On Wednesday, November 2, Pine Valley Community Village, a prominent skilled healthcare, rehabilitation, and assisted living facility located in Richland County, celebrated a significant milestone. The organization completed the installation of its 336-panel solar array.

Pine Valley Community Village marked the successful completion of its solar array project with a solar dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The array is expected to generate more than 5 million kilowatt-hours within the first 25 years and over a half million dollars of savings for the nursing and rehab facility.

“Having solar now on our campus to help offset those electrical costs is significant. It is the perfect complement to our Geothermal system,” said Tom Rislow, Pine Valley Community Village’s Administrator. 

Pine Valley’s decision to go solar was driven by its cost-saving benefits and a desire to reduce the organization’s environmental footprint. In 2016, the facility opted for a geothermal heating and cooling system, which was effective but raised electricity costs due to increased usage. The solar system, installed by Solar Connections, now complements their geothermal system, reducing their dependence on traditional electricity sources and potentially saving up to $18,000 annually.

During the process, Pine Valley benefited from the expertise of Legacy Solar Co-op, a cooperative providing solar and energy efficiency services throughout Wisconsin.

“Legacy Solar Co-op [LSC] started working with Pine Valley Community Village [PVCV] in Richland Center, Wisconsin, back in early 2022 and helped them pursue the best-fit size and location for placing a ground-mounted solar array on Richland County property to generate roughly 17% of their electricity use per year on-site,” said Kurt Reinhold, President, and CEO of Legacy Solar Co-op. “LSC is proud to have helped PVCV succeed in finishing this project!”

Pine Valley Community Village’s commitment to sustainability and clean energy received a significant boost through the support of generous donors and the Solar for Good program. Key supporters Ray & Sylvia Schmitz and Bob Simpson played a vital role in the project’s fundraising plan. Pine Valley Community Village also received a Solar for Good grant, providing them with 150 of the 336 panels necessary for the solar array.

“It couldn’t have been possible without several contributions,” said Rislow. “Starting with our qualifying to receive 150 solar panels free through the Solar for Good program, getting a Focus on Energy grant, receiving generous donations from two local businessmen, and the likelihood of receiving additional funds through a program within the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Pine Valley Community Village’s commitment to clean energy reflects its values and showcases Richland County’s dedication to environmentally responsible operations. The project not only supports sustainability but is also expected to substantially reduce the facility’s electrical expenses for years to come.