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Union Station Homeless Services’ CEO Marvin M. Gross announced last week that the non-profit agency will be installing solar photovoltaic systems on the roofs of four of its buildings, including at the site of two homeless shelters it operates in Pasadena.
This year, Union Station will help more than 2,000 individuals turn their lives around–and feed thousands more through its free meals program and holiday dinners-in-the park. The solar panel installation will help offset the agency’s electrical needs with clean energy.
“I am very proud to be a part of this project,” says Mike Berry, Facilities Manager at Union Station Homeless Services. “We’re expecting to generate about 205,857 kilowatt hours per year. This will not only benefit Union Station Homeless Services by reducing our electrical expenses by about 50 percent per year, but also contribute to the Pasadena community by reducing our carbon footprint as we accomplish our mission to help men, women, and children rebuild their lives and end homelessness.”
The solar panels will be installed at Union Station Homeless Services’ Adult Center shelter building at 412 S. Raymond Avenue; two buildings that make up the Family Center shelter at 825 E. Orange Grove Boulevard and 837 E. Orange Grove Boulevard; and the agency’s administrative office building at 815 Elmira Street in Pasadena.
The systems are expected to generate enough electricity to save the non-profit approximately $40,000 a year, with a combined 25-year avoided utility cost of over one million dollars.
The project is moving forward thanks to the City of Pasadena, which approved rebates for the arrays in the amount of $527,885.
“We are so grateful that the city’s solar energy rebate program will allow us to install solar panels on some of our largest facilities,” says Gross. “Not only will our solar project provide a tremendously significant savings of our energy costs over the long-term, it is also the right thing to do given the global warming and climate change challenges confronting our planet.”
The clean, renewable energy generated by the systems is equivalent to preventing 152,496 pounds of coal from being burned, or 15,973 gallons of gasoline from being consumed.
The 40-year-old agency has already shown a commitment to environmental responsibility. In 2012, Union Station Homeless Services made improvements to its Euclid Villa Transitional Housing Facility at 154-160 S. Euclid Avenue that included solar energy panels, new cooling and heating units, insulated, double-paned windows and other renovations to make the facility environmentally friendly.