WAMU: Local Faith Organizations Lead The Charge For Solar

by Cydney Grannan

First came the encyclical — a letter penned by Pope Francis in 2015 “on care for our common home.” For Catholics, it became a call to combat climate change, which many local faith organizations are taking to heart.

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, along with Catholic Energies and IGS Solar, announced a plan to create D.C.’s largest solar array and pollinator field in Northeast — about five acres or 5,000 panels. Catholic Charities is partnering with Catholic Energies, a nonprofit that helps churches make the switch to solar. This proposed solar field array will power lights in 260 homes for one year.

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The Washington Post: A field in D.C. will soon be home to 5,000 solar panels. It’s all because of local Catholic groups — and a message from the pope.

By Hannah Natanson

Right now, it’s a large, empty field.

But by next year, the five-acre plot in Northeast Washington will sprout about 5,000 solar panels, the largest ground array the nation’s capital has seen — a change wrought by local Catholic groups.

Catholic Energies, a nonprofit organization that helps churches across the country switch to solar energy, partnered with the field’s owner, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, to build a system sufficient to keep the lights on in 260 homes for one year. The power produced will go back into the D.C. grid, earning Catholic Charities enough energy credits to offset the electricity costs of 12 of its properties across the District.

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National Catholic Reporter: Catholic Charities to build D.C.'s largest solar array

by Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

The largest ground-based solar array to date in the nation's capital is being built by the Catholic Church.

Catholic Charities of the Washington Archdiocese announced plans July 10 for a 2-megawatt solar array consisting of 5,000-plus panels that will provide enough renewable power to offset the energy needs of 12 of its buildings throughout the district. 

Once constructed, it would be the largest ground-based solar project approved in the District of Columbia, project partners said in a press release. 

The solar project is the most ambitious so far developed through Catholic Energies, a program of Catholic Climate Covenant to assist church institutions big and small across the country install solar panels or energy efficiency measures — all at no cost to the Catholic organizations.

Catholic Energies will manage the solar project, which will be constructed by IGS Solar and Maryland-based Solar Energy Services Inc., which will also operate the system. IGS Solar, which works in 30 states, will own the panels and also sell renewable energy certificates, which allow consumers to certify their electricity came from renewable sources.

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Washington Business Journal: Catholic Charities teams with Ohio firm to build one of D.C.'s largest solar arrays

By Tristan Navera and Katishi Maake – Washington Business Journal

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese is moving forward with a project to build one of the District's largest solar arrays.

Ohio-based IGS Solar and its design and construction partner, Millersville, Maryland-based Solar Energy Services Inc., will build a 2-megawatt, 5,000-panel solar ground array and pollinator field on 5 acres surrounding the Gift Peace House and convent at 2800 Otis St. NE in Woodridge.

The project, expected to be completed by early 2020, is a joint venture with Catholic Energies, a service within the Catholic Climate Covenant that provides development services, expertise and access to financial resources for Catholic organizations attempting to install renewable energy sources.

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