MADISON, Wis. (8/1/11)--Summit CU, with $1.6 billion of assets, Madison, Wis., is partnering with the city of Milwaukee to help homeowners finance installation costs for solar panels. Summit CU will work with Milwaukee Shines, the city of Milwaukee’s solar program (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel July 29). A study of solar installers found financing options to be a barrier to homeowners who wanted to install panels, according the city of Milwaukee. Solar installations, which have increased since the Milwaukee Shines program began two years ago, remain a challenge for homeowners, according to Amy Heart, who manages the Milwaukee Shines solar program, told the newspaper. Heart said she hoped that Summit CU involvement in the program will help spur a long-term change in how local lenders view investment in renewable energy. The first 20 participants in the loan program will receive $1,000 off the cost of the solar installation. The financing arrangement with Summit CU replaces an earlier version, which would have placed an assessment on property owners’ tax bills. That plan was dropped after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac objected to the programs, the paper said.