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St. John's Church Plans for Solar Installation

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St. John’s Lutheran Church recently received a $20,000 donation from Blue Sky Solar in Dubuque for the installation of solar panels to benefit the church and daycare. From left are Jessi Patterson, St. John’s Daycare; Chuck Willms, St. John’s Church; Dave Ackley and Barney Grobstick, Blue Sky Solar; and Rev. Caleb Schewe and Lance Webber, St. John’s Church. (Photo by Kim Brooks)

By Kim Brooks Express Editor

St. John’s Lutheran Church outside of Monticello is looking toward the future. Last week, Blue Sky Solar out of Dubuque presented the church with a $20,000 donation toward the installation and purchase of ground-mounted solar panels. This donation will cover roughly 20 percent of the total cost.

Lance Webber, a member of St. John’s, said the use of solar will help in keeping the utility costs down for not only the church, but for St. John’s Christian Daycare as well. (The daycare housed inside the church.)

“Our costs keep going up with Alliant (Energy) and we also wanted to be conscientious about going green,” Webber said. “This will save us about $10,000 a year.”


Barney Grobstick, CEO, and Dave Ackley, a salesman, both of Blue Sky Solar, were present for the presentation of the donation.


“This will directly save them money for the next 25 years,” offered Grobstick.

St. John’s has been exploring the idea of installing solar since last summer. Webber has dealt with Blue Sky in the past. The system proposed at St. John’s will be a 32kW (32,000 watts). It will be mounted on the ground near the church property, following the removal of a couple of shade trees.


“It’ll be out of the way and where it gets the best exposure,” explained Ackley.


It should take a month and a half to install. Webber said if all goes according to plan, the church might explore adding solar to the parsonage, too.


“Our first priority is the longevity of the church to survive the financial hardships,” he said.


This donation is Blue Sky’s way of helping soon-to-be customers such as St. John’s be able to afford solar.


Blue Sky had a footprint in Monticello before now. They also installed solar on the roof of the Theisen’s building on First Street, with plans to install solar once the new Theisen’s is built as well. They also installed solar at Camp Courageous and at several farms in the area.

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Blue Sky Solar Co is great to work with. They are very friendly and we liked that they were very knowledgable but not pushy at all.


Highly Recommend Blue Sky Solar Co. Amazing local customer service. Fast and professional installation. Best part was the price!


We had an excellent experience. We called to see if we could get our solar panels inspected after many years of having them. We were extremely satisfied with the work they did to make sure our system is working at top performance. 

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