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Wisconsin libertarians embrace solar power

A group of conservative Tea Party activists in Atlanta turned heads this summer when they announced a partnership with the local Sierra Club chapter to help pressure Georgia’s largest electric utility to boost its investment in solar power.

Six weeks later, solar power picked up another unexpected supporter in Wisconsin, where on Aug. 20 the state’s Libertarian Party endorsed a clean energy group’s proposal to let customers lease solar panels and other small renewable generators.

“Most of us don’t trust the environmental movement because they’ve cried wolf forever and ever. There are all kinds of philosophical disagreements, but at the end of the day this was pretty much a no-brainer,” said Paul Ehlers, state party chair.

The proposal they endorsed would clarify state law to allow leasing and other types of third-party ownership for solar panels, wind turbines and other generators, in which neither the electric customer nor their local utility owns the system.

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