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St. Matthew church embraces solar power

Sept. 8, 2009

St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church has installed solar panels on its 88-year-old Wauwatosa building, 1615 W. Wauwatosa Ave.

The $50,000 project is the largest undertaking so far for the church's Care for Creation ministry. It was funded by We Energies and Focus on Energy grants and a $20,000 contribution from the congregation, including pledges earned by two members who hiked the entire 1,100-mile Ice Age Trail in 2008.

Pieper Power began installing the equipment and wiring in late July. A dedication service will be scheduled this fall.

The solar panels will generate enough power to illuminate 200 compact fluorescent bulbs, according to a news release. The system includes monitoring equipment that will allow the church to see real-time results regarding the power generated.

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