On Sunday, July 16, The Clyde Community Center hosted a dedication to celebrate and commemorate the completion of their 8-kilowatt solar array. Formerly an elementary school, the Clyde Community Center’s mission is to foster community by providing a space for Avoca, WI, residents to host programs or participate in recreational activities.

The ground-mounted solar array is projected to produce 10,000-kilowatt hours of annual energy, offsetting 100% of the community center’s current usage. This transition to solar power is just the first step in the Clyde Community Center’s long-term vision of implementing energy-efficient upgrades.

“Our former grade school means a lot to the residents of our township as a public gathering place, but it needs upgrades,” said Juniper Sundance, Solar Champion of the Clyde Community Center.

Planned upgrades include replacing and adding insulation, installing energy-efficient lighting, and replacing the classroom air conditioning units and wall furnaces with heat pumps. These improvements will optimize the solar system’s performance by minimizing energy waste and ensuring the community center maximizes its renewable energy potential.

This project was made possible through various financial rebates and grants, including an $11,500 Focus on Energy Rebate and a $1,200 grant from Solar for Good. Clyde Community Center also received several donations from its community members.

The Clyde Community Center solar project can be largely accredited to the town’s residents who already use solar to power their homes and understand how beneficial additional solar would be for their community. “Living in an area without much infrastructure, we are aware of our need for sustainable systems,” said Sundance. “We see a potential for educating our neighbors on solar.”

The involvement of Clyde residents serves as a powerful testament to the idea that people are far more likely to install solar when they see someone they know and trust already using it successfully. This solar installation is another example for others within the township to follow.

Clyde Community Center’s solar installation demonstrates the organization’s commitment to the environment as well as its residents. By installing this system, the center can continue serving the town for years to come.