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Solar power firms Full Spectrum Solar and Midwest Solar Power will be joint contractors for the MadiSUN Solar Group Buy program.

Two Madison solar energy contractors have been selected as the installation companies working with Madison and Middleton for the MadiSUN Solar Group Buy program.

Full Spectrum Solar and Midwest Solar Power will join together to offer solar installations through the program that makes solar more affordable and accessible.

"This is going to be a great deal for families who are interested in going solar this year," said Katherine Klausing, program manager for MadiSUN. "By going with the group buy, families can save an extra 10 percent compared to what they would pay to go solar alone."

A sample system shown on Midwest Solar Power's website would cost $13,000, but that would be cut almost in half through federal tax credits, rebates and the group buy. http://mwsolarpower.com/index.php/faq/sample-system/ 

The group purchase program is run by the nonprofit RENEW Wisconsin Inc. on behalf of the city of Madison with support from Middleton.

The program also has a deal with Summit Credit Union for residents to get special solar loans.

"Madison's commitment to continued utilization of solar energy is genuine," said Mayor Paul Soglin in a statement. "We have our Green Power program in which we train new workers to install solar, a goal of producing one megawatt (a million watts) of solar power by 2020 and incredible partnerships like SolSmart and others. We are on our way!"

SolSmart is a national program from the Department of Energy that recognizes leading solar communities and helps additional communities expanding their solar markets.

Madison is a SolSmart Gold city, recognized for adopting programs and practices that make it faster, easier and cheaper to go solar. For more information, go to www.madisunsolar.com.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.