Solar Panel Canopies to Benefit Maryknoll, Ossining Community


Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has made a 25-year lease agreement with Ecogy Energy that will install 2,184 solar panels mounted on six canopies over two parking lots on Maryknoll property in the Town of Ossining.

The installation of the solar panel canopies, which was approved by the Town of Ossining, was scheduled to begin April 19 and is expected to be completed in eight to 12 weeks. 

Father Raymond Finch, M.M., told CNY the Maryknoll community, which received their green certification from Westchester County’s Green Business Partnership last year, is “excited, supportive and happy” about the project. 

“It’s a great opportunity and it feels like a win-win-win situation,” said Father Finch, the superior general of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers since 2014. 

Maryknoll and the Ossining community will benefit from the electricity produced by the solar panels, which will provide shade for cars in the warmer months and protect cars from snow in the winter months. Bifacial glass panels are being used to allow energy production on both sides for a project that will have a projected capacity of 874 kilowatts.

Low- to moderate-income households in Ossining will be given the first opportunities for subscriptions to access the electricity and to be eligible for credits on their energy bills. Residents outside Ossining will be offered subscriptions if any remain after being offered in Ossining.

“One thing we’re definitely gaining is helping to protect the earth, helping to get sustainable and renewable sources of electricity for us and others,” said Father Finch of the first solar installation project for the Town of Ossining. “This is not just for us, it’s going into common use for the area.

“Hopefully, it will let us see the future, how things can be done maybe more efficiently and better in places we work around the world and if we can contribute to any of that.”

Father Finch said he received an email two years ago from a company asking if there was interest in putting solar panels on Maryknoll’s property. He did not immediately follow up, but additional requests came and talks began with these companies.

“We didn’t go out to establish this,” Father Finch said. “They found us and we responded. If we had known there was this interest in doing it and there was this possibility out there, we probably would have done it sooner.” 

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers today serve the hungry, sick and marginalized in more than 20 countries.

Ecogy Energy, located in Brooklyn, was founded in 2010 and has a portfolio of more than 40 systems in nine states; Washington, D.C.; and the Caribbean.

“It’s one of the most beautiful campuses in all of New York and New England. This canopy system will only add to the beauty that Maryknoll has,” said Brock Gibian, Ecogy Energy’s director of development.

“We’re extremely excited and all of us at Ecogy Energy really would like to extend our gratitude to Maryknoll for giving us the opportunity to partner with such an esteemed and revered institution. We’re amazed at Maryknoll’s commitment to the environment and their really thoughtful efforts on this project.”