Racine Dominican Ministries Eco-Justice Center
11-kilowatt solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system
Total project cost
$28,730 from We Energies
$35,000 from Focus on Energy
Estimated savings achieved
$2,423 per year
Energy for Tomorrow participant
100 percent level
The Eco-Justice Center is an environmental-education center dedicated to demonstrating simple living and conservative energy use. In January 2007, the center — located on a 19th-century-era farm in Racine County — decided to install a 55-panel solar electric photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of its 1870s granary with the assistance of Full Spectrum Solar. To support the new panels, the project required addition of interior scissors beams to reinforce the old roof.
Sister Janet Weyker, director of the center, described the benefits of the system that offsets most of the building’s annual energy costs: “For six months of the year, instead of paying for our electricity, we get a check back from We Energies.”
The solar electric panels attract attention to the facility, which helps Weyker and her staff teach people of all ages and all walks of life how to live more gently on the earth.
“The panels are attractive, and really stand out,” says Weyker. “Unlike some of our other improvements made at the facility (such as geothermal heating and air conditioning), our solar project is easy to explain to our visitors.”