Nuns bring another solar array to Mankato

Back to All News

Nuns bring another solar array to Mankato

October 25, 2017

MANKATO — When a developer suggested in 2015 that the Mankato-based School Sisters of Notre Dame sign up as a subscriber for the power generated by a planned solar array in the area, the nuns had a more ambitious idea: build the array on our land.

Two years later, Innovative Power Systems of Roseville is beginning construction on a 1.3 megawatt solar array with roughly 40,000 solar panels capable of creating enough energy to power 165 average Minnesota homes.

The School Sisters will be a major subscriber for the new power, expected to go on line by late winter, as will Blue Earth County, the Hilton Garden Inn and the city of New Richland.

"To be able to collaborate with others is a great gift," said Sr. Mary Kay Gosch, campus administrator of the provincial headquarters on Good Counsel hill.

During a ground-breaking ceremony Wednesday, Gosch said the nuns feel a moral obligation to support non-polluting sources of energy.

"We all take seriously the words of good old Pope Francis, who said all of us 'have the responsibility to hear the cry of the earth,'" she said.

The nuns have been embracing solar energy for much of the current decade, first installing panels on their health care facility in 2014 and then agreeing to host a 907-kilowatt photovoltaic array on former farmland on the campus that went on-line in the fall of 2015. It was about that time that IPS was recruiting subscribers for a community solar garden it planned to build in the Mankato area. Bill Ward, the facilities manager at Good Counsel, attended one of the presentations and told Eric Pasi, chief development officer for IPS, about the newly constructed solar array.

"He said, 'And we do have extra areas back here to potentially do more,'" Pasi said.

Along with the Pope, Gosch credits Ward for the School Sisters' foray into solar energy development.

SOURCE:  Mankato Free Press

Related Information