The Freedom From Religion Foundation is pleased to announce that its headquarters — the historic Freethought Hall in downtown Madison, Wis. — is getting greener.
Adding to energy improvements, such as universal LED lighting made during a 2015 renovation and expansion, FFRF is taking a bigger step toward sustainability: partnering with Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) to power Freethought Hall with solar energy from a new five-megawatt solar array at the Middleton Municipal Airport (Morey Field).
FFRF’s 152 shares of local solar will provide enough clean energy to power approximately 50 percent of our operations at Freethought Hall and will offset about 80,800 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. That’s like planting 50 acres of forest every year.
“FFRF has long considered that the climate crisis is a state/church issue,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor, adding: “The only afterlife that ought to concern any of us is leaving our descendants and our planet a secure and pleasant future.”
The Morey Field Solar project is the second array in MGE’s popular Shared Solar program. The expansion gives residential and business customers throughout MGE’s electric service territory the option of powering their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy. The new array began delivering energy to the community grid on Aug. 1.
FFRF’s Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel, who leads the in-house effort to make FFRF more environmentally conscious and our actions more sustainable, adds: “This is about living out our secular values. We have a duty: to our children and grandchildren, to posterity, to the other species we share our planet with and to ensure our world is habitable for the future.” Seidel, who worked in the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic during law school and won the Haber J. McCarthy Award for excellence in environmental law, is well suited to run the “FFRF Green Team.”
MGE generates and distributes electricity to 153,000 customers in Dane County, Wis., and purchases and distributes natural gas to 161,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties. Shared Solar participants such as FFRF are helping MGE to reach its goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with over 32,000 members and several chapters across the country, including roughly 1,500 Wisconsin members, many in the Dane County area. Its purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.