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School Sisters of St. Francis Save $1,500,000 on Energy Costs with New State-of-the-Art Solar System

WAEE Chapter Meeting:

Masters’ Academy attended the August, 2018 WAEE ( Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers ) Chapter Meeting at the School Sisters of Saint Francis (SSSF) facility in Milwaukee, WI. Attendees toured the state-of-the-art PV Solar System, and listened to presentations by the SSSF leadership team, and Arch Electric, the designer and installer of the system.

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.

In 2017, the Milwaukee School Sisters of Saint Francis (SSSF) installed a solar array with over 1000 panels. The system has a combined capacity of 375 kW and is estimated to save 12% (480,000 kWh) annually of energy usage. 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. However, the potential exists for the Department of Energy to extend these credits in 2019.  For more information, please see .



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 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   

Wisconsin Association of Energy Engineers

Special thanks to:

School Sisters of Saint Francis, Milwaukee

Arch Electric Solar
Solar System Design, Installation, and Maintenance
Ed Zinthefer

Seraphim Solar USA Manufacturing
Solar Panel and Component Supplier

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.

The WAEE leadership team members include:

• Jerry Eaton
• Richard Feustel
Vice President
• Steve Hinkens
• Mike Rohde
• Craig Bahr
Assistant Treasurer
• Rick Kennett
Website Management
• Paul Van de Sand
Student Chapter Liaison
• Mark Albert
• Kathy Leifer
• Suzanne Ferris
Marketing/Meeting Planning

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