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Society of St. Vincent de Paul Saves with Solar Liberty


Society of St. Vincent De Paul of Buffalo Has 116.46 Kilowatts of Solar Power Installed by Solar Liberty

BUFFALO, N.Y. – In an effort to move toward energy independence and save money, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Buffalo partnered with Amherst-based Solar Liberty on three separate solar installations that totaled 116.46 kilowatts.

“We were green before green became popular,” said Mark Zirnheld, Executive Director, Society of St. Vincent de Paul. “Thanks to the generous support of the WNY community, we receive a lot of donations, but nobody has been able to donate our utilities, until now.”

The first 25.38 kilowatt array was part of, ‘The Brighter New York Program’ and was donated by Solar Liberty back in 2011. The system size for the second and third installations totaled 91.08 kilowatts and is leased through Solar Liberty.

In 2010, Solar Liberty introduced ‘The Brighter New York Program’ to a number of nonprofit agencies at a United Way Summit. More than 100 agencies recognized the potential savings and took advantage of the 25 kilowatt installation that was donated by Solar Liberty and partially funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). Solar Liberty is the largest NYSERDA-approved solar installer in the State.

Earlier this year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul learned about an attractive low-cost solar leasing program through Solar Liberty. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs and Solar Liberty owns and maintains the system for 15 years. “When we ran the numbers, we quickly realized that there was no downside to the proposal and decided to move forward.” Zirnheld said, “We were able to take advantage of something that simply makes complete sense with our mission’s values.”

After the lease payments, the projected annual savings between the three installations will be approximately $8,700. That savings can send 34 children to camp for six weeks, fuel three trucks for six months or serve 9,000 lunches.

“The three systems were tied to three separate meters and their flat roof was ideal for the 504 solar panels that we installed.” said Mike Prinzi, Project Manager, Solar Liberty. “We do a lot of nonprofit installations, 116.46 kilowatts is our largest nonprofit solar array in Buffalo.”

The solar panels will reduce Green House Gas emissions by 1,635 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to the following statistics over the next 25 years:
– 5,543,621 miles from a small sized car
– 2,973,395 miles from a medium sized car
– 2,083,271 miles from a Sport Utility Vehicle
– 3,371,892 air miles
– Trash and waste from 2,974 persons
– These reductions are also equivalent to planting 64,414 trees

Solar Liberty President Adam K. Rizzo said, “All of our not-for-profit customers do so much for our community. The solar savings is a ‘win, win’ for all, allowing them to provide additional services and assist those in need.”

About Solar Liberty
Founded in 2003, Solar Liberty installs grid-tied photovoltaic solar energy systems for government, nonprofit, education, commercial, and residential customers. Solar Liberty is committed to creating turnkey renewable energy solutions with quality components. In 2012 NYSERDA and the Department of Energy awarded the “Outstanding Achievement Award” to Solar Liberty for being the Largest Solar Electric Installer in New York State. Visit for more information.

About Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP)
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) is a world-wide organization, founded in 1833 France, whose mission is to seek out the forgotten, the suffering, and the deprived, and to treat them with dignity and compassion. The Buffalo chapter was established, in 1847, and was incorporated in 1922, making it the second oldest chapter in the United States. The Buffalo Chapter is the oldest, continually operating charity in Western New York with 1100 volunteers rendering service to their community using whatever resources are available to them in this mission of charity. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts:
Maureen Hanagan, Marketing Manager

Mark Zirnheld, Executive Director