PANELS AT THE CANTICLE
Sunshine provides The Canticle with about 40 percent of its energy needs. From October 2014 until March 2015, solar
panels were constructed in the prairie east of The Canticle by Independent
Energy Systems. The Clinton company,
owned and operated by Jason and Amy Maresca, began the project by drilling
underground for a place to house the wires for the panels. Pillars to hold the poles were then placed in
the ground. Framing was attached to the
poles to await the blue solar panels. By
late March the last solar panel was put in place. Following clearance from Alliant Energy, the
switch was flipped and the solar panels began absorbing the sun's rays.
the goals of the year for Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR)
is to use energy other than fossil fuel," said Sister Anne Martin
Phelan, President of the Sisters of St. Francis. After the General Leadership Team returned
from LCWR last summer they listened to a
proposal on solar panels and said, "Lets do it." The Mareskas have been in business for three
years and have installed about thirty systems in Clinton, Elvira, and in
Illinois. On December 19 the Mareskas
were invited to have lunch at The Canticle and speak to the Sisters there. Amy Maresca spoke to the lunch crowd and
power come into The Canticle?
sun hits the panel it causes power to come through the blue wafers you see on
the panels. The power is transferred
through underground wires to the grid in The Canticle.
happens when it is cloudy?
panels would still be producing, it is just not optimal. During very thick cloud days the usage will
What is the best climate for solar panels?
notoriously think the south is the best climate for solar panels, but solar
panels produce very well in this region.
With cooler weather there is less break-down in the cells. Here the panels are not subjected every day
to the high temperatures that cause them to burn out faster. Germany is the highest producer of sun panels
and their sun rating is less than ours.
What happens when it freezes?
Energy Systems will come out twice a year to move the angle of the panels. On the winter solstice they will be moved to
a tilted position and back again in summer.
Solar panels are a set-and-forget type system.
The rain will wash them, and the snow will be melted by the heat on the
back of the panels.
money do solar panels save?
Canticle, solar panels will decrease the power bill by about forty
percent. In a home, residents can expect
to decrease the bill by ninety percent.
plans are to install a small screen in a public area of The Canticle that will
display how much energy is being generated each day. Sisters and visitors alike will be able to
watch the results daily of this alternative energy source.