Garrison Brooks: Protecting Wisconsin’s rural communities

“My family moved to this area in the 50s and have owned this land since the 70s. Then, I bought it from my grandfather in 2005. We’re dairy farmers with about 200 cows, and we raise corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. We also have a small beef herd.”

“When I first thought about solar, we were building a new machine shed and I wanted to install solar panels on the roof. After talking to the builders, we found out there were a lot of risks – the weight of them, the possibility the roof would rust. Plus, it wasn’t cost effective. When I heard about using my land for community solar and found out you can still get the benefits of solar without the risk – that’s what sparked my interest. It just made sense.”

“We set aside 40 acres of our less-productive land. My grandparents always said, ‘If you can sell rocks, sell them because the only thing that could grow there is houses.’ This is a great way to make the land productive.”

“I guess the electric company just doesn’t want anyone else. Community solar is huge in other states, you see it all over, but we don’t have the legislation to allow it here. They’re keeping it out, even though it’s good for everybody.”

“We live in a small community – the high school has 20 kids in each class. The businesses have been leaving, so it would be nice to have another source of revenue back into the community. I don’t want to see my community die.”

Garrison Brooks
Juda, Wisconsin

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