On Sunday, May 21, Mount Zion Baptist Church held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of their 21.6-kilowatt solar array. Mt. Zion Baptist Church is the largest and one of the oldest predominantly African American churches in Wisconsin, with an unwavering mission to live their faith, love their family, and lift up their community. 

RENEW Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to advancing renewable energy, played a pivotal role in Mt. Zion’s solar journey. Through their Solar for Good program, created in partnership with the Couillard Solar Foundation, Mt. Zion received a grant of 42 solar panels—enough to supply half of the panels required for the installation.

Additionally, Mt. Zion was awarded a Backyard Solar grant from MadiSUN, a City of Madison program administered by RENEW Wisconsin. This $10,000 grant further assisted the church’s solar endeavor. These collaborations exemplify the power of partnerships in expanding solar power access throughout Wisconsin.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s solar installation was made possible through the expertise and guidance of WES Engineering and Legacy Solar Cooperative. WES Engineering completed the installation, meanwhile Legacy Solar Cooperative provided invaluable consultation, offering their solar expertise, and assisting with tax financing options. 

The solar installation at Mt. Zion Baptist Church is expected to produce roughly 24,500 kWh per year, offsetting 40% of the church’s annual energy needs. Beyond the environmental benefits, this installation has the potential to have a great positive impact on the community.

By embracing solar power, Mt. Zion has significantly reduced their monthly energy costs. These savings have allowed the church to reallocate resources to support their programs, particularly those dedicated to feeding the hungry and providing educational opportunities for underserved youth. 

As a prominent institution within the South Madison community, Mt. Zion’s commitment to environmental stewardship serves as a great example, demonstrating the potential long-term economic and environmental advantages of transitioning away from nonrenewable resources, inspiring others to follow suit. 

Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s solar ribbon cutting ceremony marked a significant achievement in their pursuit of sustainable stewardship. By embracing solar energy, the church has reduced its energy costs, directed more resources toward vital programs, and set a powerful precedent for environmental leadership within their community. Through this installation, Mt. Zion Baptist Church has shown that faith, family, and community can thrive hand in hand with a commitment to sustainable practices.