Solar Energy–Brentwood Campus

We commit ourselves… To monitor the ways in which we use and consume necessary products and to consider options for obtaining products that are not harmful to the land, the inhabitants, or the bioregion.
Sisters of St. Joseph Land Ethic

Solar Array Project on our Brentwood Campus

The Sisters of St. Joseph recognize that solar energy is an alternative for fossil fuels as it is a non-polluting, clean, reliable and renewable source of energy. In response to our Land Ethic Statement, the congregation partnered with organizations interested in promoting clean, sustainable energy use and generation on Long Island. With a desire to control energy costs, reduce the environmental footprint, and move toward energy independence the Sisters are installing a ground mounted solar array system on the Brentwood property. The 1MW system (3,024 panels) will supply approximately 63% of current campus energy usage.  We are on schedule to have the solar array completed and connected to the PSEG LI grid by Dec. 31, 2017.

We received all of the required permits and building certificates from the Town of Islip. The project commenced in August 2017. More than 50 trees were replanted in order to clear the parcel of land for the solar array. Low shrubs, invasive species, and some older trees were removed. The old trees were chipped and the wood chips are being used by our farmers. View the photos and/or video below to see the progress on replanting trees, clearing the brush, and grading the land.  Fifty trees were removed from one area and replanted in another area to prepare the land for the installation of a ground-mounted solar array. The trees that could not be moved were chipped. The tree chips were used for mulch on the farms on our campus.

Solar Array Project

Preparing the land for the solar array construction.

[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6505.jpg]110Relocation of Trees
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6511.jpg]100Digging up the Trees
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6517.jpg]120Digging up the Trees
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6519.jpg]120Replanting Trees
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6520.jpg]110Replanting Trees
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6528.jpg]120Preparing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6529.jpg]110Preparing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6542.jpg]80Preparing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6636.jpg]80Clearing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6637.jpg]90Clearing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6638.jpg]80Clearing the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6647.jpg]110EmPower Solar Team
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6666.jpg]70Grading the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_grading-2.jpg]70Grading the Land
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_grading-3.jpg]70Solar Array Land is Ready!
[img src=http://brentwoodcsj.org/wp-content/flagallery/solar-array-project/thumbs/thumbs_img_6747.jpg]70Container for Work Materials

This video shows the process that was used to save 50 trees on the Brentwood campus of the Sisters of St. Joseph. The trees were removed from one area and replanted in another area to prepare the land for the installation of a ground-mounted solar array. The trees that could not be moved were chipped. The tree chips were used for mulch on the farms on our campus.

View this two minute video indicating the location of the solar array on our Brentwood campus (no sound):

A PowerPurchasing Agreement (PPA) contract was finalized between the Sisters of St. Joseph and EmPower Solar-NextEra Energy to build and operate the following ground mounted solar system:

  • System Size: 1MW system
  • Estimated Year 1 Production: 1,298,455 kWh
  • Estimated Annual Degradation: 0.5%
  • Turn-key Installation Contractor: EmPower Solar
  • Commercial Operation Date: December 2017
  • System Location: southeast section of the property; south of the leaching fields; east side of the cemetery road.

View this three minute reflection on alternative energy:

    Nourished by prayer, supported by community and energized by ministry, we are constantly addressing the needs of these times.