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Caldwell Dominicans Celebrate Earth Day -- Dedicate Solar Energy System

CALDWELL, , NJ [ April 10, 2006] – The Caldwell Dominican Sisters will celebrate the dedication of their newly installed solar electric system at Mount Saint Dominic on Wednesday, April 26, 2006.

The solar energy panels were installed through Lighting the Way, a joint project of GreenFaith and Sun Farm Network. GreenFaith was founded in 1992 by Jewish and Christian leaders in New Jersey to mobilize people of diverse religions to discover a relationship with the sacred in nature and to take action for the present and future life of our planet Earth. Through Lighting the Way, GreenFaith and Sun Farm Network, a leading New Jersey solar energy company, are placing solar installations at twenty-five religious sites around the state.

“Jesus said: ‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10),” said Sr. Alice Uhl, OP, a member of the Order’s Leadership Team. “In tune with this Gospel message, the solar energy installation is a concrete expression of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell’s commitment to the life and well-being of future generations.”

“It has taken over two years of coordination to honor Mother Earth by utilizing the power of the sun. Our hope is that our Lighting the Way project will be a beacon for others,” commented Catherine Warshaw, OPA, Treasurer for the Dominican Sisters.

“Every major religious tradition contains texts and traditions that recognize the presence of the sacred in nature, that command humanity to protect the earth, and that recognize that all people deserve a clean, safe environment,” said Reverend Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith. “The Dominican Sisters’ solar installation is a stunning spiritual, ethical statement about caring for the earth.”

Lighting the Way is funded by private foundations and by New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities, which promotes the use of renewable energy and energy conservation through its Office of Clean Energy. A BPU solar rebate of $277,603 provided funding for over 50% of the project.

Sun Farm Network’s mission is to make solar electricity a significant part of US energy supply. Sun Farm is doing for solar what has never been done before: creating scale with Solar photovoltaic solutions that are attractive to mainstream customers and creating self-sustaining business models that secure large scale financing. Sun Farm’s growing network of customers includes homeowners, farmers, businesses and religious institutions, all using clean, abundant and renewable sunshine for power.

The Caldwell Dominicans have a long history of commitment to the environment. Their Vision Statement reads in part “We resist the ongoing devastation of our planet by a contemplative scrutiny of our use/abuse of Earth’s gifts.” This Vision is lived out in the Sisters’ Corporate Stance on Non-Violence which includes their commitment “ to eradicate violence against the earth, to instill respect and love for our planet, for its bounteous resources, and for all its creatures.”

Lighting the Way has provided an exciting way for us to live more deeply our commitment to all life on our home planet,” said Sr. Peggy Ryan, OP, Communications Director for the Sisters. “It is our hope that this installation will encourage other congregations and religious institutions to follow our lead.”

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Over the next twenty years, the system will generate about 1.28 million kilowatt hours of electricity and prevent 1.4 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere, helping to fight global warming.

Visit the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell to learn more about their mission.

Related Links on this project

BPU’s energy programs

GreenFaith or call
Sun Farm Network or call

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