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Sun Prairie Chamber gets $25,000 T Mobile grant for Midwest Solar panels

For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Christina Williams, 608-837-4547
Barrett Lione-Seaton, (608) 354-2063 Ext. 3

Sun Prairie Chamber gets $25,000 T Mobile grant for Midwest Solar panels

The Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce on March 21 announced it received a $25,000 T Mobile Hometown Grant to purchase new solar panels as part of its chamber office remodeling project. The announcement occurred in the new board room at the chamber office, located at 109 E. Main St.

“Just when we thought adding solar panels was no longer possible, T-Mobile came through by providing a grant to fund our project. This grant will not only enable us to add solar panels but helps bring our sustainability vision to life,” said Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christina Williams.

“As the first private sector building to embrace solar energy, we are proud to lead the way in embracing renewable energy sources,” Williams added. “This project underscores our commitment to environmental sustainability and our dedication to preserving the historic charm of downtown Sun Prairie.”

Sun Prairie City Administrator Aaron Oppenheimer thanked and congratulated the chamber for the grant, which he said demonstrates the community’s commitment to sustainability.

“The installation of solar panels represents more than just a physical addition to the building — it symbolizes a commitment to sustainability and a brighter future for Sun Prairie,” Oppenheimer said. “Sun Prairie’s commitment to sustainability is not just a vision, it’s a mission. We believe in creating a vibrant, environmentally friendly community and recognize the interdependence of environmental quality, economic resilience, and social equity.”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi thanked T Mobile, his cellular phone provider, for the grant.

“This is some really exciting stuff — thank you for your leadership,” Parisi said. “It’s so important that people lead by example and show that you can do both the fiscally responsible thing and the environmentally responsible thing. Indeed, we're at a place right now in time where it is fiscally irresponsible to not explore renewables and energy efficiency because not only is the cost of things like solar come down so much.”

T Mobile Rural Market Manager Scott Guckenberger said the company plans to give $25 million in grants to rural communities like Sun Prairie through 2026. Sun Prairie was one of 25 communities to receive the grant nationwide.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the importance of strong partnerships within our business community,” Williams said, “because today could not have happened without the support of our local T Mobile store. We applied for a grant a year ago and were denied. Then after our job fair, [Scott] convinced us to reapply with a few tweaks in the application. We followed his instructions and we won essentially an incredible opportunity for us.”

Barrett Lione-Seaton, project manager for Midwest Solar Power which will install the panels, said in an interview after the ceremony that he believed the solar panels will generate enough electricity for the chamber’s use and excess electricity to sell back to Sun Prairie Utilities.

He also said the grant will allow the chamber to purchase high-quality solar panels to be installed on the office roof.

“Every situation is a little different — some people want to because they have a tight budget. So we go with a panel that, it's a little less price heavy, but it's still the top of the line, top-tier-rated panel. It's assembled in the US actually out of Florida, with 25-year warranties on everything. It's the technology. There's some panels that are slightly better, but those will double or triple the cost or hamstring projects like this. I think they’re really focused on hitting a budget and a return on investment.”

Midwest Solar, a member of the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce, is looking forward to installing the panels and for the chamber to begin using them, according to Lione-Seaton.

“Overall, we're excited to do this,” Lione-Seaton said about the installation. “We're one of many local installers and, while we were the ones selected, we would have applauded their selection of any other local installer. It’s important to really look locally before making a [solar panel purchase] decision to make sure you're getting a fair price, someone who is going to be responsive and that they're in your community so they're not going to leave you high and dry.”

The Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce anticipates re-opening the office in mid-April; to reach Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce staff, find them through the chamber website at For more information about Midwest Solar, go online to or call 608-354-2063 Ext. 3.




Photo by Chris Mertes/608 Beacon Enterprises LLC

Solar panels like these from Midwest Solar will be installed on the roof of the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce building at 109 E. Main St. Project manager Barrett Lione-Seaton from Midwest Solar said the panels will generate enough electricity for the chamber’s use, and excess electricity sold to the City of Sun Prairie’s municipally-owned electric utility, Sun Prairie Utilities.


Photo by Chris Mertes/608 Beacon Enterprises LLC

Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christina Williams (left) holds a giant T Mobile check for $25,000 with Shawn Scott, Assistant T Mobile Sun Prairie Store Manager (center) and Mari Vazquez, Sun Prairie T Mobile Store Manager, during the March 21 announcement that the chamber would receive a T Mobile Hometown Grant. Williams said the grant will now allow the installation of solar panels as part of the chamber’s office remodeling project set for completion in mid-April.