Catholic Standard: Catholic Charities’ solar array blessed, seen as model for ecological action by church groups

by Mark Zimmermann, Catholic Standard

The sun shone on Catholic Charities, literally, on Oct. 17, as Archbishop Wilton Gregory blessed a solar array being installed on five acres of the agency’s land surrounding the Missionaries of Charity’s Gift of Peace home. The array of 5,072 panels is expected to be completed and operational by early 2020, and will be the largest such solar project built thus far in Washington, D.C.

“The Lord gave us a beautiful day to celebrate something pretty special for us,” said Msgr. John Enzler, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington at a ceremony where the project’s partners spoke about its benefits. Overhead on that blustery fall day, sunlight shone through a bank of clouds interspersed across a bright blue sky, one day after rain drenched the Washington area.

Dignitaries present included Archbishop Gregory and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who were joined by representatives of Catholic groups and by more than two dozen of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity sisters who care for the poor, elderly and sick at the neighboring home.

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Impactivate: Catholic Climate Covenant and Catholic Energies Take Action on Climate Change

by Sarah Brodsky, Impactivate

Catholic leaders have long stressed the importance of environmental sustainability. Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI both spoke on this issue, and in 2015 Pope Francis drew attention to the environment in his encyclical Laudato Si’.

Dan Misleh, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant and of Catholic Energies, says that addressing climate change remains a priority for Catholics: “Without the earth, we wouldn’t exist, so it’s important for us to take care of our common home.”

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El Pregonero: Innovador proyecto de energía solar

by Andrea Acosta

Un campo con 5.000 paneles solares empezará a generar energía el año entrante para abastecer a una docena de edificios de Caridades Católicas. La innovadora iniciativa medioambientalista, sin costo, le ahorrará a la agencia católica un 80 por ciento en los costos de electricidad…

A field with 5,000 solar panels will start generating energy next year to supply a dozen Catholic Charities buildings. The innovative environmental initiative, at no cost, will save the Catholic agency 80 percent in electricity costs…

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Aleteia: D.C. Catholic Charities to be powered by massive 5-acre solar power installation

by J-P Mauro, Aleteia

A small field owned by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is to become the site of a massive solar power installation which will boast 5,000 panels. The project, expected to be complete in early 2020, will offset the carbon emissions of 12 Catholic Charity-owned properties, with power enough to run 260 homes each year.

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America Magazine: The eco-friendly project that provides solar power to Catholic institutions - at no cost

by Kevin Christopher Robles, America

In 2017, the Catholic Climate Covenant launched Catholic Energies, a program that helps Catholic organizations to become more environmentally friendly by providing them low-cost sources of alternative energy.

Recently, Catholic Energies partnered with IGS Solar and the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington to build a large solar energy system in Washington, D.C. According to a press release, the new project “will host the 2-megawatt system comprising more than 5,000 panels” to give Catholic Charities “more than 2.7 million kilowatt-hours per year, nearly 100% of the current power requirements for CCADW’s real estate portfolio across the city.” Additionally, the project will “offset nearly 3,400 tons of CO2 emissions per year.”

“We went from a fairly small-scale roof-based system to a larger, ground-based system that provides a much bigger benefit to Catholic Charities,” said Dan Misleh, the executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant. “It essentially takes away the cost of electricity for all Catholic Charities buildings. It lowers their rate to about two cents per kilowatt-hour, from about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. Those savings then can go into the core mission of Catholic Charities: to shelter the homeless, to feed the hungry [and] to provide other services for the Archdiocese of Washington.”

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