Lawrence company gives away solar energy system to local nonprofit

Thanks to a donation from a Lawrence solar energy company, a local nonprofit organization, the Sunrise Project, will soon be solar powered.

Good Energy Solutions, 641 E. 22nd St., announced earlier this winter that it was accepting applications for a free solar energy system from nonprofit organizations in Douglas County. The company, which the Good family runs, recently announced that the Sunrise Project was selected as the recipient.

The Sunrise Project, which is at the former Sunrise Garden Center property at 1501 Learnard Ave., provides community and youth gardening and cooking programs. Melissa Freiburger, executive director at Sunrise, said the organization was already looking at different ways to save energy, and powering its building with solar power aligns well with the organization’s mission.

“It’s super exciting for us to be able to demonstrate green energy and for it to be a tool for the community that comes to the Sunrise Project,” Freiburger said.

Good Energy Solutions will provide the solar panels and install the system free of charge as part of the company’s Solar Giveaway program. Kevin Good said in an announcement about the selection that the Sunrise Project’s building and property were well suited for solar. He said the gift would enable the Sunrise Project to lower its electric use by more than 4,000 kilowatt hours per year and help save about $400 per year in energy costs.

Shana Good previously told the Journal-World that her family had the idea to help nonprofit organizations reduce their energy use when they were volunteering for a nonprofit some years ago and noticed all the lights in the building were fluorescent. She said the idea behind the solar energy system offer was that the nonprofit would spend less on its utility bills and therefore have more money to spend on whatever the nonprofit does.

The Sunrise Project is the second recipient of a free solar energy system, which will be installed sometime this year. In 2017, the company gave a solar energy system to Van Go Inc., an arts-based social service and job-training agency for 14- to 24-year-olds.


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