A 16 year old youth proposed the Solar panels to save the church money
St. Francis solar project: 12 panels installed on the roof estimated to generate 4,180 kWh in the first year. Over 30 years of operation, this is estimated to avoid 106,535 lbs. of CO2 emissions – (the equivalent of the amount of CO2 pollution from burning 20.8 tons of coal or 112.4 barrels of oil or 5,417 gallons of gasoline). This system should produce enough electricity to power all of St. Francis’s needs and perhaps generate credits to be shared with others.
How it happened:
Dominic Scanlan, a 16 year old member of Saint Francis Church, wanted to put solar panels on the church as a community service project. He wanted to do a project that would benefit the church, and more broadly - the earth. In his words, “What I was thinking is if my church switched to solar panels they would have to pay less for energy and not take fossil fuels from the earth (that old fuel takes so long to regenerate and is harming our climate).”
He discussed this idea with leaders of the parish, and they were excited to participate in this project. He researched the annual electrical use and costs for St. Francis, assessed the sunny location as perfect for solar, and wrote a grant application to the Byrne Foundation in March of 2018. The Foundation generously responded with a donation to St. Francis to cover the majority of the costs of the project. The parishioners covered the remaining costs of the project through donations to their Building and Grounds Fund. Then Dominic got three bids from local solar companies and brought his recommendation to the priest and parish counsel, and it was approved.
In September, Norwich Technologies installed the panels and got the system up and running so St. Francis is now a solar energy producer.
Sign leading to entrance of Church
It was Dominic Scanlon 's idea
Work crew arrives with mascot too!
New solar roof panels
Church parishioners taking a group photo