Stamford-based American Solar & Alternative Power announced its 30,000-square-foot solar panel installation on an energy-smart cool roof on Temple Beth El in Stamford has been named this year’s Renewable Role Model Winner by the national Interfaith Power and Light, billed on its website as “a religious response to global warming.”
ASAP called the installation the largest of its kind. Its 845 solar panels have been generating 70 percent of Temple Beth El’s electricity since September 2013.
“Construction took us six weeks but there was a lot of preparation work on this project,” said Elliot Isban, ASAP president. “By utilizing a variety of incentives, our clients can now see how affordable sustainability really is.”
ASAP worked with Connecticut Light & Power’s Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to replace old lighting with high-tech lights. That and other steps resulted in an annul energy saving of $31,000, according to CL&P.
Installation of the “energy-smart cool white roof” began in July with an additional CL&P incentive. The system is now capable of producing 211 kilowatt hours of DC power on a sunny day, putting excess power back into the grid in a process known as net metering.
“Congregations such as Temple Beth El are becoming green power plants,” said Andree Duggan, Interfaith’s national campaign manager. “IPL works with congregations to model a response to high energy consumption. Congregations can now demonstrate good energy stewardship to their communities.”
In a continuing effort to address its energy use, Temple Beth El has initiated a solar project fund to raise $200,000 from its congregation.
Currently, a data monitoring display in Temple Beth El’s lobby – and online at the appropriately-named liketheroof.com – shows how much electricity is being produced by the roof at any given moment. A recent readout showed the system had generated almost 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, keeping 70 potential tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“When you consider the solar system provides the lion’s share of greenhouse gas reductions and given the incentives now available in the Northeast, it makes sense to explore the opportunities available to institutions or companies of any size,” Isban said, “And using these technologies with no moving parts, no pollution and no noise, I think is really elegant.”
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.