Solar Panel and Battery Storage Installation at Walnut Way’s Wellness Commons
Innovative project is first and only installation of its kind in Lindsay Heights
Milwaukee, WI (February 15, 2022) — The sun is shining on Walnut Way Conservation Corps. and its award-winning Innovations and Wellness Commons 2 building, thanks to a new solar panel installation. Located at 1619 North Avenue, these improvements will allow the building to become more environmentally friendly and operate more efficiently. This is the first and only installation of its kind in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
The Innovations and Wellness Commons is a community-driven, cooperatively funded multi-use commercial development in Milwaukee’s historic Lindsay Heights neighborhood. This improvement project includes more than 40 solar panels that will provide 11 kilowatts of battery storage and 12 kilowatts of solar power. This project was made possible with the support of the Institute for Sustainable Communities and Solar for Good.
“Walnut Way is working to increase climate resilience and the adoption of renewables like solar energy in Milwaukee’s near northside neighborhoods,” explained Antonio Butts, Executive Director of Walnut Way Conservation Corps. “Walnut Way recognizes renewables as an economic opportunity to provide training and create Green Jobs, it is also a pathway to address increasing utility usage rates and the high energy burden placed on low-income families, especially communities of color in Milwaukee.”
The Commons is revitalizing the commercial corridor of W. North Avenue, creating sustainable jobs, and increasing access to a variety of integrated services – healthy food, workforce training, educational and community programming, and health and wellness services – for local residents.
In addition to the building’s solar panels, it also includes several key stormwater management improvements. Stormwater that falls on the property will be diverted away from the combined sewer system.
“This prevents strain on the sewer system and flooding,” Butts added. “In addition, the landscaping is beautiful, and it is actually designed to preserve rainwater so that it can be reused to water the plants which is a win-win.”
Walnut Way Conservation Corps recently received the State Farm Building Blocks Award at the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation for the Innovation and Wellness Commons 2 development. The building’s current tenants include The Milwaukee Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee, the Benedict Center Sister’s Program, Perseverance Health and Wellness, Living Well by Marrika Rogers, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Scholars Program.
About Walnut Way
Walnut Way Conservation Corp. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit neighborhood organization founded in 2000 by Lindsay Heights residents to reclaim and redevelop the economic health and vitality of their community. In the years since, Walnut Way and its partners have rolled out a series of successful and innovative programs and initiatives addressing the neighborhood’s most pressing economic, environmental, and health issues. The Walnut Way Center is located in a carefully renovated, formally infamous drug house. Understanding the importance of valuing place, residents restored this 1910 house, slated for demolition, into an active center where youth, families, elders, homeowners and renters participate in community development.
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