solar systems are permitted by right or by condition within the city. Generally, smaller residential systems, are permitted by right. Permits for these systems are issued in one to three days. Please see the City’s solar permit application and permitting checklist below. A solar guide brochure has also been created to assist with the permitting, construction, and inspection process.
Installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the City of Stevens Point requires obtaining permits from the City’s Community Development Department. Permits will vary depending upon the project type and system size. For assistance, please contact:
Community Development Department
1515 Strongs Ave.
Stevens Points, WI 54481
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
General Permitting and Inspections Process Checklist
- Installers must have proper state licenses, such as building, electrical, or plumbing to obtain a permit.
- Installers must submit complete project plans and permit fees per the Department’s current fee schedule.
- Upon successful review of the permit application and payment of applicable permit fees, the permit can be issued in three working days or less.
- Upon completing installation of the system, please contact the Community Development Department between 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday to schedule an inspection appointment. Inspections generally will be available within five working days or less.
- Upon approval of the inspection, the City will notify Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) to complete the interconnection process.
Solar Companies & Contractors
Several local contractors install solar PV systems within the community. Certified practitioners can be found through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) website here:
In addition, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) provides a map of local contractors. The following is a non-exhaustive list of solar companies within the region.
Focus on Energy helps offset the costs of solar installation on many property types. Residential customers can receive up to $500, business customers can receive up to $50,000, agricultural producers can receive up to $60,000, special sectors can receive up to $81,000, and new affordable housing projects can receive up to $17,500. For complete Focus on Energy incentive information, visit their renewable energy website.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) also coordinates Grow Solar Central Wisconsin, a group-buy program that makes investments in solar faster and more affordable. Grow Solar will be offered through September 30, 2022. If you are interested in investing in solar, visit their Grow Solar Central Wisconsin page and attend a Solar Power Hour with MREA and Northwind Solar. MREA Members also have access to the Clean Energy Credit Union.
PACE Wisconsin also offers financing for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy-efficient upgrades to commercial, multi-family, non-profit, agriculture, warehousing, hospital, industrial, and hospitality properties. If a property meeting any of these criteria, set up an account with PACE Wisconsin and start the application process.
The state of Wisconsin regulates solar and wind rights within State Statute 66.0403. Knowing your solar rights is of great benefit, especially when pursuing a solar system.
Historic Districts & Properties
If a property is individually listed on a historic register, landmark, or part of a historic district, contact the City’s Community Development Department at 715-346-1567 to ensure any additional guidelines are being met. Historic guidance on solar installations can also be found within the City’s Historic Design Guidelines (PDF) (specifically page 25).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the property’s utility provider need to be contacted to complete the solar installation process?
Yes, contact Wisconsin Public Service 920-433-2913 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to reenergize. Once a time is set, schedule a Final Inspection by the City’s Building Inspector to coincide with the time and day WPS has set. Inspections are required for all solar systems. Inspections can be scheduled by calling 715-346-1567 ext. 1, or by email request to email@example.com.
Is there a specific solar application I need to apply with?
Yes, our Building Permit application, whether for residential or commercial projects, is required to be on file and a permit issued prior to the start of work. Applications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.