CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) has installed an array of solar panels on the roof of its new domestic violence center.
The project was fully funded through a public-private partnership between the Pinellas County Community Development Block Grant Program, CASA and a private donor. Installation was completed by Solar Energy Management, a locally-owned firm selected through a competitive bidding process.
In all, 407 solar panels have been installed to create a massive 130-kilowatt rooftop solar system. Most importantly, money spent on a significant monthly electric bill will now be available to help end domestic violence in Pinellas County.
The system will also benefit the environment. CASA officials estimated that 5,208 tons of carbon dioxide will not have to be produced because of the new system. That has the same effect, they said, of planting 121,346 trees.
The new solar array puts CASA on a more sustainable path, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an economic one as well. The agency anticipates reducing its domestic violence center’s electric bill by an average of 70 percent to 80 percent per year throughout the 25-plus-year life-expectancy of the solar power system. These savings will be used to fund CASA’s programs helping survivors of domestic violence attain safety for themselves and their children.