Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 271 kW DC solar installation at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, 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. The building officially opened on the Motherhouse campus in March 2016. The photovoltaic (PV) system will help the Sisters save over $9,000 every month in electrical costs.
SolarCraft presented financing options, which are favorable for non-profits and deliver sound financial returns. Essentially, solar power finance 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 these savings toward their mission and projects.
“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,” said Sister Gloria Marie Jones, former Congregational Prioress. “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.”
Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is mounted on multiple, custom engineered solar shade structures, which now act as protective carports for the Sisters’ and visitors’ vehicles. The solar PV 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, which is 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.
About Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose
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.” To learn more visit www.msjdominicans.org
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