By David Pendered
Solarize Atlanta has added a major participant, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, which plans to install an array on the roof of the Besser Gymnastics Pavilion.
The array is to provide 30 percent of the building’s energy needs. That translates to a projected saving of $6,900 a year in energy costs, according to a statement.
The project is supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, through its “Grants to Green” initiative, according to the statement. The foundation helps connect donors with nonprofit organizations.
“We are grateful to the Community Foundation, which facilitated an anonymous $50,000 donation, allowing us to embark on this first installation of solar panels,” Jared Powers, the center’s CEO, said in a statement.
“We will begin the installations in 2019 and complete them within the year,” Powers said. “We look forward to expanding this solar initiative and identifying additional high-impact opportunities for reducing operating costs and environmental impact.”
Hannah Solar will begin the process of installing the solar panels at the center through its affiliation with Solarize Atlanta. Hannah Solar handles all commercial installations for Solarize Atlanta, while Creative Solar handles the residential installations.
Moving forward, the center plans to implement the recommendations made by Solarize Atlanta to support and maintain the center’s environmental sustainability efforts.
“We are pleased to have signed the contract this morning, highlighting the MJCCA’s solar opportunity,” said Trey Gibbs with Hannah Solar. “The system that we will install at the MJCCA’s Besser Gymnastics Pavilion allows the building to use energy from the sun first, before pulling in any additional grid energy to power the building. There is no battery storage. The energy gets generated and consumed immediately afterward in real time.”
The installation is part of a broader effort to improve the center’s sustainability program.
“In addition to the MJCCA’s new solar installations, the agency will continue to assess its facilities to identify and implement energy, water, and resource-efficient upgrades and adopt additional best management practices for sustainability,” Powers said.
“The MJCCA is committed to transforming how the agency operates, establishing the MJCCA as a strong environmental steward and leader in the community,” Powers said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Community Foundation and becoming even more of an environmentally responsible agency.”
The MJCCA’s Zaban Park campus is located at 5342 Tilly Mill Road, in Dunwoody. The campus covers 52 acres and serves more than 60,000 persons a year of all faiths, ages and backgrounds.
Solarize Atlanta is one of at least five programs across the state that lower energy costs for participants. Solarize programs negotiated a tiered pricing schedule that lowers energy costs based on the number of participants.
The Solarize Atlanta coalition that helped form the program includes the non-profit organizations City of Refuge, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, Livable Buckhead, the Sierra Club, Southface and the U.S. Green Building Council. Central Atlanta Progress and Atlanta’s Office of Resiliency participated, as did the for-profit Solar Crowdsource.