Carroll College hosted its second “Sun Run” on October 6th in an effort to increase the size of a planned solar array that will soon be installed on the roof of the Campus Center. The 38 kilowatt solar array installation is made possible through a grant received from NorthWestern Energy. This grant offers its recipients a $48,000 incentive to bolster their renewable energy sources. The solar panels that will be installed are approximately equal to eight residential solar arrays and will supposedly generate $6,000 worth of electricity per year. In recent years, many Catholic colleges and universities have taken up the role as “stewards of God’s creation” with a renewed vigor, especially in the wake of the publishing of the encyclical “Laudato Si.” The encyclical offers insight pertaining to caring “for our common home.” Eric Hall, Associate Professor of Theology, and Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen Professor of Peace and Justice at Carroll College says of the solar initiative that “Such a project could create a strong witness to a Catholic vision of higher education and the value it places on the natural world.”
The new on-campus solar array will be the largest of its kind in the state of Montana, but the Carroll College community hopes to make their impact even bigger, by attempting to increase funds for the project. The “Sun Run” 5k race was hosted for a second year to raise money for the solar project with the goal of hopefully increasing the size of the solar array to 50 kilowatts. The race brought in over 300 participants from the Carroll College community as well as members of the greater Helena community. To learn more about the solar project at Carroll College, or to consider making a donation to boost their efforts visit https://www.carroll.edu/solar.