Portage County’s solar talks bring community together.

By Oliver Townsend Mar 28, 2024
Portage County hosts community chats about solar development.jpegOrginal image from: https://www.wsaw.com/2024/03/28/portage-county-hosts-community-chats-about-solar-development/

Portage County, Wisconsin, recently hosted community chats to discuss solar development projects in the area. Representatives from UW Madison-Extension engaged with residents of Plover to shed light on large-scale solar initiatives. These conversations aim to educate more communities about solar projects while addressing any concerns they may have.

Empowering Communities Through Solar Development

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension is taking proactive steps to involve local communities in discussions about solar energy projects. Sherrie Gruder, a sustainable design specialist and energy program manager, emphasized the importance of including community voices in the decision-making process. With 21 Wisconsin counties already embracing solar developments, the university is committed to fostering dialogue and collaboration with residents.

Community Engagement and Feedback

Gruder highlighted the need to center communities in the conversation surrounding large-scale solar projects. By actively seeking input from diverse stakeholders, the university aims to ensure that community concerns are heard and addressed. These initiatives reflect a broader shift towards cleaner energy sources and sustainable practices across the state.

Future Opportunities for Collaboration

As Portage County moves forward with its approved solar project, other counties are poised to follow suit. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension plans to host additional meetings in different regions to continue educating residents and gathering feedback. By engaging with communities at various stages of the solar development process, the university seeks to build a more inclusive and sustainable energy future for Wisconsin.


Community engagement is a cornerstone of successful solar development projects. By involving residents in discussions and decision-making processes, counties like Portage are paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future. The efforts of organizations like UW Madison-Extension underscore the importance of collaboration and dialogue in shaping energy policies that benefit both the environment and local communities.

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