MADISON (WKOW) -- Imagine all the solar panels that are currently on homes, businesses, and other buildings in the city of Madison.
Then imagine doubling that in the next two years. That's the goal before city engineers in an effort dubbed MadiSUN.
Right now there's about 200 homes and businesses with solar panels of some sort in Madison, according to engineer Kay Schindel. The U.S. Department of Energy is giving the city a push to bring more.
Madison is one of about 25 cities that were named to take part in the Solar America Project. The city received a $200,000 grant for the next two years. In return, it will promote the use of solar panels, whether for electricity or hot water.
Already, the city hired a solar consultant to go around and assess homes and businesses upon request. That consultant, Larry Walker, can also let them know how the installation process works.
"It just makes it easier for people who are interested to actually figure out if they can do it," said Schindel. "When they find out they can do it, basically take them by the hands and go through the steps."
According to the DOE, cities in the program also need to make solar installations easier. At Tuesday night's city council meeting, a change to Madison's zoning code was introduced. Among the changes in the draft, it basically says condo and homeowner associations cannot prevent the installation of solar panels.