The UUCW rooftop Solar-Electric PV (Photo Voltaic) System
- Includes 42 solar panels, 200 watts each, for a total of 8.4 kW (kilo-watts).
- Panels are tilted at 35° and face due south for optimal energy generation.
- An Inverter is used to convert the Solar DC power to Grid-Ready AC power which is then “fed” onto the grid (the power lines running down the street).
- Will generate 10,000+ kwh/year of electricity - 15% of the church building’s needs.
- Will reduce electricity costs to the church by $2,150.00 per year.
Solar System Cost: $77,500 Total Installed Cost
- $27,500 We Energies Grant for Non-Profits
- $22,000 Focus on Energy – Wisconsin Utilities Public Benefit Program
- $28,000 Raised by Congregation
Why Install Solar?
The impetus for installing a solar-electric system came from enthusiastic members of the congregation. Over the past decade, UUCW has focused on educating our church members on sustainability, global warming, and other environmental issues. Some members looked into the cost of installing solar systems for their own homes, and found it to be prohibitive. We came to the realization that that if we pooled our money we’d be able to afford a system for the church; accomplishing the goal of reducing fossil fuels and at the same time leaving a wonderful legacy to UUCW.
Living sustainably is part of our religious commitment. Unitarian Universalists believe that all life on earth is linked in one sacred and interdependent web, and that we must do all we can to protect our planet. Everyone was excited that they could contribute to something that would allow us to put our values into action.
UUCW is a Green Sanctuary Congregation
In 2004, UUCW became an accredited Unitarian Universalist “Green Sanctuary” Congregation. This means we live out our commitment to the Earth by creating a sustainable life style for our members as individuals and as a faith community. Sustainable living is not about material comfort (though these choices are an important part of the overall lifestyle); it’s about choosing to live in a way that nurtures life, builds relationships, and rejects material consumption as the main determinant of happiness.
- To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UUs.
- To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes.
- To motivate UUs to community action on environmental issues.
- To build a connection between spiritual practice & environmental consciousness.
- To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices.
UUCW Practices Sustainability
- We emphasize a Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ethic focusing on the true cost of consumerism, not just the out of pocket costs.
- Our minister and pulpit guests address issues of environment, sustainability, eco-spirituality and earth-based religions in worship services up to six times a year.
- Our Religious Education classes for children include lessons about the interdependent web of all existence and their place in it.
- The church Meditation Garden consists of all native plants, virtually eliminating the need to water. Members are encouraged to use native plants in their own yards.
- We hold adult enrichment classes using the Great Lakes Earth Institute (www.glei.org) course materials, e.g. Voluntary Simplicity, Choices for Sustainable Living, etc…
- We co-host movie nights with the Sierra Club, on topics including the privatization of water, global warming, peak oil, etc...
- Members of UUCW attend and host meetings for other churches working on energy efficiency savings and other environmental topics, including the Energy Stewards Group and the Interfaith Earth Care Network Conferences.
- We take members on field trips to recycling centers, sewage treatment plants, wind turbine installments, etc…
Solar Installation Contractors
- H&H Solar Energy Services
Andrew Bangart, Lead Installer
- Magaw Electric
Mike Bates, Project Manager
- ALT Energy - Renewable Energy Consulting
Amy Taivalkoski (UU Church West member)
Donated the solar site assessment and project coordination.