The following comes from a December 14 Southern Cross article:

SAN DIEGO — All parishes in the Diocese of San Diego are being encouraged to install solar power systems in the very near future.

The Diocesan Finance Council recommended the move toward solar power and also proposed that all parish solar projects go through an approval process with the diocese that includes using approved vendors.

Bishop Robert W. McElroy has approved both recommendations.

About 85 people, including priests, deacons, principals, secretaries, bookkeepers and others, attended an informational meeting Nov. 19 at the diocesan Pastoral Center to learn more about this subject. Every parish that does not already have a solar system was asked to send a representative.

“The solar power system process being offered through selected contractors, ReNewAll, TRITEC Americas and the Diocese of San Diego gives an opportunity to all of our locations, regardless of their current finances, to obtain a solar system that reduces their future electric utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mark A. Fisher, chief financial officer in the diocesan Office for Finance & Accounting.

Locations that do not have the funds available to purchase a system may be able to acquire one through a power purchase agreement (PPA). The solar system is installed at no cost and the location purchases the power at a price lower than its current utility cost. Although a PPA term is typically 25 years, locations are eligible to buy the system at a substantial discount at the end of years six, 10, 15 and 20. A PPA is often used by organizations without the ability to take advantage of the available tax benefits.