Historic church installs state-of-the-art solar panel array - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Historic church installs state-of-the-art solar panel array

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MARATHON CITY, Wis. (WAOW) -

Saint Anthony's Spirituality Center has stood in Marathon City for 100 years. Now, it has a renewable energy source to maintain power for decades to come.

In 1917, the church's founders laid the first brick.

"One-hundred years ago this October, the first 40 acres of property were purchased by the Franciscan priests," said Deacon Bryan Hilts.

And decades later, current staff members and volunteers placed the first solar panel.

"Here we are putting up a state-of-the-art energy generation system," said Hilts.

The scene of decades-old architecture juxtaposed with sleek solar panels may be a start contrast at face value - but Deacon Hilts believes it makes sense.

"It's consistent with the original founders of this facility because they followed the rule of St. Francis," he said. "[He] was very attached to creation and the care of creation."

The project is being funded by a $13,000 grant, as well as several donors and individual sponsors.

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