NEW BRITAIN - The Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, a sisterhood providing help to domestic abuse victims as well as affordable housing and day care services, recently had solar panels on installed on its property through a state program.
Administered by Eversource, Low Emission Renewable Energy Credit and Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credit Program allows electric customers that install new, qualifying renewable energy projects the opportunity to sell renewable energy credits created to Eversource under a 15-year contract, said Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross.
Mother Jennifer, superior general of the Daughters of Mary, discovered the program with help from Karen Kulak of Associated Real Estate Services.
Mother Jennifer said she needed a way to regenerate revenue the sisterhood had lost when one of two cell towers was removed from its properties.
“She’s been driving this every step of the way,” said Mother Jennifer of Kulak’s efforts
The new solar panels create energy savings and support the sisterhood’s five buildings: the Motherhouse at Marion Heights, the Hospital for Special Care Research and Education Center, St. Lucian Residence, Monsignor Bojnowski Manor and the Prudence Crandall Center.
“If Eversource didn’t sponsor the program, I wouldn’t be able to put solar on all these buildings,” said Mother Jennifer at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday that served to celebrate the sisterhood’s efforts and thank Eversource and Connecticut Green Bank.
Connecticut Green Bank is a private-public funding organization, aiming to foster renewable, eco-friendly, clean energy projects. It helped finance the project.
The $2.8 million solar energy project is expected to save the sisterhood $1.3 million over the next 20 years, said Bryan Garcia, Connecticut Green Bank’s president and CEO.
“This is a great project and shows how the green energy economy can lower costs and help business, organizations and families do more support for children and the community,” said Garcia.
At the ribbon cutting, he quoted Pope Francis on the importance of creating a symbiotic relationship with the environment by establishing renewable energy sources.
The project was completed with the help of John O’Brien and Pat Early, both of EcoSolar, who built the solar panels, and Bill Miello of McBride Electric, who provided the wiring for the panels.
Mother Jennifer also thanked the sisterhood’s attorney, Karen Casey, for dealing with all the necessary paperwork.
Before audience members stood for a round of applause, Kulak said she would like to thank one person in particular for the entire project.
“That’s Mother Jennifer,” said Kulak.
Also present for the ceremony Tuesday were state Reps. Peter Tercyak, D-New Britain, and Rick Lopes, D-New Britain, both of whom praised Mother Jennifer for her efforts to constantly maintain her facilities and help the community.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.