Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy

Since 2015, the Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy program (SWSGB) has enabled residents and small businesses to install solar energy at reduced rates. So far, 75 homes and 6 businesses have adopted solar for a carbon emission reduction of 18657 metric tons of carbon.

In 2021, SWSGB has embarked on a robust promotional effort in partnership with the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (led by Chris Litzau) and in collaboration with the current installer Eagle Point Solar. GGR board members Brian Gleichauf, Steve Oppeneer, and Cara Pratt are leading this effort, along with Joe Dubaniewicz.


Solar Summit - FREE Assessments Event

The Solar Summit, was an informational session at 6:30 on Wednesday May 15 in the Michigan Room at Gateway Racine for residents, small businesses or nonprofits to sign up for a free solar assessment.

Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy program is an arm of Greening Greater Racine, a non-profit network serving southeast Wisconsin and fostering a healthier and more sustainable community. Now is the time to get solar: group buy discount, tax incentives and depreciation, grant from Focus on Energy, loans from county and city.

Our track record! This is the fourth year for the SWSGB. In all, 50 families and 4 businesses or organizations are now producing 315 kWs of solar electricity each year. Over their projected 40 year life, these panels offset the environmental impact of 977, 575 gallons of gasoline consumed or 11,545 metric tons of CO2 produced. They are also the equivalent of planting and growing 209,224 trees for 10 years.

Plus, in this last year alone, 17 youth from the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps received on-the-job training experience by assisting with installations.

Do it to save money. Do it because it’s the right thing. Learn more at here.
​Questions and request for assessment? Go to [email protected].


Walden Students Help Veterans Go Solar

​​Walden III Green SchoolSoutheast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy and supporters went to the Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin‘s tiny homes (equipped with solar panels!) ribbon cutting event. Walden students worked to raise money for the vets to get free power through the solar panels. Greening Greater Racine loves how City of Racine, On the lake is moving forward with sustainability!

Energy Savings Workshop for Faith Communities

Greening Greater Racine was pleased to have the Faith of Christian Believers Church host an Energy Savings Workshop for any faith congregation, held on Saturday November 10, 2018. Many attended and were able to sign up for free assessments. If you are interested for your faith organization to save on energy, please contact us at [email protected] 


Information by Arch Electric

Arch Electric Solar received four grants this past November to help fund solar power installation for a few local non-profit companies. These grants were financed by RENEW Wisconsin.

One grant awardee was the Veteran’s Outreach of WI, which recently built a tiny homes village for homeless veterans in Racine.The village opened November 5, 2017, offering veterans a place to live, and resources for a smooth and comfortable reintegration into the community. There are 15 homes, with access to the SC Johnson Community Center which offers numerous amenities including:

  • Bathrooms, showers
  • Laundry room
  • Kitchen
  • Group therapy area
  • Recreation area

In the coming months, the program plans to expand and offer services for personal guidance, job preparation, and life skills.
A local high school (Walden III) is helping to fundraise the rest of what is needed to install the solar panels, and you can help too.


​The system will have a 20 kilowatt capacity, producing 27,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. This amount will provide enough power to cover nearly all electricity costs, allowing the village to sustain itself for the long term.The total cost of the install will be $56,000. Thus far, the grant covered $10,000, and if the students at Walden III reach their $20,000 goal on, an anonymous donor will contribute another $10,000.

North Pointe Church Goes Solar

North Pointe United Methodist Church in Racine now has 57 solar panels and celebrated on Earth Day. They invited the community for a free informational event. The event speakers were representatives from Arch Electric, Southeast Solar Group Buy, Walden Green School, residents sharing their experience with solar, and City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason. 

Arch Electric provided a sign-up sheet for free home assessments for solar power and to join a group to get discounts. 

In their first month, the solar power produced 3100 kilowatt hours of electricity. This is about $415. We are happy that the Church advocates for clean energy. 

2018 Continued Partnership

Greening Greater Racine is excited that Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy and Arch Electric are partners again this year! They are working to make sure that solar installations in Southeast Wisconsin more affordable and accessible. 

News! Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy (SWSGB) Announces their 2017 Results.

