Solar Success in the Northland!

solar-success

It’s been an incredible year for the Arrowhead MN Interfaith Power and Light. We’ve grown our network in new and exciting ways and we’ve helped AICHO successfully fund and install a solar array! AICHO (American Indian Community Housing Organization) received over $60,000 in community grants and donations to install solar panels and LED lighting as part of their investment in energy efficiency!

The estimated solar and energy efficiency savings adds up to roughly 40,000 kWH/year, which is equivalent to the average energy usage of about four Minnesota homes. This will save AICHO around $3,000/year in utility bill savings which will allow them to have a larger budget for their mission’s programming in education, culture, sustainability, and empowerment. Supporting these services with clean energy thus benefits our entire community.

MNIPL Arrowhead members were key partners with AICHO, RREAL and Ecolibrium3 all the way through this project. Since 2015, MNIPL and RREAL have worked with partners to petition the MN Public Utilities Commission and Minnesota Power to invest in low-income solar programing. This in part resulted in a $25,000 grant from Minnesota Power ratepayers for the project! MNIPL also served on the project’s planning team and we raised over $6,000 for the array itself!

This is in large part due to the incredible giving from local donors and congregations including:  the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, Pilgrim Congregational Church UCC of Duluth, the McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, the Duluth Clean Energy Team, Northstar Chapter of the Sierra Club, and many generous individuals.

Local solar leader and installer RREAL not only designed and constructed the array, but also raised additional funding for the project, and local nonprofit non-profit Ecolibrium3 provided valuable technical assistance.  Additional project funding has been generously provided by Unirac, the Whole Foods Co-op, The Ordean Foundation and The Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.

Thank you for your support — you made this project possible. 2017 has been a great year and we are looking forward to more in 2018.

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Bret Pence