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Valley Beth Shalom is Going Solar

01/25/2024 03:00:00 PM

Jan25

Valley Beth Shalom

The holiday of Tu B’Shevat is the new year for the trees. (Mishna, Rosh Hashanah 1:1) In many ways, it has acquired greater significance as a broad celebration of nature, even a Jewish Earth Day. So, it is fitting that after many years of researching the possibility of bringing rooftop solar power to Valley Beth Shalom, our clergy, staff and board are very proud to announce today, on Tu B’Shevat 5784, that solar power will become a reality at VBS later in 2024.  

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which finally provided a viable incentive to non profit organizations, as well as initial funding from members Rita and Aaron Berman and the support of Adamah, the Jewish Climate Leadership Coalition, VBS has been able to enter into a contract for more than $1.2 million with a company called Sunistics for the installation of solar panels. The solar panels to be installed later this year will replace fossil fuel energy for more than 80% of our campus' needs and save VBS more than $160,000 annually. Final planning and permitting is underway with construction anticipated to begin mid-2024 and with the project expected to be operational later in the calendar year. Ultimately, this system will consist of almost 800 rooftop panels producing approximately 470 kW/DC. 

We are told that upon completion, our Solar installation will be the largest at any Jewish institution in the United States. And, once completed, this represents a classic "win win" arrangement — the project reduces our carbon footprint dramatically and provides long term cost savings to Valley Beth Shalom. We are proud to do our part to protect the environment — L'Dor V'Dor — for future generations. We will keep you informed as we have better estimates of the construction start and completion dates. And we hope to announce additional climate initiatives in the coming months as well. Happy Tu B’Shevat!

Sun, April 14 2024 6 Nisan 5784