Posted in projects on February 27, 2014 9:39 pm EST

Sacred Heart Church and School Sees Energy Savings Via Solar

One of the oldest churches in the diocese of Phoenix promotes environmental responsibility through the implementation of solar photovoltaic systems at its Prescott, Ariz. campus.


 

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TAGS: green, solar photovoltaic,

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By Church Designer Staff

The systems are expected to produce over 270,000 kWh of electricity in their first year of operation, and save as much as $40,000 in electrical expenses annually.

As one of the oldest churches in the diocese of Phoenix, Sacred Heart Church and Grade School has been serving the community through countless ministries and educational programs for decades. The progressive church expanded its leadership role by promoting environmental responsibility through the implementation of dual solar photovoltaic systems at its campus in Prescott, Ariz.

Online as of September 12, 2013, parish officials partnered with Sun Valley Solar Solutions of Chandler, Ariz., to design and install a 60 kW system for the church’s K-8 school, and a 100 kW system for its 2,000-person parish center.

Sacred Heart’s business manager, Gene Murphy, admits that the decision to add solar was equal parts pragmatic and ethical.

“The church is very committed to promoting earth stewardship as one of its core tenets,” explains Murphy, who joined the church’s leadership team after nearly two decades managing his own business in Prescott. “At the same time, we also recognize the importance of managing operation costs wherever possible.”

The new photovoltaic systems are just the latest in a series of cost-saving initiatives Murphy has implemented. Other updates include low-consumption LED lighting, updated plumbing, and even new thermal pane windows.

“With energy costs on the rise, we’re constantly looking for anything we can do to offset expenses,” continues Murphy. “Being in Arizona, solar quickly rose to the top of our list because it not only offered the potential for significant savings, but it allowed us to demonstrate a clear commitment to the environment.”

With dioceses onboard with the initial concept, Murphy began searching for the right design and installation partner.

“We looked at this as a long-term investment, so we wanted top-grade components and a partner that would handle design and installation, as well as ongoing maintenance,” explains Murphy. “We spent five months researching different providers, but the team from Sun Valley Solar Solutions instilled a real sense of confidence from the very start. They had top-notch products and a really solid reputation. Their customers seemed extremely happy, and that spoke volumes.”

Sun Valley Solar Solutions Wes Neal served as business development manager for the project. With closing dates fast approaching on several APS incentive programs, Neal and Murphy wasted no time in specifying a system for approval by the Diocese.

“Time was short and I was worried that we would have to reduce the scope or adjust the budget to speed up the approval process,” explains Murphy. “But Wes really kept the whole project moving. He helped us clear all the necessary hurdles without sacrificing anything in terms of quality.”

“This is exactly the type of project we really love,” adds Neal. “We’re always motivated to help customers who truly understand the value of solar as well as the money they can save while also improving our environment. I’m extremely proud to have assisted the church with such an important mission.”

Sacred Heart’s final design includes more than 620 Bosch solar modules split between both buildings, with Fronius inverters on the school and Solectria on the church. The systems are expected to produce over 270,000 kWh of electricity in their first year of operation, and save as much as $40,000 in electrical expenses annually.

For more information visit SVS Solutions at (visit link) and Sacred Heart Church Prescott at (visit link).

 

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