How rural northern Wisconsin logged a record-setting solar group buy

By Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

Next Energy Solution offers three tiers of cost for group buys, depending on how many customers are involved. Since the Cheq Bay group passed the 400-kW threshold for planned installations, everyone got the most affordable offering. Full installations cost about $2.45 per watt, Kelly said, and about 40 percent of the customers opted for a ready-to-install kit the company offers that costs less than $2 a watt.

Installations bought under the program ranged from 1.9 kW to 14.8 kW, including 66 residences, nine businesses and three municipal buildings — a garage, forestry building and town hall. In a relatively remote region where many residents have a self-sufficient spirit, the popularity of the ready-to-install option was not surprising. Read more here.

Cheq Bay Renewables

Next Energy Solar Systems’s Ready-to-Install Kit

  • Ready-to-install systems install in 3-5 hours with the help of one extra person
  • The system pays for itself in 2-4 years in some areas
  • The NES roof system uses 1/3 less roof attachments for easier installation
  • The strength of an NES system can withstand wind speeds up to 120 mph and 3/4 inch hail

Photo: A 13.5-kilowatt solar PV installation powered Bill Bailey and Gayle Chatfield’s wholesale greenhouse operation before they retired. The Wisconsin couple were among the forces behind a wildly successful solar group buy carried out this year. The Cheq Bay Renewables’ Solar Group Buy Program is the largest in the state.