North, Memorial High Schools Will Get Rooftop Solar Panels

Tom Giffey

Something new will soon join the oversized fiberglass mascots on the roofs of Eau Claire’s Memorial and North high schools: 720 solar panels. The Eau Claire school board voted Dec. 16 to accept the donation of the panels, which was arranged by the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation.

Half of the panels will be donated by the Couillard Solar Foundation, a group that includes Memorial High School alumnus Cal Couillard, while the other will be funded by an anonymous donor. “These solar panels will have the potential of saving the district considerable amounts of long-term energy costs, while also reducing our environmental footprint and giving our students another unique learning opportunity,” said Dr. Eric Torres, school board president. “This is one more great example of the value our community partners and the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation provide to our students and families.”

The project is expected to reduce the district’s utility spending by more than $20,000 annually. The school district won’t incur any costs from the project, and the Couillard Solar Foundation will solicit donations to cover the cost to install the panels and maintain them through their 25-year lifespan.

Donations can be made to the Solar on Eau Claire Schools Fund of the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation, either online at ecpsfound.org or by sending a check to the Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation, P.O. Box 511, Eau Claire, WI 54702. For information about making a gift through an IRA rollover or gift of stock, call (715) 552-3801 or email info@eccfwi.org.