On Thursday, March 23, Visit Sheboygan STEAM held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their 19.5-kilowatt solar array. Visit Sheboygan STEAM is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative science, technology, and urban ecology education.
The project, installed by Arch Solar, consists of 52 solar panels and is projected to offset approximately 28% of the building’s electrical needs and 56% of Visit Sheboygan STEAM’s production. “We had a blast working with Visit Sheboygan STEAM on their solar installation,” said Andrew Holmstrom at Arch Solar. “Installing on such a river-visible location, in downtown Sheboygan, meant a lot of Arch.”
Visit Sheboygan STEAM’s provides environmental and urban ecology education, and those involved with the STEAM program are excited by the solar installation’s educational opportunities. “The mission of our organization includes environmentally focused STEAM education, and this project will help us facilitate a new line of programming featuring photovoltaics and renewable energy,” said Kathy Cannistra, Program Developer at Visit Sheboygan STEAM.
As a popular destination among locals and tourists, Visit Sheboygan STEAM’s solar installation is a role model for similar organizations to follow in their footsteps. “All of Sheboygan County is in the early adoption stages of solar, so influential organizations paving the way are crucial in its development,” continued Holmstrom. “As time goes on, and the STEAM program grows, we’re looking forward to getting involved and providing education to the leaders of tomorrow on clean energy.”
This project was primarily funded by the organization’s existing donor base and business sponsors. In addition, RENEW Wisconsin’s Solar for Good program provided Visit Sheboygan STEAM with a $5,000 grant to assist with the upfront cost of the solar array.
“Environmental stewardship and education are core to our mission,” continued Cannistra. “Therefore, we are thrilled that this solar project has helped reduce the energy-related costs of our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) programming while simultaneously demonstrating that solar power can be effective in our climate and region.”