VIROQUA, Wis. – July 21, 2022 – Associated Bank contributed the final $15K needed to support installation of solar energy panels at the Food Enterprise Center through the Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA).
Crystal Kinnunen, bank manager at Associated Bank Viroqua and board member for VEDA, recently championed the grant for the Food Enterprise Center, which is owned and managed by VEDA.
“Associated Bank and VEDA share a common mission on sustainability and supporting small businesses to make our communities a better place,” said Kinnunen. “This is a great opportunity for Associated to support food security in an area of the country known for organic food growth and production.”
VEDA has been working with Ethos Green Power for more than three years to bring solar energy to the Food Enterprise Center’s main operations. This is a multi-tenant facility which houses 25 businesses that support more than 90 jobs in the rural impoverished area. VEDA has designed a 100kW (248 panels) solar array to be installed by Ethos Green Power as a ground mounted system on the south lawn of the building.
The electricity generated will support the common areas at the Food Enterprise Center that serve tenant small businesses, along with the refrigeration coolers that store produce and dairy products for a Community Hunger Solutions program that brings nutritious food to community members who lack access.
“This solar project is a long-term solution that fosters a stronger, more stable community,” said Mike Breckel, VEDA board president. “Through the solar panels, VEDA will save approximately $9,000 every year in electricity costs that can be used to help more businesses grow.”
The total cost of the project is $180,000. VEDA generated $98,000 in grants plus support from an anonymous donor of $50,000 and contributions from community members. Associated Bank’s grant fills the final funding need.
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ABOUT ASSOCIATED BANC-CORP
Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE: ASB) has total assets of $35 billion and is Wisconsin's largest bank holding company. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Associated is a leading Midwest banking franchise, offering a full range of financial products and services from more than 200 banking locations serving more than 100 communities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, and loan production offices in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Texas. Associated Bank, N.A. is an Equal Housing Lender, Equal Opportunity Lender and Member FDIC. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at www.associatedbank.com.