On Thursday, May 18, Movin’ Out Inc. celebrated the completion of its newly installed 20-kilowatt solar array. Movin’ out Inc. is a nonprofit organization located in Madison, Wisconsin whose mission is to provide housing solutions for people and families with disabilities, by creating safe, affordable, and community-integrated homes. 

The solar system consists of 38 solar panels, was installed by Westphal Electric on the Glen Grove Apartments, and is projected to produce 24,216 kWh of annual energy, offsetting 90% of the building’s common-area electric loads.            

This project came to fruition from multiple funding sources, including Focus on Energy Funds, a public fundraising campaign, as well as a donation from Solar for Good. Solar for Good is a RENEW Wisconsin program, created in partnership with the Couillard Solar Foundation to expand solar among nonprofits in Wisconsin. 

Movin’ Out has been the recipient of two Solar for Good grants, receiving 19 of the 38 panels required for their most recent solar project. “Collaborating with Solar for Good allows us to include efficient and innovative approaches that would not be possible otherwise.” said Kathryne Auerback, CEO of Movin’ Out. 

The economic savings generated by this solar installation are incredibly helpful to residents in affordable housing. The array “will help keep additional income in our residents’ hands to spend on healthcare costs, food, and purchase other discretionary items that residents in affordable housing are often times forced with making a decision to go without,” said Narik Riak, Real Estate Development Associate with Movin’ Out. 

The reduced operating costs provided by the solar array will be reflected in the tenants’ monthly rent and minimize the possibility of future rent increases. With the installation of this solar array, Movin’ Out is addressing critical issues of environmental justice and energy burden. “Movin’ Out recognizes that multiply-marginalized communities are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but often have the least access to resources that build resilience,” continued Carlson-Edwards.

By installing this solar array, Movin’ Out is empowering marginalized communities, and helping to build a more sustainable and resilient Wisconsin. This project highlights the transformative potential of renewable energy in creating positive change and will serve as a model for other organizations to follow.