LOCATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin | CAPACITY: 77 kW | COMPLETION DATE: March 2021
SOLAR CONTRACTOR: Arch Electric
Kathy’s House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a “home away from home” environment for families who need to travel to Milwaukee, Wis. for medical care. We serve approximately 3,000 patients and caregivers annually who are receiving advanced care at local hospitals. Most guests have a loved one with cancer.
After 15 years in their original home, Kathy’s House recognized an increasing need to expand in order to serve the hundreds of families reaching out. Guests that would not have been able to access needed healthcare without a facility such as Kathy’s House.
They rose to the challenge by fundraising for and building a new $12 million home. The installation of solar panels was one of several ways they sought to serve as a local, regional and national model in the healthcare and housing sectors.
At the suggestion of architect, HGA, they reached out to Legacy Solar Co-op. After doing the math – both economic and environmental – and after a visit with Sister Carol at the Sisters of St. Francis, we were convinced that working with Legacy Solar Co-op was a good fit to help us realize our dream of solar energy.
Legacy Solar Co-op served as one-stop shopping for this small non-agency.
They provided a thorough cost-benefit analysis, connected Kathy’s House to other organizations that had recently installed solar panels, and explained the lay of the land with regards to the regulatory and financing environment. In addition, LSC helped them select installers and introduced them to other community organizations that assisted with marketing and fund raising.
In March of 2021, Kathy’s House solar solution was in place: A 77-kilowatt solar array of 200 flush-mounted panels on a 20/25-degree tilt on the two largest, south-facing roof areas of the new building.
Collectively, the solar arrays produce nearly 100,000 kilowatts and save Kathy’s House approximately $14,000 per year in energy costs.
Liz Beaudoin, of Kathy’s House reports: “The upshot: We doubled in size, but our energy costs have not and our new site is far more efficient. The project is projected to save more than $415,000 in energy costs over 30 years for the new Kathy’s House.
Implementing a solar installation in our new Home not only demonstrated the substance of our commitment to environmental health but has been one of many factors cited by our guests in contributing to the healing atmosphere and perception that we are a first-class organization. Donors, staff, and leadership take pride in our status as a national model, the first building on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus to include a solar installation.”
Click on any image to load gallery view or watch a 360 degree tour of the solar array. The National Solar Tour produced a great video of the Kathy’s House solar story.
“Legacy Solar Co-op is one-stop shopping for organizations considering solar panel installation. They are easy to work with, experts in the field, and have a deep understanding of the non-profit world. ” ~ Patty Metropulos, President & CEO of Kathy’s House
Slice of Sun Solar Bonds
Legacy Solar Co-op sells Slice-of-Sun Solar Bonds to any member who would like to support a Solar Legacy project like this one, and earn up to interest on their bonds purchased through the co-op. Ready to get involved?