More than $280,000 in cash awards and solar panel donations were awarded to 18 Wisconsin nonprofits as part of the 13th round of grant funding for Solar for Good. These awards will lead to the development of 1,600 kilowatts (kW) of solar electricity added to the Wisconsin electric mix and over $4.5 million in renewable energy investments.

Installing solar panels allows this diverse group of nonprofits to prioritize long-term fiscal responsibility, ensuring the sustainability of their institutions. St. Vincent de Paul will utilize their grant to install a 48.1-kW solar array on their new building, allowing them to redirect financial resources back into the core of their mission. West CAP, an organization committed to combatting poverty, will install a 29.76-kW solar array on its newest low-income housing initiative. This installation may potentially eradicate energy costs for their low-income residents. 

“Through our poverty-fighting programs, we want to help prepare families for a world less dependent on fossil-fueled energy,” said Peter H. Kilde, West CAP Executive Director. “This funding will not only allow us to reduce carbon emissions and help our planet, but it will also ease the energy burden for low-income families so they can afford their housing for the long term. We appreciate the support from RENEW Wisconsin and the Couillard Foundation in helping nonprofit communities make this critical transition to solar.”  

In the world of nonprofits, where financial resources are already stretched thin, the idea of adopting solar energy often feels out of reach due to the high upfront costs. Recognizing this financial obstacle, the Solar for Good program aims to alleviate a portion of that financial burden. 

“While our grant does not cover the entire cost of a solar installation, nonprofits receiving our support find themselves in a stronger position to secure additional funding,” said Lauren Cohen, manager of the Solar for Good program. “A Solar for Good grant acts as a valuable leveraging point, opening doors to further support for their solar projects.”

Integrating solar power into St. Vincent de Paul’s operations is a logical step, considering their existing emphasis on sustainability. Operating seven thrift stores and a processing center, they divert thousands of pounds of goods from landfills each month, promoting a green solution for excess items and integrating solar energy to align with their sustainability initiatives.

“We’re grateful to receive a Solar for Good grant to support the cost of solar panels for our new building,” said Julie Bennett, CEO and Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Madison. “The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is proud to increase our sustainable efforts in Dane County. Solar panels are a natural accompaniment to the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ effort that is fundamental to our seven St. Vinny’s Thrift Stores.” 

Since its inception in 2017, Solar for Good has awarded grants to more than 200 Wisconsin nonprofits, resulting in over $16.7 million in clean energy investments across the state. These 18 organizations join a diverse community of nonprofits utilizing solar energy. Solar for Good is thrilled to contribute to their journeys towards enhanced energy efficiency and independence.

The following organizations have been offered Fall 2023 Solar for Good grants to install new solar energy systems:

Agrace Hospice Care – senior living, Madison 
Art Intersection MKE – community service, Milwaukee
Aurora Medical Center Sheboygan County – healthcare, Sheboygan
Catholic Ecology Center – education, Neosho
Hayward Sports Center and Community Park – recreation, Hayward
Immanuel Lutheran Church – religious, Viroqua
Little Turtles Playhouse – community service, Beloit
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design – education, Milwaukee
Monona United Methodist Church – religious, Monona
Ozaukee Nonprofit Center – community service, Grafton
Pittsville Fire Company – community service, Pittsville
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church – religious, Milwaukee
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – religious, Onalaska
Sugar Creek Lutheran Church – religious, Elkhorn
St. Vincent de Paul – community service, Madison
Stoughton United Methodist Church – religious, Stoughton
West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency – affordable housing, Clayton

*One organization has asked to remain anonymous at this time.