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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

House of Worship Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

San Jose wanted to reduce electricity costs and build its sustainability practices solar power was the answer.

SolarCraft installed a 271 kW solar power system at their facility in Fremont, CA. The system is expected to offset 65% of the power usage in the new LEED Gold certified St. Joseph Residence and Dominican Center, which opened on the Motherhouse campus in March 2016. The system will save the Sisters over $9,000 per month in electrical costs.

SolarCraft presented financing options favorable for non-profits that so that the Sisters’ solar payments are lower than monthly PG&E bills. The system also dramatically reduces the Sisters’ climate footprint, supports their values, and allows them to apply the savings toward their mission and projects.

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the system is mounted on multiple, custom engineered solar shade structures, which now act as protective carports for the Sisters’ and visitors’ vehicles. The system consists of 829 high-efficiency SunPower 327-watt solar panels, designed to produce 391,657 kilowatt hours annually.

SolarCraft also donated nine 200- watt solar modules to power a reactivated well, used to irrigate campus landscapes and gardens.

During the life of the system, almost 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide generated by campus operations will be eliminated. This impact is equivalent to removing air pollution produced by over 16 million miles of driving over 25 years or the pollutants removed by 261 acres of trees in one year.

System Specifications
System Size 271.1 kW DC
244.9 kW AC
Location Fremont, CA
Solar Panel (829) SunPower 327 W
Inverter (8) SMA 24000TL-US
Mounting System Custom solar support structures/carports
Estimated Annual kWh 391,657
Cumulative Cash Positive 5-6 Years

Customer Profile

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose are an international congregation of women religious. They express their Catholic faith through educational, social justice and care of creation ministries, faithfully responding to the needs of the times and serving “the young, the poor and the vulnerable.”

 “As Dominican Sisters we use the term “care of creation” to describe our environmental commitment to attend to the needs of our fragile Mother Earth and planetary home. When we outlined plans to build a residence and community center, solar power generation became an important part of the project, reducing our carbon footprint and lowering operating costs. The SolarCraft team helped us maximize these benefits, providing an affordable and dependable energy solution for our 26-acre Motherhouse home and campus.”

~Sister Gloria Marie Jones Former Congregational Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

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