University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary
mundelein solar

Catholic seminary outside Chicago installs solar array

Jan. 14, 2021
The panels, configured in a cross shape on the campus of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., will eventually provide more than 20% of the energy consumed on campus.

The University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary has installed a solar array facility that will eventually provide more than 20% of the energy on the Mundelein, Ill., campus.

The university says in a news release that that array is configured in a cross shape and is visible from 20,000 feet above.

The solar array is the first to be installed on a Catholic seminary campus and the first to be installed in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the school says. The project will provide significant cost savings for the university and represents a commitment to clean energy in line with Catholic social teaching.

“As we approach the centennial of Mundelein Seminary, it is exciting to complete a project that will both help the institution financially and provide sustainable energy for years to come,” says Father John Kartje, rector and president of USML/Mundelein Seminary. “This solar facility will also serve as a physical reminder of our biblical responsibility to be good stewards of the earth and its resources.”

PureGen Power, LLC  helped the university develop, construct and operate the 300 kw solar farm on its campus.

The project takes advantage of the Illinois Power Agency’s Adjustable Block Program, which will provide funding for more than one third of the construction costs.

The solar facility itself is owned and operated by USML Laudato Si Solar, a company formed by a group of investors.

The investors will sell the power back to the university at a discounted rate, which is estimated to save the university more than $1 million over the 35-year life of the array.

Eventually, the university will take ownership of the facility and maintain it.

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