Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, one of the largest faith-based affordable housing providers, has launched a solar-energy project across its existing 44 buildings. The initiative is a response to Pope Francis’ 2015 letter, Laudato Si, which outlined his environmental concerns, including climate change. In 2018, a U.S. delegation of the Brooklyn and Queen Diocese, included Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio (pictured below) presented the plans for future sustainable projects within the Diocese, responding to his 2015 letter, to Pope Francis.
The Laudato Si Corporation has been formed by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, to work hand in hand with their affordable housing management and development arm, Catholic Charities Progress of Peoples Development Corporation, and aims to promote and accelerate sustainable energy usage in residential buildings. As of June 2021, the Laudato Si Corporation has installed arrays of photovoltaic solar panels on its first rooftop with plans for more installations on the roof residential properties in Brooklyn and Queens. The corporation has also entered into an “inclusive community solar agreement” that will sell solar power to local electricity providers and will sell energy back to Consolidated Edison, Inc., a New York local electricity provider. The proceeds will be reinvested into residential buildings and to fund other initiatives within the corporation.
Laudato Si Corporation received pro bono legal assistance from Nixon Peabody and technical assistance from Bright Power, an energy efficiency and water management company, and from the Advance Energy Research and Technology Center of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Main Image: Bill Miller via CNS