The Monastery of Our Lady Mt. Carmel in northeast Washington, DC is located on a serene, 5-acre campus that is home to the Discalced Carmelite Friars. The Discalced Carmelite Friars of Washington, DC are called to a quiet life of prayer, contemplation and service. They are seeking to establish a greater connection with the community surrounding the monastery and make a positive contribution to it as part of their mission of service.
Through our Share PowerTM model for community solar, Groundswell serves as developer and subscriber manager and is responsible for the project finance. This community solar project will be fully delivered at no cost to the friars. Ipsun Solar, a regional solar energy contractor that balances purpose and profits to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy, built the 151 kW ground-mounted system which will be among the first pollinator-friendly photovoltaic (PV) projects in DC.
The resulting community solar project will produce solar electricity for a projected total of 50 DC households, including 12 Empowered, or income-qualified, households who will receive a subscription at no cost to help them cut their electricity bills nearly in half, saving them approximately $500 per year on their electricity bills or more than $120,000 in aggregate savings for families over the 20-year life of the project.
In the spirit of service, Groundswell has also worked with the Discalced Carmelite Friars to reduce their own electricity bills through 100% wind power and through bringing locally available energy efficiency opportunities forward. Saving money on utilities increases available funds for the mission, and Groundswell is grateful to serve.