On Monday, November 26, at 10:30 a.m. the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, together with installer Eagle Point Solar, Focus on Energy, and RENEW Wisconsin will celebrate the installation of three solar arrays at Sinsinawa Mound, the motherhouse of the Sinsinawa Dominicans and their conference and retreat center. The Sisters will hold a blessing and a ribbon-cutting for the panels as part of the celebration.
Eagle Point Solar of Dubuque, IA completed the three solar installations this past October. The three arrays will directly supply power to a waste-water treatment plant, a well house, and St. Dominic Villa, a skilled nursing facility. Each solar array will offset the congregation’s electric use by 30%, saving the organization over $35,000 in annual utility costs.
The solar installation was made possible in part by Solar for Good, an initiative from the renewable energy advocates at RENEW Wisconsin. Solar for Good is primarily funded by philanthropists Cal and Laurie Couillard of Deerfield, WI. The Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters received a $20,000 grant from Solar for Good in 2017 to assist in the funding of the solar arrays.
The organization also 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.
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 over $400,000 to fund the remainder of the project. “The installation of the solar energy systems is part of our Dominican commitment to respond to Pope Francis’ urgent summons of Laudato Si to care for Earth, our home,” said Sister Angelo Collins, OP, who serves on the Leadership Council of the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa.