St. Benedict Catholic Church and School in Holmdel received an exemplary planning award from the Monmouth County Planning Board for a solar project that resulted in the installation of a 266 kilowatt photovoltaic system, which produces over 90% of the electricity used by the campus.
The system, which began operation in February 2012, was financed and installed by 1st Light Energy and took three years of carefully planning. Parish Administrator Catherine Warshaw described the project in Patch in February.
The system was originally planned for the 22 undeveloped acres near the campus. Because the installer was able to secure funding to replace the roof, some panels were allowed to be roof-mounted. The project received positive community support, thanks in part to the effort of 1st Light Energy and the church which jointly sponsored an outreach seminar on the benefits of solar energy for local homeowners.
“This project is a wonderful example of a renewable energy project that enjoyed public support and serves to illustrate how such an initiative can overcome obstacles to move from concept to implementation,” Freeholder Lillian Burry said.
Rev. Daniel Swift, pastor of St. Benedict’s Church, accepted the award.