Fire department nets 40% tax credit and $18,000 state rebate for rooftop solar


The Superior Wisconsin Fire Department partnered with developer Cedar Creek Energy to install a 153.1 kWh solar array on its rooftop. The fire department and its new solar array were visited by President Joe Biden on January 25, 2024. 

The solar array is supporting the fire department’s ongoing efforts to boost the environmental sustainability of its operations while simultaneously improving use of its budget. The array is expected to offset about 267,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year, roughly equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 145 acres of forest in one year. 

Federal and state programs supported significant savings for the municipal account. The department received an elective pay tax credit for 40% of the cost of the project, while Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program created an $18,000 rebate. 

Focus on Energy is a broad program serving rebates and incentives for residential, commercial, nonprofit and other accounts seeking to install renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. Eligible technologies include solar, insulation, heating and cooling, smart thermostats, and more. 

In three to five years the fire department plans to switch to an EV truck, and Cedar Creek said it helped the municipal water, light and power company to secure a discounted charging rate for the electric vehicle. 

The installation marked the first municipal solar project for Superior, Wisconsin. 

“This project is an example of environmental stewardship and innovation. We’re honored to have contributed to this historic initiative and excited for the department’s green journey ahead,” said Rob Appelhof, chief executive officer, Cedar Creek Energy. 

Solar and energy storage engineering, procurement, and construction provider Cedar Creek is based in Blaine, Minnesota, serving residential and commercial solar customers. 

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