In section 179 of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis wrote: “…while existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.” One such group is Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish. Parishioner donors funded solar panels for two churches in the parish and the associated schools. The projects, in addition to proving good stewardship of the environment are proving to be good stewardship of the parish. The parish owns the systems and the electricity they produce.
Pastor, Father Matt Stanley, said, “One of our hopes is that the people of our parish 25 years into the future will look back and with much gratitude in their hearts express their appreciation for the wisdom and the foresight of this present generation in building a sustainable future for them.”
The first set of 104 solar panels was installed at the Our Lady of the Rosary church site in December 2014. They saved the parish $6,055 the first year and will continue saving on electricity costs for the 25 years of system life. As the energy costs increase the savings will increase.
Phase II of the solar panels initiative consisted of 126 panels installed at the Saint Albert the Great church site. This project was completed on January 5 of this year. The annual projected savings is at least $7,500 for each of the 25 years of the system life.
Both projects were installed by the non-profit SunWork Renewable Energy Projects in conjunction with parish and community volunteers.
The funding was partially covered by the Palo Alto Utilities rebates.
Visit www.paloaltocatholic.net/solar-initiative for more information.