Solar panels on Art Ventures Retreat Center at Bethel Horizons, Dodgeville

Bethel Horizons

LOCATION: Dodgeville, Wisconsin  |  CAPACITY: 40 kW  |  COMPLETION DATE: October 2018

Logo_WES Engineering





The Prairie Center and the Venture Arts Retreat Center will each be generating about 50% of their own power.

Bethel Horizons is located on more than 548 acres bordering Governor Dodge State Park. Our mission is to develop and perpetuate a physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual environment which will strengthen and enhance the understanding of a person’s proper relation to nature, to self, to others and to God.”

(From Solar for Good grant)

Horizons is affiliated with Bethel Lutheran Church, Madison, Wisconsin and Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, an association of ELCA camps across the country.

Installing a solar energy solution fits perfectly into our general mission and our goal of Caring for Creation. As we strive to foster a better understanding of nature, it not only will help us be better stewards of our financial resources, it will allow an educational opportunity for the many thousands of visitors to our facility. We have a full time environmental educator on staff that will be able to incorporate the use of solar energy first hand into our programs.

Project Impact

This project will directly impact the populations Bethel Horizons serves. During the summer program, 65% of our campers receive some form of financial assistance to attend camp. This project will provide a unique opportunity for Bethel Horizons to expose our youth to this technology to help them understand how it works and the positive impact that it has on our environment. In addition, being in rural Wisconsin, this project can serve as an example for other rural entities about how realistic a project like this could be for their facilities.

Publicity and Education: Bethel Horizons would see this solar array as a way for us to educate others about the importance of renewable energy projects like this one. With a full time Environmental Education Director, Bethel Horizons will be able to develop sustainable programming that can be shared with groups that we serve. In addition, Bethel Horizons would be open to having an event that highlights this project for the general public. We would do this in conjunction with those who have helped us to manage this project.

Member WES Engineering of Madison will be installing this project that will cover 2 buildings with 20 kilowatts each. The Prairie Center and the Venture Arts Retreat Center will each be generating about 50% of their own power for their electrical needs at these two sites.  Our Co-op will be making $25,000 in loans to this project.