New solar installation powering St. Dennis church, convent Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Sep. 26, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
st dennis solar panels
This is the new solar installation at St. Dennis Parish in Madison. It is on the school roof and can be seen from the second floor of the parish center. The panels were installed in August. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- St. Dennis Parish will celebrate “divine power” with a formal dedication of its second solar installation on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Bishop Donald J. Hying will offer a blessing and a brief invocation as part of the program, which begins at 5:15 p.m. on the second floor of the parish center, where the solar panels can be viewed.

Everyone interested is invited to attend. The bishop also will be speaking at St. Dennis at 6:30 p.m. that evening as part of a program focusing on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Solar project

St. Dennis’ Solar 2019 Project is a 72-panel array, installed on the school roof in August. The system began producing electrical energy for St. Dennis after being commissioned by Madison Gas and Electric on August 30.

The new installation is expected to provide about one-third of the electricity needed to power the church and convent. Over the 30-year life of the system, the parish expects to save an estimated $158,000 in avoided electric costs.

“For the St. Dennis community, this is a good investment,” said Fr. Randy Timmerman, pastor. “We are purchasing future electric power for less than 4.3 cents per kilowatt hour compared to current cost of 13.2 cents. It is also a morally correct action in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.”

The Solar 2019 Project cost of $53,000 was funded through grants totaling $20,000 from Solar for Good and Focus on Energy, with the balance coming from parishioner pledges and contributions from individuals and organizations.

The St. Dennis Care for Creation (C4C) Team initiated the project as part of its efforts to reduce the parish’s carbon emissions. The group also spearheaded the parish’s initial solar project in 2017. Panels installed on the festival garages have been supplying about 11 percent of the school’s electricity.

Study series offered

Another initiative of the Care for Creation group is a four-session study series, “Care for Our Common Home -- Our Call to Conversion” (ecological conversion), which is open to the public.

Sessions will take place in the St. Dennis Parish Center, 413 Dempsey Rd., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning Oct. 23 and ending Nov. 13. A $5 fee covers the cost of a book that participants may keep.

“This is an opportunity to learn more about ecology and sustainability in a community-building, reflective setting,” said Steve Coleman, who heads the C4C group. “We will have a chance to explore what is happening to the world around us and study the facts about our changing planet so we can better understand the news headlines. It’s a combination of understanding, moral teaching, and personal decisions that will shape our world for future generations.”

To register, send your name, email address, phone number, and home parish (optional) on or before October 9 to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Note in the message that you are registering for the study series. For questions, contact Gail Good at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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