Building off past success, the Solar for Good grant program will issue another round of grants for nonprofits in Wisconsin looking to install solar energy systems. The program will give approximately $150,000 in funding and material donations to organizations to help reduce the upfront costs of installing solar.
RENEW Wisconsin, a Madison-based, statewide renewable energy advocacy organization, administers the Solar for Good program through funding provided by the Couillard Solar Foundation. The Foundation supplies Solar for Good grant recipients with up to 50% of the solar panels needed for their project. For grant winners selecting a monetary grant, nonprofits can receive up to 20% of the cost of their solar array.
“Since 2017, we’ve helped nonprofits in Wisconsin gain access to solar through grants, advocacy, and education,” said Jackie Harrison-Jewell, Director of the Couillard Solar Foundation. “The Couillard Solar Foundation is very proud to support the Solar for Good program.”
Since 2017, Solar for Good has awarded grants to 118 nonprofit organizations across the state. Grants have been issued to many different organizations, including VFWs, affordable housing providers, houses of worship, and animal shelters. Solar projects in Milwaukee, the Driftless region, the Fox Valley area, and the shores of Lake Superior represent the broad reach of the program.
“We feel that by helping nonprofit organizations reduce their utility costs and reliance on fossil fuel, we’re helping them achieve their mission of service to Wisconsin communities,” continued Harrison-Jewell.
Over 120 solar arrays have been constructed thanks to the program so far. Solar for Good has dispersed over $1.1 million in grants to nonprofits over the last five years, but that money has spurred nearly $10 million in renewable energy projects.
“For every dollar in grants issued through Solar for Good, the community invests nearly nine dollars into these solar projects,” stated Sam Dunaiski, Distributed Resources Director at RENEW Wisconsin. “Solar for Good really demonstrates the power of community investments in renewable energy.”
The 127 solar projects now providing clean energy to Wisconsin nonprofits produce 4,340 kilowatts of renewable energy, enough to power over 800 average-sized households. When all projects associated with Solar for Good grants are complete, the program will have added over 5 megawatts of solar to Wisconsin’s electric grid.
Added Dunaiski, “Smaller-scale solar projects, like these, demonstrate how organizations can lower their utility bills, reduce strain on our electric grid, and help reduce emissions. They’re a win-win for everyone.”
How to Apply
Organizations can learn more and apply at www.renewwisconsin.org/solarforgood/
Eligibility requires the organization to be a registered 501c3 nonprofit located in Wisconsin, in good financial standing, ready to install solar, and agree to participate in educating community members about the benefits of solar energy. If approved for a grant, all fundraising, design, and installation for the solar project must be completed within 12 months.
Applications for the Spring 2022 Solar for Good cycle are due Sunday, May 1, 2022. Grant approval announcements will be made by Wednesday, June 1, 2022.