We are thrilled to share that Catholic Community Services Foundation was selected to receive a Renewable Development Fund (RDF) award from Portland General Electric (PGE) that will enable us to place a solar array on the Bishop Steiner Building, which houses our central offices. The opportunity to include renewable energy as we renovate our CCS campus is near to our hearts as part of our commitment to Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us to take care of God’s creation
With this RDF award, CCSF plans to create a 29.3 kw solar array with an expected annual output of 32,985 kWh, which will decrease our carbon footprint for years to come. The installation will save CCS 15-20% on the BSB’s electricity costs, which CCS will redirect into programs and services. Most importantly, it will engage those we serve in actively shaping our community for sustainability.
“With this partnership, we can share the philosophy and benefits of renewable energy with the many diverse members of our community,” said CCS CEO Josh Graves. “Engaging this neighborhood and the community members we serve in a renewable energy project is a way to promote feelings of connection and value within the community and a way of addressing equity in the active shaping of our world for the future.”
As a faith-based organization, CCS has a specific lens on stewardship of the earth that focuses on interconnectedness, linking our duties toward the earth and our duties toward others. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the first encyclical focused primarily on the environment, challenging us “to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” By understanding the social and environment crises as one, Catholics are called to outline an integrated approach to combatting poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and protecting nature.
This project is made possible with support from the PGE Renewable Development Fund. Since 1999, PGE customers have supported clean energy by participating in the Green Future℠ renewable power program. This program allows customers to choose renewable energy sources by paying a fractional additional amount per kWh. To date, a group of more than 225,000 PGE Green Future℠ customers have helped fund more than 16.6Megawatts of new, local renewable energy generation.
Green Future℠ is the largest voluntary renewable energy program in the nation. “The source of this funding is inspiring to CCS and will resonate with our community,” says Graves. “Our staff, our many community partners and our corps of volunteers work every day to empower positive, individual choices that move us all forward.”
“Portland General Electric appreciates the leadership of our partners who are driving creative, renewable energy solutions for our community,” said Kregg Arntson, senior director of the Community Impact team at PGE. “It will take all of us working together to make our vision for a clean future a reality. This project is a great example of the types of partnerships that will get us there.”