After surpassing its initial fundraising goal, West Green Club has launched an ambitious campaign to raise $125,000 before the Summer of 2019. These funds, in addition to potential funding from the Focus on Energy and Solar for Good grant programs, will support the installation of a 100 kW solar array at Madison West High School that would be the 6th largest school-based solar array in Wisconsin. Every dollar you can contribute counts, and we value all the support we can get to make this project a reality.
An Update on our Progress
Over the past 18 months, West Green Club has raised over $140,000 towards Project Solis, including contributions from individuals (parents, alumni, community members), local businesses, and foundations (including the Madison Community Foundation, Madison Trust, and Therese Foundation). Furthermore, the Couillard Solar Foundation has agreed to provide an in-kind donation of physical solar panels, resulting in a 55-kilowatt (kW) increase in output.
West Green Club is currently working alongside MMSD staff to secure a Focus on Energy RECIP Grant for an additional ~$45,000 towards Project Solis. The outcome of this grant application will be determined in July 2019. In the interim, West Green Club will continue to fundraise beyond the initial deadline of March 31 to maximize the final size and value of the solar panel system. When fundraising ends in July, we expect Project Solis to be worth roughly $200,000, resulting in the installation of a 100 kW solar panel system on roof of Madison West High School. This system will account for approximately 6% of West's energy consumption (145,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year), providing the school district $20,000 per year in energy savings. A Request For Proposal will be submitted in August 2019, and the system will be installed during the Winter Break of 2019 or the Spring Break of 2020.
As Project Solis approaches the end of it’s fundraising stage, any amount of support is greatly valued and appreciated. Scroll down to learn more about this youth-led initiative, or make a financial contribution below.
Any tax-deductible donation is greatly appreciated. Through a contribution of $500, you can adopt an individual solar panel under your name.
All calculations used to derive any figures can be found here.
What makes this solar project unique?
This renewable energy project is the only effort, at this scale, led by high school students in the greater Madison area that addresses the need for increasing student awareness of environmental issues. Thus, the importance of this project is significant; were the school or district to install solar panels without the initiative being led by high school students, the impact of this project would be greatly mitigated: no sustainable, long-term increase in awareness of energy efficiency among students at Madison West High School would be made. With this project driven by students, however, the entire student and staff body will have the opportunity to recognize the existence of an organized, committed effort to improve the sustainability of Madison West High School, only furthering the materialization of other student-led projects with an aim towards promoting environmental awareness.
Are you collaborating with other organizations on this solar project?
Our project involves numerous community organizations committed to environmental sustainability. West Green Club has been working with Sustain Dane and Madison Gas & Electric to learn about the environmental impacts of a solar project like this, while our partnerships with H&H Electric and Full Spectrum Solar have allowed students to understand the considerations that must be made when designing and installing a solar panel array. West Green Club is also working with Madison Metropolitan School District and Foundation for Madison's Public Schools to coordinate the logistical and financial components of this project.
Meanwhile, West Green Club is working with myriad student organizations at Madison West High School across all academic disciplines and interests. For example, AP Environmental Science students are learning about the environmental impacts of solar power and renewable energy; additionally, they have committed to plant 500 tree seedlings upon installation of this project to maximize the reductions in carbon emissions realized by this project. Members of the Native American Student Association and Student Council have pledged to pursue individual fundraising and outreach efforts. Academically, several English teachers have agreed to teach students about the importance of renewable energy and environmental conservation, integrating research papers on such topics into their respective curricula. Finally, West Green Club is planning to work with business and marketing teachers at Madison West High School to integrate discussion and analyses of the finances of an investment this project entails.
What was the inspiration for this solar project?
We started this project after collecting 495 signatures (nearly 25% of the Madison West High School student body) within a week from students petitioning the district to pursue a solar energy project at Madison West High School. Because of the great feedback and support we received, we submitted our project proposal to the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Absolutely. By donating to West Green Club through the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to supporting children's education, you will receive recognition for your tax-deductible contribution. You can make a donation at https://www.westgreenclub.org/donate.
If I adopt a panel, where will my name be recognized?
Your name will be listed on the live solar panel progress tracker on our website and physically at Madison West High School on a permanent plaque.
When do you expect this solar project to be completed?
Our expectation is for the solar panels to be installed in Summer 2019.
What other projects has West Green Club worked on?
A sampling of the sustainability initiatives we have worked on can be found at https://www.westgreenclub.org/initiatives/.
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