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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ground Broken on Green Bay’s Largest Solar Array

Largest Project in State Serving a Religious Community

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross will soon become powered by the largest solar array in Green Bay and the third largest in Brown County.

Work has commenced on a 416-panel, ground-mounted solar system that will start producing electricity for the convent in May. At 112 kilowatts (kW), the array will be the 18th largest in the state and the largest to date hosted by a religious community.

Green Bay-based Eland Electric is the general contractor for this project. Eland has also constructed two other solar systems in Brown County larger than 100 kW, both on company rooftops. 

“The Sisters of St. Francis have decided to take control of their energy costs with solar power, and by doing so expect to save an estimated $500,000 over the next 20 to 25 years,” said RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director Tyler Huebner. “This is the big advantage of solar energy: once the system is installed, the energy is practically free for years to come. Their actions will also yield economic dividends for the businesses and workers involved with this project. We also applaud the Sisters of St. Francis’ educational mission to help others learn about and consider renewable energy resources.”

In partnership with Eland Electric, RENEW Wisconsin, a nonprofit clean energy advocacy and education organization, will host a casual early evening event on Thursday, May 1st at the Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico. RENEW’s meet-and-greet will run from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Featuring 920 acres of forest, meadows and wetlands, the Barkhausen is powered by a large outdoor (30’ tall freestanding) solar array and two trackers installed by Eland Electric. Barkhausen’s solar system totals 21.2 kW.

“We invite the public to learn more about Wisconsin’s renewable energy landscape in a beautiful setting powered by solar energy,” Huebner said. 

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