​Stay tuned for the 2018 Group Buy.
Racine, WI – Twenty one residences and three businesses in Racine County, Wisconsin and Kenosha County, Wisconsin committed to producing their own clean renewable energy in 2017 by participating in the Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy. These twenty four installations total 147 kilowatts, which makes the SWSGB the third largest of five group buys in the state last year, according to RENEW Wisconsin. Initially offered in 2016 under the name SolaRacine, the program generated 18 residential installations totaling 80 kW the first year. The program’s 2017 outcomes represent a 33% increase in installations and an 83% increase in kilowatts. “On top of the signed contracts, over the two years of the program we have had an additional 164 households that had the free site assessment but for various reasons could not move forward by the program deadline,” said Tom Rutkowski, one of the organizers of the SWSGB. “The increased participation in 2017 shows a growing level of interest for clean, renewable energy in Southeastern Wisconsin.” Bill Stone, owner of Brightonwoods Orchard in Burlington, Wisconsin and the 2017 SWSGB participant with the largest array at 20kW, has been interested in installing solar since he built his home at the orchard in 1983. “It was appealing to look into alternative renewable energy sources at that time, however, wind and solar were very expensive with long payback periods. About 15 years later we again looked into alternative energy but again opted out for financial reasons,” explained Stone. After learning about the SWSGB, he signed up for the program’s free site assessment and met with Angie Domagalski, Solar Sales Manager with SWSGB’s 2017 partner contractor, Arch Electric. After reviewing options for solar installation with Ms. Domagalski, Stone says “it became obvious that the best cost benefits would be achieved by utilizing one of our business meters as opposed to one of our residential meters. Combining federal tax credits, the SWSGB discount pricing, the Focus on Energyrebate, and business depreciation brought our payback time down to around five years. Thus, our desire to exploit an alternative renewable energy source will be accomplished after thinking about the concept for over 30 years.” “No matter if the installation is for a business or a residence, participants in the group buy benefit from the streamlined process and the financial savings made possible through the group buy format,” noted Rutkowksi. “And the larger community benefits as well: over a ten-year period, the 227 total kilowatts installed through the SWSGB eliminate an amount of pollution equivalent to burning 249,593 gallons of gas or planting 53,419 trees. These installations are part of a larger movement that is collectively making a difference.” Domagalski, the Solar Sales Manager with Arch Electric, Inc., agrees. “I’m pleased with the response to the program, and I’m confident the momentum for consumers to transition to renewable energy is growing, thanks in part to group buys around the state like the SWSGB. Participants told us their decision was easier primarily due to the partnership between SWSGB and Arch Electric. They feel more confident knowing their installer has been evaluated by an unbiased third party.” Like Rutkowski, Domagalski points out that the financial savings were another motivating factor for SWSGB participants. “Solar is still an emerging market, so the cost to installers of acquiring new customers is still high. Group buys help relieve this cost for installers who pass the savings on to consumers. It’s a win-win for everyone.” The SWSGB is planning to offer another group buy in Racine and Kenosha counties in 2018. Interested solar contractors can respond to a request for proposal. SWSGB intends to select its partner contractor by late March. The SWSGB will also continue its relationship with the Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, having trainees assist with installations. Free information sessions for homeowners and business owners will be offered in May and June. More information is available at

Energy Productivity

​Take a look at two solar electric readings from October 2017 (highest peak that year) to one in February 2018. A number of factors, particularly the fluctuation of temperatures this winter could have contributed. But to see the system produce an estimated daily use of electricity for an average household in winter is super awesome to see. 

Interested in supporting and promoting clean energy development? Please contact us at [email protected] or Tom at the email shown on the bottom of the page. 


In 2017, the Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy (formerly SOLARacine) was ambitious in bringing solar panels to a larger scale. In 2016 and prior years, panels were focused in the greater Racine area. SOLARacine changed its name to Southeast Wisconsin Solar Group Buy and was able to extend promoting panel installations as far as Madison, Wisconsin. Below are a couple photos from a fall project at the School Sisters of Saint Francis with the new partner Arch Electric. A large-scale project with a $950K cost, the congregation saw an overall savings of over $1.5 million over 25 years. We are all pleased to see the progress Wisconsin has been making with energy conservation!

Read the Urban Milwaukee article by clicking here. Photos taken by Urban Milwaukee.


In 2016, SOLARacine worked with Current Electric to provide solar power to many homes in Racine and Kenosha counties. This program also provided Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps, a youth program, get trained in new skill sets.