(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore is venturing into the world of renewable energy. The Madison Street nonprofit will be adding solar panels to the roof, a project that is the brainchild of Store Manager Laura Goral. She says the mission of Habitat for Humanity is affordable housing, ensuring people everywhere have a decent place to live. Goral adds that she strives to run the store by that vision. This includes, according to Goral, not just saving and making money at the ReStore, but taking care of mother earth as well. She adds this has been a dream of hers since she began managing the store seven years ago.
The project will be funded in part by a $10,000 grant from Renew Wisconsin’s Solar for Good program, which aims to foster expansion of solar power among mission-based nonprofits and houses of worship in Wisconsin. The program has already approved 150 solar projects within the state. Distributed Resources Director Sam Dunaiski with Renew Wisconsin says so far 110 of those projects have been completed creating a combined power output of 3.4 megawatts or 3400 Kilowatts of energy, enough to power roughly six or seven-hundred homes.
Installation of the solar panels will begin in the spring of 2022 and will be handled by Iconic Energy. Solar Consultant with Iconic Energy, Katy Kraemer, says the solar array is projected to provide up to 103-percent of the ReStore’s energy needs, and will continue to serve the nonprofit for years to come. Kraemer adds that each panel is warrantied for 25 years, but that does not mean they are end of life after that, as each panel should still perform at about 83-percent capacity.
Goral says her vison on solar extends beyond the rooftop installation, as she envisions utilizing unused sections of the parking lot to create a solar farm that could provide power to a local, low-income residency nearby.
Anyone looking to help the ReStore in their mission can donate items directly at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 1022 Madison Street in Beaver Dam, participate in the cities e-cycle program, or make a monetary donation directly. To reach Laura Goral call 920-885-4518 or email at [email protected].