CASE STUDY: Sisters of Mercy
SAVINGS IN THE
The Belmont, North Carolina chapter of the Sisters of Mercy group have made the commitment to going solar. This Roman Catholic organization of faithful women have chapters all across the world. Their mission is focused around their 4 core values of spirituality, community, service, and social justice. They do very important work in their communities providing help and resources for those in need.
The Sisters of Mercy were initially inspired by Pope Francis when he discussed the importance of ecological stewardship and environmental protection. As an organization that is constantly discovering new ways to benefit not only their communities but the world, they took note of this message and began searching for opportunities that they could explore to accomplish this.
As Sister Rose Marie Tres puts it, “We know the environmental degradation happening right now will affect those that are poor and those that are sick. My responsibility for the community is to educate on the environment, immigration and racism. Not just with our Sisters, but with our associates, our staff, and also to look at what’s happening nationally and statewide.”
This new path led them to an interest in reducing their carbon footprint and lowering contributions to harmful emissions. Solar energy appeared to be one of the most impactful avenues that they could take to accomplish this.
The RENU Solution
The group got into contact with a nearby solar energy company, Renu Energy Solutions, and began discussing what a solar installation could do for their goals. Members from Renu’s team were able to decide that a 45.54kW system would be an ideal size to maximize their impact. After collaborating together on what this project would look like, the Sisters of Mercy decided to officially move forward.
The deal was also made possible with assistance from Duke Energy’s nonprofit solar rebate which made the project significantly more affordable for the group. This program was able to save the Sisters of Mercy $26,000 on their install, which will allow them to put that money into many other important endeavours.
While the motivation for this project was for environmental benefit, it will also save the group a significant amount of money in energy costs over the course of its lifetime. Adding yet another reason to why this was a beneficial move for the Sisters of Mercy organization.
They will be producing around 61,367kWh each year, offsetting 95,656 pounds of carbon annually. This equates to the carbon sequestered by 56.7 acres of U.S. forest area or 107,665 miles driven by the average passenger vehicle.