New Jersey Parish Installs Solar Across Its Campus

IGS Solar and St. James Parish of Red Bank, N.J., have announced the completion of two rooftop solar installations.

The parish was founded in 1856. Since then, it has grown and added a convent that houses the Sisters of Mercy, along with an elementary school and a high school dating back to 1879.

Totaling 412 kW and 1,224 panels, the new solar systems address the electricity needs of St. James Elementary School, Red Bank Catholic High School (RBC), the RBC Eck Student Center, St. James Church (Rectory) and the convent.

St. James Parish was represented by Don Faistl, a member of the parish’s finance council. After much investigation, the parish contracted with IGS Solar, a turnkey commercial and residential solar provider, in an effort to integrate solar into its energy portfolio to better control the long-term energy costs for its campus.

“As a parish, with two large schools located on a concentrated campus, we are always looking for opportunities to reduce our costs and provide a positive environment for our students to thrive,” says Faistl. “Not only will this project save money, it will allow our students of both schools the ability to monitor the energy generated by the panels. This will provide a valuable learning experience for our parish family.

Green Energy Construction and Consulting was IGS Solar’s engineering, procurement, and construction partner on the projects, which also required the replacement of roofs in order for the solar panels to be installed. The team also included Brooks Roofing and SolarMite, as well as efforts by the maintenance group at St. James.

IGS Solar has financed and will own and operate the system. St. James will purchase 100% of the power generated through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with IGS Solar. Combined, the buildings use 1.35 million kWh annually, and the two arrays will meet approximately one-third of the total annual electricity usage. Today, Red Bank Catholic and St. James Elementary School educate around 1,300 students annually from surrounding counties.

“We have been interested in the possibilities afforded by solar for about five years now,” Faistl continues. “The market is much more stable today than it was years ago. The technology has advanced so much that the parish decided to make the investment and help control their long-term costs.”

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