TNO, Sisters of the Holy Family Make Community Lighthouse Strategy Sustainable in New Orleans

[Excerpt]

City consultants, the energy provider and major industries did not see how they would benefit from this project. Consultants for the city of New Orleans conducted a study in 2018 to determine the viability of community solar projects and an appropriate rate for reimbursement. But their calculations were so low that no one applied, including the Sisters of the Holy Family, who could not envision the low rate of return as financially feasible for them.

So the Sisters of the Holy Family and Together New Orleans met with the local energy provider and members of the city council, "every one of them, all seven," according to Costa, and were finally able to move the city council to vote in October 2023 for a more sustainable rate of reimbursement that would benefit the sisters and their neighbors.

Up until then, according to Bagert, "the program existed on paper, but not a single solar project had been created in New Orleans. We would be a test case. This is the only viable solar project in the South."

[Photo Credit: Kevin Fitzpatrick, Earthbeat]

Holy Family Sisters Plan 22-Acre Community Solar Project in LouisianaEarthbeat (a project of the National Catholic Reporter)