By Shereen Siewert

Members of Aspirus’ leadership team, along with community partners, gathered Thursday on the Aspirus Wausau Hospital roof to kick off a new sustainability initiative.

Construction crews began installing a 200-killowatt photovoltaic solar panel system on the hospital earlier this year. The array is the largest in Marathon County, according to an Aspirus news release.

Aspirus System Director of Sustainability Ali Wolf, in the release, said the solar panels are up and running. The panels aim to manage and conserve energy resources and reduce the hospital’s environmental impact on the community.

The hospital was a  good candidate for a renewable energy system due to the energy used and the roof space available, the release stated. The system is 566 modules and projected to produce 240,017 kWh per year for an initial annual offset of 2.7 percent of the hospital’s energy usage.

The health system’s sustainability goals are to reduce energy use by 50 percent and carbon impact by 80 percent by 2028.