By Amanda Murthy
The Perth Archdiocese has officially commenced going solar.
The Archdiocesan Archives Office was selected as the first owned and operated agency to have solar panels installed on 12 September.
This effort is part of the Archdiocese’s attempt to address Pope Francis’ call to global action on environmental issues, expressed in his second encyclical titled Laudato si’ – Our Common Home (Praise Be To You).
The Archives Office serves as the repository of all inactive official Archdiocesan records of enduring religious, administrative, legal, fiscal, historical, evidential and/or informational value.
In an interview with The Record, Perth Archdiocese Archivist and Director Odhran O’Brien expressed his gratitude towards the Archdiocese for making the switch that will have a positive impact on the environment.
“We are required to operate climate control at all times, in order to conserve the historic records of the Catholic community in Western Australia. Therefore, having the panels installed will help with the long-term sustainability of the Church’s archives.”
Mr O’Brien noted that the agency had done extensive amounts of research before purchasing the system, and were pleased with the work carried out by Avora Energy.
“The solar panels will lessen our carbon footprint on the environment, significantly reducing the cost of running the archives, and lower our electricity bill by 50 per cent.”
Mr O’Brien said that although the initial cost for installing the solar panels is expensive, he hopes that more of the Archdiocesan agencies will make the switch eventually.
“I believe we are the first office within the Archdiocesan administration to go solar. However, I am happy to hear, that there are Catholic schools and social welfare agencies that are using solar energy as well,” Mr O’Brien added.
“We are currently investing a significant amount of time on managing the digital records of the Archdiocese and also digitising and indexing our 19th and 20th century collections.
“The less we spend on power, the more resources we can devote to these important projects,” he concluded.