Masonic Village’s 3 MW solar power system produces 3.4 million kWh per year and approximately 15% of the campus’ electricity. It generates a rate of return of between 14 and 20% and results in cost savings of $250,000 annually. The first 1 MW photovoltaic array was constructed in 2011, with a 2 MW addition completed in 2017. Both projects were designed and installed by RETTEW and Solar Energy Renewable, LLC, through a production sharing agreement.
Cost savings include a $151,242 rebate in 2019 from PPL Electric Utilities through Act 129.
“This project enables Masonic Village to fulfill its commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, and it also impacts our overall not-for-profit mission,” Patrick Sampsell, general counsel and chief engineer, said. “The cost savings and rebate help offset the declining government reimbursements Masonic Village receives for resident care and services. We provided charitable care worth $33.4 million in 2020 alone.”
After more than a decade of investing in clean energy, Masonic Village produces 23-25% of its electricity using a mix of solar panels and microturbines. Six microturbines currently generate 10 percent of the campus’ electricity. The heat created as a by-product of the microturbines, in turn, heats water for a portion of resident apartments and the Masonic Health Care Center, reducing the use of gas boilers. Clean energy is part of Masonic Villages’ four-legged energy efficiency plan, the other legs being conservation, efficiency and smart technology.
In 2008, Masonic Village restored 3,200 feet of the Conoy Creek’s floodplain located along its property due in part to a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Growing Greener II grant and self-funding. Masonic Villages also uses environmentally-friendly materials and methods at all of its campuses, including water and electricity-saving fixtures, co-generating electricity, motion detector-controlled lights and the purchase of hybrid vehicles for company use.