RENEW Wisconsin
Press Release

Solar for Good announces new grants to install solar energy for nonprofits

The program is funded through a donation from philanthropists Cal and Laurie Couillard of Deerfield.

By - Mar 12th, 2018 02:34 pm
Solar panels being installed at 1545 S. Layton Blvd. Photo courtesy of Arch Electric Inc.

Solar panels being installed at 1545 S. Layton Blvd. Photo courtesy of Arch Electric Inc.

Solar for Good, an initiative from the renewable energy advocates at RENEW Wisconsin, will offer grant funding this spring to assist nonprofit organizations with installing solar panels on their facilities.

The program is funded through a donation from philanthropists Cal and Laurie Couillard of Deerfield.

“The solar energy boom is having a positive impact throughout Wisconsin, from keeping more of our energy dollars in our pockets to protecting our natural resources,” said Katherine Klausing, Engagment Manager at RENEW Wisconsin. “That’s why we want to help local nonprofit organizations and houses of worship, who are working every day to improve our communities, join the solar movement. By installing their own solar PV systems, these organizations will be able to generate their own clean, renewable energy, save money on their utility bills, and reinvest the energy cost savings back into their work. “

This spring, Solar for Good will award a total of $110,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations and houses of worship to assist them in installing solar photovoltaic systems. The grant program will fund up to 20% of the cost of a solar array, with a grant cap of $10,000 for solar arrays sized less than 75 kW and a grant cap of $20,000 for arrays 75 kW and above.

Solar for Good will also offer small grants for technical assistance, including professional solar site assessments and engineering services, to get projects started and see them through to success. The program plans to offer both a spring and a fall grant cycle each year and be sustained for three years or more.

RENEW Wisconsin and Solar for Good aim to use the grants to help organizations going solar to spread the word about their solar investments and educate their communities about the benefits of solar.

In 2017, the program offered grants to 16 nonprofit organizations across Wisconsin, including a food pantry, a shelter for homeless veterans, and several houses of worship. When all the projects are completed, the grants will have supported over $1.2 million in solar investment and added 573 kilowatts (kW) of new solar electric projects to the state.

“We were thrilled to have received a Solar for Good Grant,” said Barbara Roder. Her congregation at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Fond du Lac was one of the 2017 grantees. “This incentive was just what we needed to move us from thinking about solar to doing it.”

How to Apply

Organizations can learn more and apply at

In order to be eligible, the organization must be a registered nonprofit organization located in Wisconsin, be in good financial standing, be 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 this round of funding must be received by Monday April 9, 2018. Decisions and funding announcements will be made by Wednesday April 15, 2018.

For organizations looking at solar for the first time, technical assistance grants are available to fund a solar site assessment (up to $250) or engineering review (up to $500) for their solar array. These applications will be reviewed separately from the applications for grants for solar installation and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

About RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization which promotes renewable energy in Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on RENEW’s website:

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