The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters held a blessing and ribbon cutting on Monday, Nov. 26 to celebrate the installation of three solar arrays at Sinsinawa Mound.
Eagle Point Solar, Focus Energy, and Renew Wisconsin joined the sisters for the ceremony. The project was completed in October.
Sinsinawa Mound Chief Operations Officer Ray Hess welcomed everybody to the ceremony, which was held at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
“This is one of three solar panel locations along with the St. Dominic Villa, and Well House,” he said.
The three arrays will directly supply power to the wastewater treatment plant, well house, and St. Dominic Villa. Each solar array will offset the congregation’s electric use by 30 percent, saving the organization more than $35,000 in annual utility costs.
The organization received a $60,000 grant from Focus on Energy, a statewide program that offers information, services, and financial incentives to help residents and businesses select and install cost-effective solutions that save energy and money. The solar installation was also made possible in part by Solar for Good, an initiative from the renewable energy advocates at Renew Wisconsin.
The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters received a $20,000 grant from Solar for Good in 2017 to assist in the funding of the solar arrays. In addition to the rebates from Solar for Good and Focus on Energy, the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters made a substantial upfront investment to pay for the solar array. The organization invested more than $400,000 to fund the remainder of the project.
Sister Christin Tomy O.P. conducted a prayer and blessed the solar panels.
Program Manager for Renew Wisconsin Sam Dunaiski spoke of the Solar for Good program’s support for the Sinsinawa Dominican Sister’s solar project. “This is our largest project,” he said. “This project is three times as big as our biggest project. “
Jim Pullen of Eagle Point Solar spoke of technical aspects of the three solar arrays. In carbon footprint 6,936 tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated, driving reduced by 638,418 gallons of gas, recycling 21,918 tons of waste, displacing carbon dioxide emissions from annual electric use of 787 homes, 6,758,586, pounds of coal burned, and equivalent of planting 161,609 trees.
The ceremony ended with a ribbon cutting with representatives from Eagle Point Solar, Renew Wisconsin, Focus on Energy, and members of Sinsinawa Mound.