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Case Study - Saving $1,500,000 on Energy Costs with New State-of-the-Art Solar System
This new installation in Milwaukee, WI is reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by nearly 16 million pounds of CO2 emissions and saving the organization $1,500,000!

Facility Overview:

Masters’ Academy toured the recent state-of-the-art PV solar system installation (2017) at the School Sisters of Saint Francis (SSSF) facility located in Milwaukee, WI. While onsite, Arch Electric, the designer and installer of the system, provided details regarding the installation and unique opportunities associated with the location.

Project Details:

Renewable energy projects are not new to the Sisters of Saint Francis. In 2014 the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Holy Cross (Green Bay), installed 416 ground mounted solar panels with a combined capacity of 112 kW which are estimated to save $500,000 over the next 25 years. Click here to see additional information regarding the Green Bay solar project.

The inspected system at the Milwaukee School Sisters of Saint Francis contains a solar array with over 1000 panels and has a combined capacity of 375 kW which is estimated to reduce annual energy usage by 12% (480,000 kWh). The system was designed and installed by Arch Electric Solar (Plymouth, Wisconsin). Solar system components and panels were manufactured by Seraphim Solar USA Manufacturing, Inc. of Jackson, Mississippi.

Project Costs, Savings, and Solar Tax Credits:

Total project cost was $950,000 with an energy savings of 12%/year and estimated cost savings of $1,500,000 over 25 years. Tax credits contributed $400,000 toward project costs, resulting in a net project cost of $550,000.

Since the SSSF is a non-profit organization, they did not qualify for the usual 30% tax credit offered on commercial solar projects. To help offset the cost of the project, tax credits were brokered by Legacy Solar Coop of Madison, WI. and sold to a for-profit organization. Note: the usual 30% commercial solar tax credit will begin to expire at the end of 2019 and will be reduced to 10% by 2023.

Environmental Impact:

The new installation in Milwaukee will further protect the environment by reducing the facility’s carbon footprint by nearly 16 million pounds of CO 2 emissions. This reduction is especially important to Milwaukee county with its heavy concentration of manufacturing operations.

For additional information about this project please contact:

Sister Carol Rigali
School Sisters of St. Francis
1515 S. Layton Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53215

LaMonte Wilder, President Masters’ Academy LLC

Continued thanks to:

The Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers (WAEE) Chapter for providing up-to-date information about real world applications of energy efficiency technology at their monthly chapter meetings. WAEE Chapter meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Please visit the WAEE webpage ( ) for dates, times, locations, and topics.

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