Solar for St. Gabriel

As part of our parish’s Pope Francis Initiative, we have installed solar panels on our Parish Center/school roof  as good stewards of the environment and our financial resources.   Learn more about this project below.


The timing was right!  

Initially considered 5 years ago, the timing and costs weren't right. However, over the last two years, many factors have come together to support proceeding with the Solar for St. Gabriel project.

  • A new, high efficiency roof was installed on the Parish Center/school in 2019.
  • Solar technology has improved, and costs have dropped significantly.  Our solar panels have a warranted life of 25 years, with some likely to stay in service as many as 40 years.
  • Another planned solar project in the diocese allowed us to negotiate even lower costs.
  • Duke Energy offered a $75,000 solar project grant to non-profits, which we received.

The project will pay for itself

  • Over the 25-year life of the solar panels, we will buy less power (lower electric bills) from Duke Energy. 
  • Energy cost savings are estimated to be $25,000 per year, 40% of the Parish Center's annual energy costs.
  • Our investment is approximately $238,000 (after Duke Energy rebate of $75,000).*
  • In less than 10 years, the energy cost savings will have paid for the investment.
  • Energy bill cost savings will allow us to devote financial resources to other parish priorities and community needs.

*Note:  The investment is being made by St. Gabriel Church.  No funds from Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools or the Diocese of Charlotte are being used.



SOLAR FOR ST. GABRIEL:  Part of our Parish's "Pope Francis Initiative" 

  • The commitment to Solar for St. Gabriel Project was part of a broad, 4-year program (the Pope Francis Initiative) to put God’s gifts to work for the betterment of others.
  • Funding for the project is part of over $800,000 of commitments our parish made to address the many of the challenges facing society including immigration, disaster relief, poverty, and homelessness.   Major projects have included the following:

Gifts to Catholic organizations:

  • $68,000 to Catholic Relief Services to provide clean water for a high-poverty school in Kenya
  • $50,000 to Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte to hire legal service staff to assist local immigrants and refugees
  • $50,000 to Mercy Focus on Haiti, Sisters of Mercy, for job skill training and other resources for ultra-poor women in Haiti
  • $20,000 to the Diocese of Raleigh for Hurricane Matthew relief
  • $10,000 to the Diocese of Port Blair, India, for disaster relief

Gifts to community organizations:

  • $175,000 to Charlotte Family Housing for salaries for 2 social workers providing counseling to move families out of homelessness and poverty
  • $75,000 to Habitat for Humanity to build a new, affordable house for a family in Charlotte
  • $50,000 to Lily Pad Haven to hire a director to guide plans for supporting local victims of human trafficking

Environmental-focused investments:

  • $313,000 for solar panels on the St. Gabriel Parish Center roof.  (We have received a Duke Energy rebate of $75,000 and expect energy cost savings of up to $25

Have questions?  Contact Finance Committee member Chris Brown by email.

 
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